Keep it local not multi-national

What a gloomy picture John Paynton (Courier letters last week) paints when he pleads for coffee shops in Leamington to be the reserve of those who want to quietly read the paper or do the crossword. Coffee houses have always been places where people meet to do business, carry out politics as well as socialising.

When Dr Samuel Johnson frequented the Turk’s Head in Gerrard Street in the 18th century, he entertained and argued with many of the great names of the day including actors, musicians and scientists. Would his many friends and acquaintances have said, ‘oh, don’t disturbe Johnson as he doing his crossword (anachronism intended)’ or more likely ‘leave him be, he is thinking of a new word for his dictionary.’ Of course not; Johnson and many millions around the world go to a cafés or coffees shop to meet people.

But this is not why I am writing to the Courier on this apparently trivial matter. Mr Paynton appears to go to multi-national coffee houses. As a local councillor, the town centre is at the heart of my area and I am very keen to promote local business ensuring that Leamington does not become a clone town.

Within the main shopping centre, there are approximately 37 coffee shops. Of these, nearly half are independently run. So instead of going to Starbucks et. al. why not try Bar Angeli (next door), The Bandstand, Fat Birds, Havana or Gusto Ricci; to name but a few.

Of course, there are many others where you will hear lively conversation, shoppers resting after retail therapy, people carrying out business, silver surfers tapping away at their tablets and yes, people who want a quite cup of coffee to read the paper.

Remember ‘Eat local, shop local’.

Cllr Jerry Weber, Leamington Clarendon (Lab)