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Caithness News Bulletins October 2004

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SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Mr Rob Gibson has today Monday 25 October 2004 welcomed the end of uncertainty over the smaller Safeway stores which will now be taken over by Somerfield. This following recent price hikes in rural stores and some smaller city centre stores.

Commenting, Mr Gibson said: "I welcome an end to uncertainty for users of smaller Safeway stores.  Morrisons sent an early signal of their lack of interest in their recent purchases by hiking prices for known valued items in the so-called compact stores.

"This not only hit customers in rural areas such as Wick and Thurso, Lerwick, Kirkwall, Nairn, Portree and Lewis but also smaller stores in city areas.

"Two months ago when this news broke I called for a boycott of Morrisons price hike policy and while I am pleased to see this positive development, Somerfield has to guarantee that it will give its new customers the same prices wherever its stores are situated.  "I will be writing to them to seek their views. They should also agree to take over the Safeway rail transport of goods to its Far North stores and any others to which such conveyance is feasible. The Scottish Executive has to ensure the rail freight deal is continued and extended if possible."