Surprise party for dedicated campaigners

August 04 2017

EIMEAR Hawes, manager of the Star Inn, organised a party for the No McDonald’s in Fishponds campaigners after the news they had lost their three-year battle.

EIMEAR Hawes, manager of the Star Inn, organised a party for the No McDonald’s in Fishponds campaigners after the news they had lost their three-year battle.

He said the committee had been devastated by the planning inspector’s decision to overturn Bristol City Council’s refusal of permission for the drive-through in Fishponds Road.

“But more than that, a lot of people who were neutral during the process were disgusted by the decision, viewing it as big business riding rough-shod over the community’s will. This committee were just ordinary citizens who took three years out of their lives to take on one of the largest, wealthiest and most influential corporations in the world on behalf of the local community,” Eimear said.

“They had to wade through tonnes of legal documents and regulations to fight the case and had to do the work normally in the realm of solicitors and barristers.  They fought the initial application by themselves and won it by a unanimous decision from the council, only to have it later overruled and no fault to them.

“Even so, they have left a huge legacy in their wake. Their efforts have left a great community spirit and love of Fishponds that was not visible before.

"The ordinary folk of Fishponds just wanted to say thank you to them for the huge efforts they put in, hence we put on the party in their benefit.”

Grant Hudson, one of those that gave evidence at the public inquiry, thanked Eimear and the Star for the party. 

 He said:  “The party was just amazing. At the public inquiry, we saw local residents, including pensioners, being torn apart and mocked by McDonald’s £1,000/hour London QC at the public inquiry.  We heard no end of lies and fantasy from their so-called experts, for example, that building the McDonald’s will make Fishponds Road safer and that there is no congestion on Fishponds Road. 

“After the result, we were all numb, in a state of shock, anger, dismay and total disbelief.  For Eimear and the Star to spring this party on us, at our lowest ebb, was a much needed and welcomed bolt out of the blue. 

"It was so emotional to see
so much support for us that night, and to see our local pub and all cross-sections of our community coming together and celebrating the good in the shadow of adversity. It was just fantastic.  

“We can’t afford a judicial review, so for now McDonald’s has won.  However, Fishponds is still a great place with a fantastic community spirit that has grown over the past three years of the campaign, and that is something that an American corporation and a government official can never take from us.”