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Market is treasured amenity
8:00am Thursday 9th August 2012 in Letters
Sir – Councillor Campbell surely makes an irrefutable case about how the city council should go about negotiating rents in the Covered Market (Report, July 26).
It is certainly short-sighted and irresponsible of the council to treat this simply as an opportunity to make as much money as possible, irrespective of the consequences. After all, they already have their ‘nice little earners’, such as the Brown Bin We Sometimes Empty Tax. The Covered Market is not just a ‘great destination for retail activity’, in the dreadful jargon of one of the council’s officers, but an outstanding amenity which is treasured and used by a large number of citizens. This is particularly true of its superb food shops.
As such, the citizens who put the councillors there have the right to expect that they will take a long-term view and not merely succumb to short-term money-grabbing. If, as councillor Campbell suggests, they simply sit down and negotiate directly with the traders and quickly agree reasonable rents without expensive ‘professional advisers’ whose involvement will certainly spin things out, they will probably make more money in the end, anyway. We do not want a Covered Market which is used only by tourists to buy milkshakes and extraordinary footwear. It is the council’s duty to ensure that we do not get one.
Nigel Clarke, Oxford