No wonder we lose retailers

Letter published in the Herts and Essex Observer of 24 September 2009

The Editor,
Herts & Essex Observer,
12 North Street,
Bishop's Stortford,
CM23 2LQ
18 September 2009

Causeway Site, Bishop's Stortford

East Herts District Council's attempts to justify taking jobs away from Bishop's Stortford get more bizarre. The plan was sprung on us originally as a way of saving money. Then the Observer disclosed that the costs of leaving the Causeway and shifting council jobs to Hertford would run into millions, while the benefits of doing so were speculative and unquantified.

Now Cllr Michael Tindale urges his colleagues to press on with the scheme (Planning bid outlines demolition of Causeway, Observer, Sept 17) because "this is not the time to penny-pinch". Surely pennypinching was the whole purpose of the exercise.

The underlying aim of the scheme appears to have nothing to do with increasing the council's efficiency but instead will round off a decade of municipal vandalism through the inappropriate development which East Herts has sanctioned in our town centre.

We know no details of the plans for the site except that they will lead to obliteration of the most accessible car park in the town, destroy the view from the castle to St Michael's and dump on us another shopping mall which we neither need nor want. No wonder we are losing highquality independent retailers.

There is no case for allowing this move to go ahead until its consequences have been fully disclosed.

John Rhodes
Vice Chairman
Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation