Since rumours emerged that supermarket giant Tesco is looking to take over the Wheatsheaf pub in Tooting Bec, local MP Sadiq Khan has taken action to stop the pub being forced to close down.
Sadiq is working with the company that runs the Wheatsheaf pub and local residents to stop another multinational supermarket taking over a much loved local pub. He has taken the fight right to the top; of Tescos, the Government and the Council.
The Wheatsheaf has been a Tooting landmark for over a century and since the Gregarious group took over in 2010, it has become one of the busiest pubs in Tooting, and one of the most friendly. It is now at the heart of the community in Tooting Bec, and is much loved by local residents and families, who have been up in arms since they heard the rumours that their favourite local faces a supermarket takeover.
Sadiq has met with the managers of the Wheatsheaf to discuss the pub’s future and promised that he will be fighting tooth and nail to keep Tesco out.
Sadiq has lobbied Tesco’s chief executive Philip Clarke directly, urging him to agree not to take over successful pubs, such as the Wheatsheaf. Sadiq has even invited Mr Clarke to Tooting Bec and offered to buy him a drink at the Wheatsheaf, to show just how popular this Tooting landmark is.
Sadiq has also asked Wandsworth Council to step in - arguing that another supermarket in the area is not in the public interest.
Furthermore, Sadiq has taken the fight to the very top of Government by asking Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to look into an Article 4 direction which would prevent a change of use at the site without consulting local residents.
Sadiq is calling on local residents to join his fight for the Wheatsheaf and sign the petition to stop their local pub being turn into another supermarket. The popular petition has already gained almost 2000 signatures and numbers are rapidly rising.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“The Wheatsheaf has been a much loved Tooting landmark all of my life – and has gone from strength to strength in recent years, becoming one of the busiest and friendliest pubs in the area. That’s why it just doesn’t make sense to let it close so that another supermarket can open. We already have three supermarkets very close by, two of which are Tescos – we certainly don’t need another!
“Tooting Bec residents have plenty of supermarkets to hand, what they don’t have is many places for the community to get together and socialise. I know how much the Wheatsheaf means to local people – that’s why I’m taking the fight straight to the top.
“Supermarket giants shouldn’t be allowed to take over successful and well-loved businesses, simply by throwing more money at them. I am fighting to make sure this doesn’t happen – and I hope anyone who hasn’t done so already joins me and signs the petition.”
Sign up to join the campaign here.