So it seems very occasionally, ordinary people do have the power to change things, as the town of Totnes in Devon has proved. After months of campaigning to keep coffee conglomerate Costa out of the town, residents won the David-and-Goliath type battle: Costa chiefs announced they would withdraw plans to open a branch in the town following 5,700-signed petition (from a local population of 8,500), a Trainspotter-style poster campaign (pictured above) and backing from MP Sarah Wollaston.
Totnes town campaigned against becoming another cloned-high street, preferring instead to maintain the area’s independence from high street chains and keep local money circulating within the local community. They fought against the council’s agreement and miraculously Costa reconsidered its application and pulled out.
It was so inspiring to hear this news, restoring some hope in any person’s fight against big business. I also really liked the quote by Sarah Wollaston directed at Costa’s Managing Director Chris Rogers, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”