Fracas in the Refill Shop

A fracas in Bude’s Refill Shop recently left volunteers distraught and customers dismayed.

Shop volunteers allege that a member of the public went into the shop and demanded that they remove a climate emergency petition which the group Climate Action Bude had asked the shop to host.

The purpose of the petition is to urge Bude-Stratton Town Councillors to support a climate
emergency motion which is being debated at the Full Council Meeting on 5th September.
The volunteers refused to remove the petition and were taken aback by the response, which they felt was a verbal assault.

The customer allegedly asserted that the wording of the petition was both factually incorrect and illegal and clearly designed to incite the public to bully Bude-Stratton Town Council. She then allegedly removed it from the counter without permission while the volunteers were serving, so that it was out of reach.

I asked the customer for her response. Did she demand the removal of a climate emergency petition in the shop? Did she remove the said petition. Did she behave in a verbally abusive and heavy-handed way to the volunteers in the shop?

Her answer to each of these questions was ‘no’. She added: Furthermore, as Julia from Bude, I phoned BBC Radio  Cornwall, Laurence Reed’s programme on Fri 23rd at approx 2.30pm and promoted the ethos and methods of Bude’s new Refill shop and encouraged people to go to the website.

There were a number of customers in the shop at the time of the disagreement, some of whom were children. Both of the volunteers were very shocked by the encounter and one had to leave before her shift finished as she was so upset.

Sue Holmes and Philippa Purchase, who set up Climate Action Bude and the petition which is requesting a similar declaration from Bude & Stratton to that which many other councils are committing to, say they are also very shocked and surprised by the event. The Directors of the Refill Shop are considering their response to the incident.

Jackie Diffey of Refill Bude commented:

“The tirade was totally out of order. The rant was in front of a shop full of people – adults and children – so naturally (Bude’s a small place) word has got around”.

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