LIFE IN MY NORTH­ERN TOWN

Rochdale Observer - - YOUR VIEWS READER’S PICTURE -

YOU know, I con­sider my­self a rea­son­ably in­tel­li­gent man - I have an O level in Ge­ol­ogy, a de­gree in Busi­ness Stud­ies and I can use a spoon with­out tak­ing an eye out, but even I am flum­moxed with re­gards to what is hap­pen­ing to our mar­ket these days.

Af­ter much fan­fare from the peo­ple who sup­pos­edly run our town along with a cer­tain hair­dresser, the mar­ket opened a few weeks ago – well, part of it was.

The food court wasn’t, and in­deed, still isn’t ready yet, de­spite tak­ing longer to re­fur­bish than it took for the Pyra­mids to be built. And now I read that the com­pany whom the coun­cil chose to run the mar­ket have ef­fec­tively been sacked and I am not sur­prised.

I re­call writ­ing an ar­ti­cle over a year ago when it was an­nounced that a com­pany some­where down south had been cho­sen by the coun­cil to run the mar­ket, and ques­tion­ing the de­ci­sion then.

How could that pos­si­bly work?.

A mar­ket is a very or­ganic thing – un­like a shop, it will grow and shrink ac­cord­ing to de­mand and how many peo­ple want to put a stall on that par­tic­u­lar day.

Now, I can un­der­stand hav­ing to have a com­pany run a mar­ket as big as Bury where there are a cou­ple of hun­dred stalls, but let’s be hon­est, there are about eight in Rochdale on a good day.

How dif­fi­cult could that be to run?

“I would like a stall for Satur­day, please”, “No prob­lem, that will be a ten­ner”.

I could run that in my lunch-break, so why bring in a com­pany – Quar­ter­pounder, or what­ever they were called – to do it?

And all from about 600 miles away. It re­ally does beg­gar be­lief.

I have said it be­fore and I will say it again, the mar­ket traders should be al­lowed to run the mar­ket them­selves – it is ob­vi­ous that they want to as they ap­plied but were re­fused by our coun­cil who ob­vi­ously know bet­ter. Or not, as it turns out. By the way, if any of you are won­der­ing why I have not been spot­ted with Au­drey, my dog re­cently, the fur­ball de­cided it would be a good idea to jump out of the open car win­dow with the re­sult be­ing she broke her pelvis in three places.

Luck­ily, she did not need surgery and is well on the way to re­cov­ery – I know this as she is start­ing to an­noy me again.

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