With news that a high street 'summit' will take place next year to address problems facing town and city centres in the Wakefield district, we asked you what you think would help make our city and towns better.
And here's what you said:
Robert Anthony James Ingham: "Kick out the drunks from the centre and bring parking charges down and allow for longer parking. Simple really, just look at how the retail parks are doing it and copy it, no gangs, no drunks and no paying to park. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to work it out. I don't go into town because I can't do much in 1hr and hate paying to park when I already pay enough in vehicle tax."
Carl Clawson: " Free and easy parking is the most obvious one. Keep the pubs/restraunts together by the theatre end and clean up/revamp the ridings end a bit, like some have said maybe a different approach in and around the Ridings other than just shops, look at how many people Xscape drags in. Also could set up an occasional market around there but a more modern type i.e mini German market around Christmas time, little independant food and drink stalls?"
Jamie Shaw: "Nothing. Wakefield died when they demolished the outdoor market."
Stuart Perry: "Reduce the rents and rates! The amount charged for these is disgusting, no wonder so many empty shops/units. In today’s climate and competition i.e Internet shopping, the high street has a short life expectancy unless this is updated to represent the current times."
Helen Louise Haycock: "Get rid of empty run down looking shops that make the town look an eyesore by lowing rents and helping new businesses open these units, Lower carpark prices, clear up anti-social bahaviour, start listening to shop owners and workers they know what's good and not put something back into town that brought the people. When Xscape was built we lost a lot, why not use what was Market Hall to bring back the people. At the end of day we have a lot of tourists that visit Hepworth and many ask where's town and I'm afraid I'm a little embrassed to say unlike Leeds, Xscape, White Rose etc."
Alan Collins: "Sell things people actually want for a price they can afford to pay, then make the town a people friendly place that people want to visit."
Gemma Bennett: "Convert one floor of the Ridings for young people, so they have somewhere to go. What about an ice rink at the bottom? What about an area for mums and babies? Retail is dying - think for the community now and give the people of Wakefield something and somewhere to go with their kids."
Natalie Hargreaves: "Bring back a leisure pool with slides and waves. Sun Lane is good but not for kids!"
Yvonne Sibbald: "Scrap car parking charges for start. This should have been done years ago."
Chris Hyomes: "Get rid of the charity chuggers and utility companies pressure selling."
Sarah Wass: "Too much money has been pumped into Trinity leaving the rest of the town needing a lot of work."
Gareth James: "Also move the bus station to the bottom of Westgate behind the train station where the old entrance used to be. Renovate the abandoned indoor market and extend onto / build on the site of the current bus station a proper exhibition centre for concerts, shows, comicons, public events etc. Could even include a corridor in the building that runs under the road and into Lightwaves."
Lynn Masterman: "Went into Wakefield today, struggled to find a parking space, third one I was lucky, streets and shops were packed. I know it's the time of year when this should be the case but from other comments I have read like 'I don't/wouldn't shop in Wakey because... (Plethora of reasons) I was surprised that people actually DO go into the city and shop! Wowzers! Who would have thought it!!"
Colleen Platt: "Definitely bring a good market back, sort out the parking facilities and prices but also a Corn Exchange type place could be opened in Unity Hall for smaller local designers/students to sell from. I work in Pontefract and although it’s a smaller town it’s homely and welcoming and it’s always so busy on it’s market day."
Jason Bateman: £Stop the fat cats charging so much rent. Surely some rent is better then an empty shop just stood there."
Lee Thompson: "Turn the old cinema into a casino. This would attract business and help regenerate that end of town."
Gareth Creighton: "Start putting family events/attractions on every weekend to bring people in which increases footfall. Lower car parking fees on a weekend or get rid of them to allow people to park. Lower rent on all your vacant premises to attract vendors, surely it makes more business sense to have premises filled and clawing some rent back than loads of shops that are vacant earning no rent at all. Finally uphold the laws around public drinking that'll get rid of all the scroats or whats the point in having the laws to start with."
Tristan J Lee: "Too many private owned buildings which charge extortionate rates that would be a start to buy back buildings and rent them out to independent businesses which appeal to the people who live here sort out a outside market fresh veg and fruit stalls there’s a lot to sort really."
Susan Dews: "Ask the community what it wants in the town centre rather than filling it with cinema etc that aren't needed."
Gina Richards: "Provide clear signage for walking customers from the train station to Trinity Walk."
Mark Gamble: Biggest mistake that was made was getting rid of the outdoor market to build Trinity. You need to bring back the market like it used to be and not the 10 stalls that stand near the bus station."
Christopher Hudson: "Tidy the city up by demolishing old derelict buildings, remove the trees on Kirkgate so CCTV can see bad guys, find a good home for the market, keep streets free of rubbish and beggars."
John Keith: "There was a sensible suggestion in amongst usual moans. Shrink the size of the centre. Move Wilko’s to BHS space and demolish all of Kirkgate especially Wetherspoons; build blocks of private flats all along that area. Private flats means footfall and spending money."