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Pontcanna: again

Another "campaign" with a logical fallacy at its heart. I really can't abide the "independent trader" lobby, especially when it gets mixed up with pure NIMBYism.

The arguments have been done to death.. its simply a matter of "let the market decid".. then we'll see what the people really want (not what a vocal minority want, or what people will sign under social pressure when they haven't thought about the consequences).

Re: Pontcanna: again


I struggle to make sense of what you post. I am pretty sure you once said you were left orientated - a socialist for want of a better word. Yet you almost always go Hayek on us (not that I disprove) with respect to the market. you're an enigma wrapped in a paradox for sure

edit: before you go into any detailed critique of Hayek's life work, I was referring to his Austrian School of thought about letting the market decide. Nothing more than that!!!

Re: Pontcanna: again

I think my position is fairly clear, and fully coherent, although it does mean one has to distinguish very much between "means" and "ends".

I'm left wing to the extent that I think there should be a significant degree of redistribution from those with high lifetime earnings to those with low lifetime earnings but think this should be done as efficiently as possible, learning all the lessons modern economic theory and empirical work can provide, and realising there is a limit (more precisely, ideally I would redistribution between people of different earning potentials.. but you can't really observe that, so earning outcomes will have to do).

But I don't think you should interfere with the operation of markets, and especially the organisation of production without a good reason. Good reasons include proper externalities (e.g. pollution), monopolistic power, credit constraints, significant coordination problems etc. I don't think where people choose to shop is the kind of thing that justifies intervention. Its as simple as that.

Intervene only when there is a good reason why the market won't get the right outcome. And when you intervene - to discourage pollution or to undertake redistribution - do so using the most efficient way, without ideolgical or dogmatic prejudice.

Re: Pontcanna: again


Another "campaign" with a logical fallacy at its heart. I really can't abide the "independent trader" lobby, especially when it gets mixed up with pure NIMBYism.

The arguments have been done to death.. its simply a matter of "let the market decid".. then we'll see what the people really want (not what a vocal minority want, or what people will sign under social pressure when they haven't thought about the consequences).

I 100% agree with you on this post! I live locally in Pontcanton and do feel pressured into agreeing with the action to stop this development.

I for one look forward to more selection and choice in the area - noone is forcing any of these people to shop their and they can protest by never using it.

I see a lot of people houses with a TesNO poster in their window (yep they should really have updated them by now) but I was tempted to put a YESco one up in protest to the protest! Do you think it would go down well?

I'm sure there have now been many local neighbour meetings of which the posters have been creatively adjusted to NO-op!

Re: Pontcanna: again

If they hate shops, tell the petitioners to move on down to Pierhead Street

We've had to wait six years for a shop of any sorts to open here and there's still no signs of activity on the proposed Co-op under Celestia!

Re: Pontcanna: again

People in Pontcanna are quite entitled to protest against a supermarket. Why not? I'd be more concerned about an area where people didn't have a view on what happened. This isn't an issue like housing that clearly needs to be planned on a national scale, it's about local retail. Of course those with an alternative view who might like a supermarket on their doorstep should also be allowed to express their opinion on it. I do think it's a little ridiculous for Pontcannons to be making a fuss about traffic though, this is not some remote village after all. These are people who have chosen to live within walking distance of a city centre. I suppose if you pay those sorts of prices you expect to be able to have your cake and eat it.

As JG Ballard said, the middle class are the new proletariat.

Re: Pontcanna: again

I have some sympathy for local residents there, especially as the parade of shops includes a greengrocer's, a baker's, a butcher's, a deli and until recently a newsagent's, as well as a post office around the corner.

A mini-mart would possibly (only possibly, that site is kind of hidden from the main road) have an effect - and it would be a shame for those small shops to close.

However, I daresay there's plenty of residents, including those most vocally against this new proposal, who also choose to drive to Tesco Western Avenue to do their main shop.

So in summary, not perfect, but is it really the end of the world/inner suburban gentrification dream?

Re: Pontcanna: again

I think it's important for this to be resolved with a solution that'll please all the residents. I'll get on the phone to Waitrose and they can come and save the day!!

Re: Pontcanna: again

My point isn't that people shouldn't have a view on things like Tesco or Co-op. My point is that just because I don't want to shop somewhere, doesn't give me the right to prevent others from having that option. And the fact that local businesses already exist certainly doesn't give such businesses the right to prevent new entrants from competing with them.

I believe it is important we have a planning system as developments can impose significant costs on neighbourhoods. Inappropriate development can cause noise, pollution, congestion, overshadowing, anti-social behaviour etc. These are real "externalities" of development (costs imposed on other people). But, I don't think it is the role of planning policy to limit competition or for people to try to impose their views on independent versus chain stores on others. Ultimately this is an area where the market gets it right: people expressing their opinions with their wallets, rather than a vocal minority shouting loudly and cajouling their neighbours into acquiesence. If people don't want clone towns or clone shops, just don't shop in chains.

Re: Pontcanna: again

Random - what's to stop a supermarket running itself at a loss in Pontcanna - by for instance having lots of special deals available - in order to destroy all the competition. And then once the smaller retailers have been put out of business they can put their prices up and start making a profit on the store. I'm sure you're aware of the phrase that the free market is one where the big guy is free to trample on the little guy.

It may be that Pontcanna is full of inefficient over-priced businesses but if the people living there want to protect those businesses that is up to them. If the protests were coming from a small noisy minority I'd be happy to ignore. I'm not sure that is the case here.

Re: Pontcanna: again


the best way the residents of Pontcanna can protect the closed shop is to not shop in the Co-op and carry on as before.

if the co-op reduce their prices then that is good for the consumer. that is the market in action. If it puts others out of business then so be it, ultimately the market decides what prices should be paid. It is unlikely that a monopoly will be created with all competitors going out of business - you'll reach a situation whereby some pontcanna residents will want to pay co-op prices and others will want to pay higher prices. The mix of shops (including co-op) will end up reflecting that mix

Re: Pontcanna: again

I hope this opens soon. Pontcanna Post office / store is rubbish and the
owners not very welcoming (especially the older woman). It could do with a lick
of paint aswell. I wonder if it does open, if there will be people outside calling me a scab for using it. The Hot pantry, Butchers, Fruit & Veg shop however, are pretty good. Though, they are always closed by the time I finish work.

Re: Pontcanna: again

The Echo reports that the Co-op have no intention of opening in this location.

Re: Pontcanna: again

Sounds like the developer may have been telling porky pies then? Why would he do that if it was likely to result in uproar?

Perhaps it was a ruse to scare people back into accepting the original proposal of just having residential (ie he will resubmit a 100% residential proposal and hope that it will be regarded as the lesser of two evils?).

Did he think that suggesting that the Co-op would be the tenant would likely frighten the opponents into believing that this was akin to letting the unwashed Barbarians into the High St? Why did they not say that Waitrose (the seemingly perennial darlings of these petite bourgeoisie types) were the tenants?

Probably because the opponents would have soon changed their opposition if they heard that Waitrose were moving in!

If this has all been a big fib then it has been exposed pretty easily by the Co-op saying that they're not interested - so not a clever ploy? Odd.

Re: Pontcanna: again

Frank, I understand that the petition has been signed by a significant number of people. But this does not mean that the protests are not being driven by a small noisy minority.

I'll use an example I know much more about. The campaign against a car park in Ynysyngharad Park in Pontypridd. Ultimately, this delayed a proposed shopping centre scheme so long that despite proposals back to the late 1980s, over 20 years later, Pontypridd is left with a hole in the ground and a stalled bankrupt scheme!

The plans were for a small part of the park currently prone to flooding and not well utilised by the public as well as the site of a fairly delipated old age daycare centre for use as a 2 - 3 deck car park. The vast majority of the park, including all the main areas used by the public would have been maintained, and planting done to limit the impact of the car park on views elsewhere (and in any case it wouldn't be that tall!). A campaign against this was set up and eventually led to a petition signed by thousands of people and a public referendum which the "no to the car park" camp resoundingly won. This would seem like a perfect example of local democracy in action, no?

Well unfortunately, it also shows the extent to which a small group of people can mislead the wider public and get them to oppose something that would probably end up benefiting them. The no campaign was led by a mix of reactionary green-types (anything to do with cars is bad, any buidling on something green is bad), those opposing "multinational chain stores", and and some especially silly people who felt utilising any part of the war memorial park (even a part inherantly unuseful as a park) for anything else was a slur on our glorious war dead. They then engaged in a campaign of public misinformation with scare stories of a car park "swallowing up our cherished park", "kiddies enjoying the slides and swings staring death in the face", and "our old folk with no where to go" (despite plans for a replacement centre). In essence, they massively misrepresented the plans, making many people think the developers wanted to demolish the playground and pool, or have a major road going right past this area. People signed petitions on this basis: "sign a petition to stop them building a car park over Ponty park". "by the pool and kiddies playground". "yes, they want to build a massive car park in the park for a new shopping centre that noone wants".

Now I don't know enough about the ins-and-outs of this case. But its almost certainly the case that there is a small group of highly committed individuals at the core. And when getting people to sign petitions, I'd be willing to bet they deploy dubious half-truths.