I wonder if anybody else was depressed, as was I, at the survey carried out into opinions re an application for a McDonald’s fast food outlet.
It seems to me that a simple opinion in favour of such an outlet in Alnwick failed entirely to take a number of vital factors into account.
Firstly, I understand that concern may have been expressed by those who take our welfare into account in terms of diet about what is commonly termed fast food.
It may be that such food is not a desirable approach to providing nutrition, and that there may be problems associated with excessive consumption of such items.
There is even, currently, a groundswell of informed opinion that eating any sort of red meat at all more than twice a week is an unsustainable habit, apparently in the long term threatening the well-being of the very planet on which we all live.
Secondly, may it be said that large multi-national companies have a good record in terms of employee welfare?
I am not sure that this can be guaranteed. I wonder how many people desperate as they might be, would regard the possibility, perhaps even likelihood, of being required to work a schedule including night shifts on a modest wage.
Thirdly, I would say that Alnwick already has a good number of restaurants and cafés catering for a very wide range of tastes, all or which I believe come into the category of small businesses, and all of which I am sure are excellent.
We also have, for a small town, a large range of multi-stores for a great range of products, which do not seem to help our own business community at all. Therefore, would it be helpful to allow another, basically anonymous, albeit well-publicised, organisation to move into our area?
We have already seen a pub chain attempting to alter the terms and conditions upon which planning permission was granted. Do we know that this would never be the case with any other large organisation?
I wonder if any representatives of the bodies which have Alnwick’s well-being at heart have approached McDonald’s requesting that it should set up in our town?
I further wonder if some 20 to 30 businesses with a total staff including the owners of two or so each, were simultaneously to apply for permission to trade in Alnwick day and night, all day and every day, selling fast food, how would the applications fare?
A well-known, large (I do not recall how many metres high) coloured and illuminated logo seems to me grossly out of keeping with what is frequently heavily-marketed as an ancient market town, with lots of nice stone buildings, a castle and gardens and a jolly good, not to say, famous bookshop (privately-owned and very well-run) a vibrant museum and Carlo’s chip shop.
I could go on and on but cannot resist mentioning Bari Tea, if you want to enjoy a leisurely cup of tea and more and, or so I’m told, friendly natives to speak to, provided you can understand their language.
I believe that in Alnwick we like to think of ourselves as being unique,or at the very least different. Would the presence of a McDonald’s outlet improve this image much?
Perhaps I might suggest that anybody who simply cannot survive without eating at a McDonald’s could just pop down the road to Newcastle or up the road to Berwick.
They’ll easily recognise when they get near. There’s a large sign to tell them.
Kenneth G McDonald,