Crazy situation

PUBLISHED: 11:33 05 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010

SIR, — While street-market shopping is not my cup of tea, I do agree that many people use the market and that it is a key part of the life of St Albans. Stallholders depend on a lively and thriving market for their living, visitors come to browse the vari

SIR, - While street-market shopping is not my cup of tea, I do agree that many people use the market and that it is a key part of the life of St Albans. Stallholders depend on a lively and thriving market for their living, visitors come to browse the various stalls and many other businesses benefit from the money spent in the city centre overall. A successful market is important to a great many people then.

Recently I made a visit to the centre of St Albans on a Monday morning and paid to park on Spencer Street using the on-street pay-and-display machine rather than the multi-storey car park. To my great surprise an advert on the rear of the ticket dispensed was promoting Bovingdon Market on Saturdays - with ample free parking.

It seems crazy to me that our district council would allow such an advertising medium to actively promote something that would harm our local traders and businesses. Where is the joined-up thinking here then? I thought there was a campaign running to promote awareness of St Albans - not drive people away.

If I ran a market stall or local business, I would be furious and feel terribly let down. Times are hard enough as it is without people who should be supporting you actively taking steps to drive trade away.

I am curious. Who receives the income from these adverts - the district council or the parking contractor?

I tried to point this out to the council but several phone calls were unsuccessful. I eventually spoke to a chap in the tourist information office who noted my observations and said he would take it up with someone.

If anyone from the council would care to comment through these pages, I would be most grateful.

MIKE CROSBY,

Pondfield Crescent, St Albans.

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