Councillor Long was speaking after Tesco announced its Connswater and Cregagh Road branches would shut in April, with the loss of 151 jobs. Last year, the company opened a new outlet in Rosetta, an action Alliance representatives opposed at the time.
He said today’s announced closures proved it was correct to question that strategy.
“It is disappointing news these branches will close and my thoughts are with the workers there. Alliance will continue to work with Tesco to ensure those who can be redeployed within the company are.
“We expressed concerns about the impact of the opening of Tesco’s Rosetta store last year, particularly in relation to the Cregagh Road branch, and now we see the inevitable result of having too many outlets close to each others.
“In addition, Tesco have to answer the question of why they are now removing vital services from some of the already more socially deprived areas of East Belfast.”