A let down and waste of money

I HAVE to agree with the comments made in ‘Help put our town on the map’ by Dawn Powell (News Post Leader, letters, June 9).

Trade both at the market and in the town centre of Blyth was hit heavily during the 15-month closure period of the so-called regeneration works carried out by Blyth Valley Borough Council, and as predicted by many people, it has never recovered.

Regeneration is supposed to mean renewal, rebirth, revival, rejuvenation or restoration, but in Blyth it became a backward step as prior to the so-called regeneration, we had a beautiful market place with lovely styled street lamps and seats that people could sit on in comfort, and most of all a thriving market trade.

Your correspondent rightly comments on the change of Decor Flair’s large shop premises in Market Street to another charity shop. Was this change necessary and why was it allowed?

Do Councillors not realise we need businesses in our town centre if they want Blyth to be a thriving town once again?

Who will replace the lost revenue from the business rates that charity shops do not pay?

Yes, it will be us, the council tax payers who will be left to foot the bill.

Another shop in Blyth, Sleep Wise, had a large marble seat placed only two yards from its front door and I begged Northumberland County Council to move it, and when they did they replaced the seat with a bollard, again two yards from the door. The excuse being this bollard would keep cars off the market area.

It is a pity that Northumberland County Council has failed to realise that if it closed the expensive gates they purchased, they could have removed this bollard and still kept vehicles off the market place and also stopped them taking a short-cut from Waterloo Road to Regent Street at all times of the night.

Your correspondent asks about the missing stalls that were forced upon the market traders, these were not fit for the purpose as they failed to withstand wind speeds of more than 22 miles per hour.

Councillors were warned of this prior to purchasing them.

The badly planned market regeneration has proved to be a massive let down for the town and an appalling waste of money, which could have been better used elsewhere.

COLIN BROWN

Ex-Independent Councillor

Plessey Ward

Blyth