Wednesday, 6 May 2009

St James's St Starbucks must close to protect local cafes, says Green Party Leader

Local Green Euro-MP and Party leader Caroline Lucas will speak at a demonstration calling for the closure of the controversial Starbucks coffee shop on St James’s Street on Saturday (May 9).

Dr Lucas will back council planners, nearby residents, ward councillors and local businesses – who have all been calling for Starbucks to close its doors – at the protest, which marks a year since the US store defied Brighton and Hove Council and opened its doors for the first time.

A public inquiry to decide whether or not the store should be allowed to remain is due to take place in June.

Dr Lucas will say the Starbucks has threatened the viability of local businesses – and contributed to the vibrant and unique St James’s Street risking ending up ‘just like everywhere else’.

“There are many reasons to be opposed to Starbucks opening in unique St James’s Street, but for me this is principally about protecting local businesses and defending our community from being bullied by a multinational company,” she will say.

“Whatever we think of the local council, when it comes to planning decisions it’s all we’ve got. If its decisions are being ignored we must stand up to the bullies.”

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