TOWN leaders are disappointed that Morrisons supermarket in Frodsham will not support a new community Christmas voucher scheme for senior residents.
The High Street store has refused to join a growing list of local shops and businesses eager to participate in the town council’s £6,000 initiative to issue over 70s with £5 vouchers.
Cllr Frank Pennington told the council this week: “I’ve been going great guns asking local businesses to join in but am very disappointed that Morrisons will not accept the vouchers. It’s a bit demoralising, but I’m afraid we’re not going to move them.”
Cllr Kyle McGregor said that, although he understood the disappointment, “Morrisons was not actually a Frodsham-based company and the scheme is really aimed at businesses with particularly close links with our community.”
Mayor Andrew Dawson said: “I don’t think we should be too hard on them or too upset. They are a large organisation and they may come on board in the future, and people will be able to spend their vouchers in other stores.”
Morrisons spokesman Julian Bailey responded: “We are a huge organisation with 460 stores, and when vouchers are offered in part payment our system has to accept them.
“Unfortunately, it is not geared up to accept Frodsham Town Council vouchers, which would involve a new system of bar coding and setting up the voucher provider as a supplier to our company.
“We have offered Morrisons vouchers to be included in the scheme but that was declined.”
The community voucher scheme replaces the council’s traditional annual lunch for senior citizens which was scrapped because of a dramatic fall in the number of invited guest attending.
So far, 450 eligible residents have applied for vouchers, which will be issued before November 25 in time for Frodsham Christmas Festival. They can also be used as donations to local charities and community groups or towards the cost of organising alternative social gatherings.
Cllr Pennington, 76, announced he would be donating his voucher to Halton Haven hospice, and vouchers can also be exchanged for tickets to a Christmas Tea Party at Frodsham Community Centre on November 26, from 2-6pm.
The event, open to all ages, is being organised by Frodsham Community Association, and non voucher holders can buy tickets for £6.
Booking forms for the festive tea party are available from the town council office, post offices in St Hilda’s Drive and Main Street, and the community centre in Fluin Lane, telephone 01928 732222.