Monday, September 16, 2019

Rutland vs Ronald McDonald

BBC News reports on McDonald's bid to open a drive-through outlet on the outskirts of Oakham, the county town of Rutland:
"It's such a small town to have a McDonald's," said Gaz Ali, who has managed Indian takeaway Eastern Delights for 20 years. "And at the end of the day it's going to bring riff-raff."
Rutland is wealthy, but one of the nice things about Oakham is that it is a proper working town. It's not twee.

The county's second town, Uppingham, dominated by its public school, would rather like to be twee. But it falls well short - I mean, Iain Sinclair's early novels were published there.

One of the abiding concerns  of small-town shopkeepers is to keep competition at bay.

When I was a councillor in Market Harborough more than one older resident told me that the former urban district council, which was dominated by the town's business interest, had actively dissuaded national chains from coming to the town.

The worry was that they would provide competition for existing traders and - horror!- put up wages.

So this is a battle where I have some sympathy for both sides. I shall not be heartbroken if McDonald's does come to Rutland.

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