STROUD MP Siobhan Baillie has reacted to plans for a Starbucks in the town centre.
Earlier this week the SNJ reported that an application had been submitted by Five Valleys Shopping Centre for a branch of the international chain in King Street.
The cafe would occupy part of the former Poundland building, which is being converted into a new medical centre.
But news has not gone down well with everyone, with some saying Stroud already has enough coffee shops, while owners of independent cafes have questioned the need for an international chain in a town known for its independent shops and alternative spirit.
Ms Baillie said in a statement on Facebook: “I am proud of the number of independent businesses we have locally and incredible home grown entrepreneurs.
“All jobs and investment are welcome but there are plenty of coffee businesses that are much better than the multinationals like Starbucks,” she said.
“Our high streets are also already under enough pressure.
“I’ve asked to speak to the team who are working to build the brilliant new medical facilities on King Street next door to my office.
“I want to understand what the options are and why Starbucks are even being considered as I want a local business there.
“The Five Valleys complex and team has been brilliant at breathing life into the old exhausted Merrywalks and giving homes to loads of Stroud Valleys businesses so I was surprised to see this story and want to hear from them.
“In the meantime, let’s show local feeling on the issue with the petition by sharing it. Thanks to the organisers.”
Stroud resident Chloe Fairbrother launched the petition against Starbucks on Friday, which received more than one hundred signatures in its first few hours.
Writing on her change.org petition she said: “Do we want small business owners driven out of town by loss of earnings and the ever-increasing cost of living crisis which Starbucks is completely unaffected by?
Currently the petition has almost 650 signatures.