Letter - Support market traders by signing our petition

The Market Hall may be an eyesore and not a patch on the old one in size or diversity, but my husband and I shop there regularly.

We would not use the cinema and restaurants now proposed for the site, because we’re already well provided with a good multiplex and a great range of eating places in the city centre.

We strongly oppose this plan to deprive us of our market, introduce unwelcome competition to established businesses and destroy the livelihoods of our market traders.

The suggestion that some could relocate to empty shops is unrealistic. These premises are empty due to their prohibitive cost – for example, over £1,000 per week for leasehold and rates alone - compared with £165 to trade in the Market Hall. Traders can’t afford shops to ‘boost the city’s retail economy’; instead they will be thrown into unemployment, debt and bankruptcy.

So I ask the developers and council to reconsider; to take every possible step to improve and promote the Market Hall before consigning a multi-million pound building – and the living of its traders – to the scrapheap.

Meanwhile, save some money and make it more comfortable for shoppers by turning the heating down! And if you want to revitalise Wakefield’s economy, try reducing your exorbitant rent and rates so that small shops can stay open and prosper.

And I ask the people of Wakefield District to use it or lose it. Please support our market traders (you can read more about them on http://helenraerants.wordpress.com) and please sign my online petition ‘Save the Market Hall’ in the E-Petitions section on http://www.wakefield.gov.uk

Helen Cox

Woodmoor Road