IN response to Graeme Greenwood’s letter which suggested that he couldn’t see where all the empty shops were in Wakefield I decided to do a little counting exercise, focusing on three key areas of the town centre.
Firstly, there are 12 empty shops in the area around where Argos used to be stretching down Little Westgate to HMV. In the Ridings there are at least another 12 empty units and I’ve been generous there and not included the short-term temporary shops in that number.
On Trinity Walk itself there are another 11 empty spaces, only two of which have actually been occupied since it opened eighteen months ago. This isn’t even taking into account the mess that constitutes the Bull Ring, Brook Street, The Springs and Kirkgate.
It isn’t simply the number of shops we have to take into account but the quality too. Wakefield has far too many ‘bargain’ shops and the last time I was in the market hall a great number of the stalls there were empty.
I think it’s time our elected representatives were upfront about the extent of our retail problems. Failing that, can Mr Greenwood share his prescription for rose-tinted spectacles with us poor Wakefield residents?