I would like to comment on David Ford’s article Friday July 12 on the proposed demolition of the council offices and (if this farce goes ahead) the soon not to be Central library.
How many shops are there going to be on this site? Who are these big name stores or ‘retail giants’ as the article describes them? John Lewis, Debenhams – well no. Primark may come, and Next have already got a store at the lower end of town. Are these ‘retail giants’ going to sign on the dotted line to say they will definitely come to Halifax? Not a stone should be removed until there is a signed guarantee that some large stores will come to Halifax, otherwise we may have another Broad Street white elephant, underdevelopment, with no takers; and if no ‘retail giants arrive, as happened at the Woolshops development, will these councillors who are at the centre of this affair be held to account? I was also interested to read that the council workers will be moving into re-furbished offices. This makes me wonder why the offices they already work in were not refurbished, as this was used as a reason for them to be pulled down as well as the library. Would any new building suffer the same fate in 30 years or less. I also wonder how long it will be before the council will decide there should be more development at the lower end of town, thus making the town centre – where? resulting in many other shops left high and dry at the top end of town, probably empty. The council past and present have been talking about redeveloping Halifax, moving it forward, for more years than I care to remember. Huddersfield did the same and managed it. But their town centre does not look as good as Halifax’s does. Halifax has some wonderful buildings. If you look above most shop fronts in the present town centre, you will see some of the most amazing Victorian architecture, only to be spoilt by some tatty and scruffy shops. It would be a lot better if these were made presentable; that would make these shops and the town prosper as it would be a pleasure to visit.