18 March 2020

An open letter to supermarkets based in Brighton & Hove

To all major supermarkets in Brighton & Hove.

The outbreak of the COVID 19 virus will have far reaching consequences for the City of Brighton & Hove.

I know that you are currently experiencing unprecedented demand at the same time as you may also be experiencing staff shortages.

I want to say a huge thank you to your staff who I know are working flat-out at such a difficult time.

I am seeking your support to ensure that those who are most vulnerable within our city have access to the food, medicines and other essentials that they need.

Thank you if you are already taking actions such as setting aside an hour for older and more vulnerable residents to do their shopping, by restricting the number of certain items people can buy or increasing home delivery slots.

However, I am still hearing concerns from many residents who are struggling to buy even one of the basics they need including toilet roll, nappies, baby milk, paracetamol or gluten-free food.

I am now calling on supermarkets to work on a new round of contingency measures to mitigate stockpiling.

Please will you consider more stringent limitation of items per shopper, reserving a stock of in-demand items to be made available on request, prioritising delivery slots for older people, people with disabilities and those who need to self-isolate.

I would also greatly appreciate reassurance that your business continuity plans to deal with supply chain issues are robust and working effectively, as we continue to hear reports from residents that empty shelves are taking some time to get re-stocked.

If there is any support that we can give you during this time, please do get in touch.

I look forward to working with you.

Councillor Nancy Platts,
Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council