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Truth and Lies

June 2012

Let The Consultation Begin!

This week saw the launch of the council’s consultation on the future of the market.

For the next four weeks we are being asked to answer a questionnaire on how much we use the market, how much we spend there and what we like and don’t like about the market. Without being asked any direct questions about the five proposals for the market which are part of the feasibility study – this consultation will then shape the ‘scope and vision’ for the future of the market.

In the latest newsletter to kirkgate traders, it is clear that the council are falling over themselves to explain how fair, impartial and “objective” this consultation will be – with the council maintaining and objective distance while Architecture and Design experts NPS (Norfolk Property Services) take the lead in running the consultation.

But – straight out of the gate we have a question about the people who are doing this piece of work.

Norfolk Property Services (Leeds) – Are they…

a) completely independent facilitators who “have assembled a team of specialists” with absolutely no relationship with the council “to ensure objectivity”?


b) a joint venture company set up just three months ago with Leeds City Council – who transferred 28 “specialists” from the council to NPS.

Pictured signing the contract with NPS is Christine Addison (Member of Kirkgate Project Board – and Coun Richard Lewis




Welcome to ‘Truth and Lies’ where we provide the most reliable, up to date and accurate information about the Market so that you can judge for yourselves what is true and what is false in the heated debates over the Market’s future. We are extremely concerned about the way in which certain ‘opinions’ and dubious claims – about the Market’s size, condition, rental levels, investment history and health – are presented by the Council and the media as ‘facts’, which are then used to force certain agendas through.  So we are now taking the trouble of commenting on all the Council’s documents and data about the Market that we have collected in order to highlight what is ‘true’ and what is ‘false’. Click on the links below.

Leeds City Council (2011) Press Release, ‘Market bucks retail trends’, 29/09/11

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 15, 2011 7:07 pm

    I’m always confused by the City Council’s wishes to make our market (apologies)
    “fancier”. I visited the markets today and was offered three kinds of dates from one stall holder. Around the market, there were other types and brands of dates of various provenance and I finally settled for some Iranian dates, which were sumptuous.
    My point being that the “luxury” is and has always been there, if our “Leaders” were able to open there eyes.
    There is “luxury” and so much more.

  2. August 9, 2012 10:01 pm

    I think one must acknowledge a trend towards grocery shopping at the large supermarkets. This is not just happening in the UK, but also in countries in the Far East where less than 20 years ago such markets were ubiquituous eg the wet markets of Singapore. It seems that the draw of a ‘sanitised’ grocery shopping experience is unrelenting.

    However, I think the advantage Markets have over supermarkets lie in the variety of wares on offer and the flexibility of the traders – you can ask for specific cuts from the butcher etc. I visited the Market this morning after a long absence away and was reminded of the Market’s uniqueness and vibrancy. I was pleasantly surprised to see a South African shop selling Biltong and a Chinese Eatery in the Market. I think if the market is to survive it needs to trade on those qualities.

    I think the council probably needs to try and attract traders selling the more unusual ingredients not normally found at supermarkets (off the top of my head, maybe an Indian trader selling spices off a sack etc). And probably more money needs to be put into maintaining the Market. The environment feels somewhat shabby and there seems to be a faint lingering whiff of something permeating the market. The area outside the Market facing the open air carpark really needs to be spruced up. I don’t like having to negotiate potholes of dirty water before entering the market… It probably doesn’t help that the carpark itself looks shabby.

    Seeing the eateries in the Market makes me think that perhaps part of the market should be devoted to street food, both british and international. Somewhat like the Hawker Centres found in Asia – essentially a covered area where loads (not uncommon to have 30 shops) of single-dish specialists sell fast, cheap food from small stalls.

    I think if the Market can clean itself up, offer fresh, cheap, ingredients from all round the world, and offer fast, cheap food to boot, then the Marker can become a (dare i say it) destination in itself. THat means the council investing in cleaning up the market and the surrounds, not not mention making sure rents are very very low. The Market should not be viewed in isolation. IT should be seen as a way of drawing people into Leeds and a way of putting Leeds above other competing cities – almost like an anchor unit in a shopping complex. It is interesting to note that in Singapore, some of the Wet Markets’ rents have not been increased in decades.

    Just some thoughts from an outsider who has grown quite attached to Leeds.

  3. sharon argyle permalink
    February 1, 2013 5:23 pm

    I love Leeds market i have lived in Leed all my life and everytime i go into town i always shop in the market and have a cup of tea etc when i have finished shopping . You can get anything you want in Leeds market and i for one would be very upset if we lost the market its historic and would be a crying shame to see it go.

    sharon argyle



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