Stance by Wilko’s is too heavy-handed

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THE lovely Maria, who has sold the ‘Big Issue’ magazine in the covered arcade between the Wilkinson store and the Johnson’s dry cleaners on Central Walk, Hucknall, has been told by the Wilkinson store manager that the arcade is owned by Wilkinson and so she will no longer be allowed to sell the magazine there.

Maria was devastated and stood crying as many concerned passers-by came to her aid. These included concerned staff from the Johnson’s shop who were perfectly willing for her to stay.

I was also told that the policy would extend to any other charity collectors and groups wanting to use the location in future. In the past, this has been used as a location for Poppy appeal collections, Salvation Army musicians, Rotary Club Christmas collections and many others.

Maria has sold the ‘Big Issue’ from this location for more than two years and has many regular customers who look out for her friendly wave and her infectious smile.

Maria uses this location because it affords her some cover from the wind and rain, and I and many other locals feel that the new stance by Wilkinson is too heavy-handed and not in keeping with its previous community-friendly policies.

If Wilko’s continues with this stance, it will lose a lot of goodwill from local shoppers, including myself.

Could someone please confirm the validity of the shopping arcade’s ownership claim by Wilkinson and see whether the Wilkinson’s group, which has previously shown excellent judgement and commitment to the Hucknall area, can clarify its stance on this issue?

GARY ROOKSBY,

Previously loyal

Wilkinson shopper,

Long Hill Rise, Hucknall.