'Great mistake rather than great market'

I read that there is to be a “Birthday party for (the) city’s great market” (LP February 18).

By Clare Kelly
Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th February 2019, 4:42 pm
Preston Market
Preston Market

Shouldn’t the headline read “…great mistake” rather than great market?

I walked through the market on Monday and mourned the lost opportunity.

£3m spent on a flawed concept.

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I noticed that many of the stall holders were all clad in winter coats, hats and gloves.

Although outside temperatures are a bit higher than normal for February, it is still cold and draughty in the market.

But how can it be different? The council is wasting heating costs on a building open to the elements – how does this fit with their ‘green’ credentials?

I notice from the photo in the article that it shows the doors at Orchard Street end before the expensive alteration to build double doors, this was to try and stop a gale blowing through.

Most people in Preston know that the old Starchhouse Square area and Orchard Street have always been one of the windiest places in the city. Why didn’t the council and designers take account of this?

The place can never be a complete success until someone accepts that the design is a failure.

The lovely Victorian building is crying out for top to toe glass cladding, possibly with a mezzanine floor, that can be heated to modern levels. Is it any wonder that the refreshment areas are half empty, when it is only a short walk to St George’s shopping centre, where you can eat, drink and shop in relative comfort and feel warm.

A larger building would also allow the council to get rid of those boxes on the fish market which give a first appearance of a temporary builders’ yard. Has anyone ever seen that area busy since opening?

Why are Blackburn, Bury, Bolton and even Chorley markets held in higher regard than Preston? Save for Bolton, they are all smaller towns than Preston. Maybe it’s because they have a better vision of what they want to become.

Preston – a city? Of course it is, but when is the council going to move away from a village mentality? They’ve given away the bus station, and the Guild Hall. What assets are left? Well, at least we have half a market.

Mick Rawcliffe



‘Potential risk to our society’

Re: Possible repatriation of IS recruit Shamima Begum, pictured. I find myself in agreement with the 275,000 people who have signed an online petition protesting at the suggestion that, because Mrs Begum was groomed as a 15 year old before travelling to Syria, she should be repatriated to our shores.

This young lady has expressed no remorse for her four years with this terrorist group, living in an environment of virulent anti-Western and poisonous Islamist ideology. They rely on savagery to impose their medieval creed and have vowed to destroy the West.

Far from it, she says she was “unfazed” at the sight of decapitated heads in bins and now has the brass neck to avail herself of all the benefits our welfare state has to offer - in a country whose values she rejected so willingly.

As a nation, we are obliged to abide by international law but should she not be stripped of her citizenship?

Our Government and Security Forces must ensure she continues through the judicial process and be subjected to secure assessment and possible prosecution, although historically, obtaining evidence is not easy in a chaotic war zone.

Just 40 out of 400 Britons returning from Syria have been prosecuted.

How do you deradicalise her when she “has no regrets”?

She is still a menace and potential risk to our society.

I have sympathy for her newly born innocent son but she must not be allowed to use him as a negotiating tool.

I would encourage her to seek refuge in an Islamic country where she can live in peace with her faith.

Do not forget that the terror attack in Manchester two years ago, killing 22 innocent victims, was carried out by a jihadist returning from Syria.

Government legislation, sentencing those returning from conflict zones to 10 years’ imprisonment, must be introduced without fail.

Jim Oldcorn

Great Harwood


Trigger level needs review

I have been closely associated with Lancashire’s shale gas industry for eight years now. A lot has happened in that time, including the successful drilling of the first two horizontal shale gas wells anywhere in the UK. It’s been a remarkable journey, and all with the aim of supplying some of the energy used to heat our homes and power our factories so we don’t have to rely as much on imports in the future. I’ve met many inspiring people along the way. I’ve found them passionate about their mission to produce homegrown gas, and about doing it safely whilst contributing to the local economy.

I’ve watched countless new trading relationships form among those companies that have expressed interest in the supply chain opportunities on offer - an often untold story of how, besides the now £13.5m it’s pumped into Lancashire, shale has been responsible for bringing local businesses together and stimulating unseen economic activity. It would be a great shame if the shale industry’s prospects were to be stunted by regulations on seismic activity that a host of geoscientists recently said are based on a “debatable” scientific rationale. I’m talking about the Traffic Light System and the 0.5 magnitude threshold that is apparently the most conservative anywhere in the world. This trigger level should be reviewed by experts in the light of newly acquired evidence. Regulation should be brought into alignment with that seen in other extractive industries.

Lee Petts, Penwortham