Letter: Lowering rents would help earn market trust

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Your report into plans for Kirkgate Market says, presumably iterating the council, that “the whole project is aimed at complementing the new Eastgate Quarter, which is to feature a John Lewis”.

The central fear of the market’s supporters is, I believe, as recently written, that: “The proposed market changes, associated with the Eastgate Development, will see the market swamped in pollution and surrounded by traffic flow, [and] could be the first push that Leeds council and private developers are giving to the market to see it shunted out of the city centre, along with ‘beggars’ and all the other aspects of Leeds that do not reflect the ‘cosmopolitan’ image’.”

The market is not John Lewis and John Lewis is not the market; the one does not have to be used to destroy the other. And in some quarters the council does not enjoy much present trust. If they do want our trust, we need more than their ‘trust us!’ mouthings. They could, for example, start by immediately lowering the exorbitant rents.

Mike Harwood

YEP Letters: February 23