AS a regular visitor to Wakefield and reader of The Express I was interested to see your report about the recent award of an OBE to Mr Graham Wilson for his services to the retail markets industry (Express, June 22).
While congratulating Mr Wilson, I could not help reflecting how, from my personal point of view, his excellent work seems to have had such a disappointing effect in Wakefield itself.
I enjoy visiting Wakefield market but have been increasingly saddened by its current condition.
The loss of the former traditional market hall contrasts sadly with those other towns which have managed to both maintain and develop their historical heritage market places.
The current market seems to have lost its identification as part of a bustling town centre. It is smaller and its design has lost the vibrant feel of a traditional market.
There seems to have been a decline in the variety of units. There are many vacant units and I understand from conversation with traders that several interested persons have come forward and applied to acquire units but have received no response at all from the authorities.
I agree with the reported comments of Mr Wilson that his award is recognition for what a great place a good market can be. Markets create new jobs, they are part of the local community and a great asset for any town.
It seems a great shame therefore that in Wakefield a great market has been destroyed. Vacant units do not create new jobs.
The current market in no way feels a part of the local community but more of a modern add-on and therefore not really an asset for the town.
Wakefield has a fine historical and traditional centre with access to modern shops and cultural activities. It is a great pity that in championing the market place Mr Wilson’s efforts have had such a disastrous outcome in Wakefield.