In reply to the letter by Coun Box extolling the efforts and virtues of developing retail businesses and ensuring that the city “remains vibrant” has he strolled around the city centre, the Ridings and the areas which once served as the main shopping centres, ie; Westgate, Kirkgate and upper Kirkgate?
They have taken on the appearances of a ghost town and have remained so for the past few years.
He talks about an investment of millions of pounds for the “East Wakefield Scheme” which with the proposed homes, shopping centres and schools, will once again suck more of the lifeblood out of the city centre.
In my opinion we have seriously neglected the historical and fundamentals of the city. A fine medieval town has been despoiled by radical and intrusive development, thus destroying the history of the area.
Such cities as York and Lincoln have developed their heritage and history and are reaping the rewards with an increase and steady stream of tourism.
We had no need to build and concentrate on the “Art Scene”. Far too many developments and resources have been concentrated upon the arts in a city where once stood massive mills, crying out for development and conversion, thus protecting and sustaining our heritage. Are dance, movement and music really the way forward?
The narrow “ginnels” and courtyards should have been protected along with the old established watering holes.
Any visitor approaching the city from Westgate End is faced with beautiful Georgian and medieval buildings but upon studying closely, they will observe garish paintwork. obtrusive advertising hoardings and banners. Not a very pretty sight.
These are the areas which should be protected and developed in order to encourage tourism.
Having seen it all and “got the T shirt”, I am rather sceptical when politicians and leaders proclaim that we are suffering like everyone else.
More money and personal wealth is accumulated during financial depressions than in boom years and why not release some of the contingency funds to support struggling businesses?