Disabled residents fear Crouch End Budgens staff cuts ahead of sale

Keith Dunkley will lose out if Budgens in Crouch End stop their home delivery service. Photo: Nigel

Keith Dunkley will lose out if Budgens in Crouch End stop their home delivery service. Photo: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Elderly customers have raised concerns they could lose their independence after rumours spread of Budgens redundancies and the home delivery service axed, ahead of the Co-operative takeover.

Crouch End Budgens. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Crouch End Budgens. Photo: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

The current owners of Budgens, Booker Retail Partners, confirmed they were consulting about “possible redundancies” but did not mention any specific jobs that would be lost.

But Crouch End resident, Keith Dunkley, believes the home delivery service will be cut after speaking directly with staff.

Mr Dunkley, who is blind, relies on the service to maintain his independence.

The 62-year-old currently goes into Budgens to do his weekly shop and chooses the food he wants with the help of a store assistant, before the food is delivered to his door.

This means he can decide on his meals, with support from a dedicated member of staff.

If the home delivery service is cut, Mr Dunkley’s carers could do his shopping for him, but this would deprive Mr Dunkley of the experience of a weekly shop on Crouch End Broadway.

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“It gives me an incentive to get out of the flat for a while”, Mr Dunkley said. “It means I can do my own shopping. I’m stuck if they take it away because I only go to places I need to go to.”

“Because I’m totally blind, I can’t carry more than one bag,” Mr Dunkley said.

“I have to use a long white cane in the other hand.”

“I wish some of the businessmen would feel the consequences of their actions.”

The Broadway previously reported that a reader, identifying himself as an employee, said Budgens has given at least 10 employees notice they will be redundant by the end of March.

Co-operative Food bought the Budgens store for an undisclosed amount.

The British retailer purchased 15 branches of Budgens, mostly in London and the south-east.

A Budgens spokeswoman said: “The Crouch End store has been under-performing and therefore we are currently consulting with colleagues about possible redundancies.

“Wherever possible this will be on a voluntary basis.

“We are currently in a process of consultation and cannot comment further.”

A spokesman for Co-op Food said: “A deal for the store has yet to be formally concluded.

“While it remains a Budgens outlet we are not in a position to speak to employees about roles or services which will be operated.

“Should the transaction receive the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority, we look forward to meeting with employees and working with them to transform the store into a Co-op, which will focus on providing a great service to the Crouch End community.”