Readers’ letters - January 4

A reader praises Booths in Garstang. See letter
A reader praises Booths in Garstang. See letter

Booths is the best store

In response to Thomas Weind’s column and to support all that was said in the reply from Booths Garstang store manager John Reynolds (Courier December 7 and 14), I for one, as a Garstang resident and a Booths fan, would like to stick up for all the superb and professional team at our very own Booths.

What is there not to like?

As Northerners, we should be bursting with pride for this flagship retailer, the envy of the UK supermarket industry.

This is a family business, literally started ‘down the road’ in Preston. Booths supports local farmers and producers, encourages new artisan growers and ‘kitchen table’ businesses. Quality is central to all that Booths do. Again, with their superb HQ a few miles away from the Garstang store and with their input into the local community supporting when and where possible, Booths is not simply a business, it is a ‘way of life’.

It would appear Thomas Weind turned his ‘guns’ on the Booths team with his sights on ‘customer service’.

Firstly has Mr W ever worked in retail? Me thinks not! Retail is a real profession, a skill and when done well is an ‘art form’.

Many of the Booths Garstang Team have worked at the store for many years. As Mr Reynolds says, they get to know their clients and become part of their lives. Each and every member of the Garstang Booths Team are highly motivated, knowledgeable, confident, courteous, considerate and enthusiastic.

Has Mr Weind taken the time to visit Garstang’s excellent Booths Store and watched how hard these ‘guys and girls’ work and the long hours they put in – some start before 5am whilst others work way after midnight – to ensure the store is pristine, well stocked and a joy to shop in?

I could highlight so many members of the Booths Team for their superb level of customer service and know-how, their friendliness and dedication. We have young people starting their careers, including graduates, and experienced members we have come to know and respect.

Many have worked at Booths for many years, some from the old Garstang Store.

Booths in Garstang employs a good number of people from the town and surrounding area and this should not be overlooked or forgotten. Their employment is vital to the local economy and community.

The profession of retail is no doddle! I should know, having spent most of my working life in retail, in one form or another.

So let’s have less of the Booths ‘bashing’ and more of Booths is THE Best! We should be proud of this incredible Northern business and all it stands for in terms of support and ethics. Anyone with a passing interest in our local industries will know it has not been the best of years for Booths, I refer to CEO Chris Dee’s recent announcement.

What with investment in the standard-setting, new flagship stores in Poulton and Lytham, plus the effects of last December’s flooding on key stores in Keswick and Kirkby Lonsdale, it has been a difficult trading time for the company.

But as Mr Dee stated, Booths will bounce back, stronger and more focused in the challenging times ahead.

So, we as Northerners and more so as ‘Garstangers’ , should be proud of our Booths. I for one am proud to pin my colours to the Booths mast! You all do a fantastic job.

Mr Reynolds, you have a brilliant team who work hard to ensure we have the best supermarket in the region.

Love Garstang, Love Booths!

Keith Ronson

Garstang Resident

nhs

Let’s end pay cap on nurses

The RCN is asking readers to sign a petition (www.rcn.org.uk/nursingcounts) demanding an end to the one per cent pay cap on nurses. There are 24,000 vacancies in the nursing workforce across the UK, of which more than 2,000 are in the North West. Our NHS is already struggling to cope with hospital bed shortages, long waiting times and under-staffed wards. More than ever, we need to encourage people to consider nursing as a career and ensure we retain those already in the profession.

The evidence is strong that nurse numbers have a

direct impact on patient health. It was recently announced that MPs would receive a 1.4 per cent pay rise and yet the Government has imposed a pay ‘glass ceiling’ on NHS staff who work long and unsociable shifts to try and keep the nation healthy.

Nurses enjoy a diverse and rewarding career that really makes a difference but they must be wondering exactly what they have to do to merit a pay award which reflects the value of their work. We need 100,000 signatures otherwise nurses’ pay will not be considered for debate by Parliament.

Paul Wood,

Operational Manager, RCN North West