In response to Councillor Dagger’s letter (Express, September 29), I agree we should all be working together for the benefit of Pontefract.
This includes tourism as well as markets. He seems to defend his position of allowing market stalls to be left up most of the week as a cost saving to protect the survival of markets. He seems to ignore the potential loss of tourism by the unsightly effect upon the town centre on non-market days. I wonder if his department carried out a cost benefit analysis of the savings by leaving stalls up against the cost of padlocks and clamps to keep the boards secure, and above all, the potential loss of tourism spending in the town.
Furthermore, how does this visual vandalism sit with a Townscape Heritage Initiative grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund that has recently been obtained? The town centre was given conservation area status some time ago, and empty stalls certainly do not comply with the preservation of spaces between buildings regulation, I doubt if this is consistent with the spirit or rules of that status.
Yes, we should work together, it is a pity he did not consult the many societies and groups, the shopkeepers and elected members in Pontefract about the changes.
This problem was raised publicly at a meeting of the Pontefract and Knottingley Area Forum on March 3. Police safety objections ensured locks etc on the stalls overnight. But nobody in authority bothered to see what Pontefract people thought of the stalls being left up.
Pontefract residents should support their Civic Society and object to this vandalism.