LETTER: Variety, diversity and competitiveness are key to market success

Mansfield Market Place.
Mansfield Market Place.

Once again the debate about Mansfield Market raises its weary head.

All of our so-called experts and heads of departments who, by the way, in my view caused this massive decline in our market trade a couple of decades ago by making “improvements” to the foundations of the main square, come up with some weird solutions of how best to meet the difficulties of dealing with getting results along with cuts in spending.

After the lengthy groundwork occurred, a couple of times a while ago, traders were forced to go elsewhere and not enough was done then to attract them back,

Currently, Councillor Stewart Rickersey is saying people are reacting in a “save our market” kind of way to their latest proposals. Well, step back and think councillor, the save our market campaign should have started way back then.

To me it’s common sense, the market traders don’t want you moving bits from Westgate to the square just to fill it up a bit. Looking at it from traders and shoppers’ side alike, we all want a market we can be proud of and so encourage more stalls to be filled on the square and Westgate bringing shoppers and traders in from further afield.

If you’re a shopper, whether it be indoor or out, you want variety, diversity and competitiveness so why not encourage that on our market again to bring life back to it and the town? I often wonder how much the decision makers look at these things from the right perspective because the town is all about trade and Mansfield has been dead for a long time.

From a layman’s point of view, I think new contracts should be worked out for existing and new market traders to encourage this new drive, but you have to speculate to accumulate. Make it very attractive to the traders, i.e. give all new and existing a couple of months free rent then slowly increase month by month to the full charge but they must sign up for a 12 or whatever months contract to prove their commitment. It may be worth a try with the year ahead to look forward to.

What have we got to lose, I don’t know about others but I’m sick of seeing units close because of lack of interest or customers while others struggle to stay in business to give us all something to look forward to. Let’s do something positive, get behind the traders and would be traders and get our town buzzing again, I’m sure we’ll all reap the benefits.

David Gee

Peel Road, Mansfield