Tesco should stick to spirit of promise to Gala

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TESCO seems to have become the Marmite of the retail world – it’s either loved or hated.

And Scottish Borders Council, which did much to pave the way for the firm’s grand march into Galashiels, has dramatically shifted from the former school of thought to the latter.

By failing to come up with £700,000 to deliver and reconstruct the frontage of an Edwardian building at the town’s proposed transport interchange, Tesco has, according to the council, reneged on a long-held promise.

SBC leader David Parker, well known for his circumspection in his public proclamations, makes no secret of his feeling of betrayal.

The undertaking to dismantle the former government building brick by brick so that it could be rebuilt in another part of town was made by recently departed Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy.

Mr Parker, for one, believes the company should honour that commitment and it is depressing that the hierarchies of both camps could not reach an agreement without recourse to an unseemly public spat.

Mr Parker has left his door open for a change of heart by Tesco, but time is of the essence.

Tesco bosses should take a walk around the desolate retail remnants of Gala’s once bustling town centre, count its blessings and, with some contrition, do the right thing.

Every little helps.