‘She doesn’t want jobs’ jibe as councillors lock horns

Marc Bayliss

Marc Bayliss

First published in News

THE deputy leader of Worcester City Council has defended St Martin’s Quarter – and says there is nothing wrong with a betting shop opening up.

Councillor Marc Bayliss says he is confident the £75 million complex will attract more retailers, and insists it is wrong to criticise the development’s progress.

His comments come after concerns were expressed that a Ladbrokes betting shop would be the next outlet to open on the site. Ladbrokes will join Asda, budget chain B&M, health chain Fit4Free and Costa Coffee.

Councillor Joy Squires, Labour’s parliamentary candidate, has said the move goes against the original vision for the quarter, which was for a more upmarket mix of cafes, restaurants and shops. Coun Bayliss, who is also the city’s cabinet member for economic prosperity, said: “I welcome the investment – a betting shop is a perfectly legal activity and I don’t understand her concerns. It’s a very middle class attitude to have.

“I am disappointed she doesn’t want to bring jobs and prosperity to the city.” He also said the quarter, off City Walls Road, does have a bright future despite a slow start for retailers signing up.

“I want to see the units full and St Martin’s Quarter part of a vibrant, thriving heart of Worcester,” he said. “This was always going to be a mixed development and we should never say ‘no’ to jobs and investment. It looks very attractive and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be a success.” Coun Squires hit back by saying she was “absolutely not anti-jobs”.

“St Martin’s Quarter has the potential to be hugely successful and we all hope that’s the case, but I’m still not convinced about a betting shop,” she said. Carillion Richardson, which is marketing St Martin’s Quarter, has revealed the site’s second phase is being announced soon, themed on restaurants.

The complex, which is anchored by Asda, has 284,000 sq ft of floor space.

Comments (5)

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1:23pm Tue 19 Feb 13

TDH123 says...

Perhaps Mr Bayliss is the type of chap who might frequent a betting shop. What is wrong with a middle class attitude anyway . . . that is the sort of thing one would expect a person with Labour principles to say, not someone who purports to be a Conservative.
Perhaps Mr Bayliss is the type of chap who might frequent a betting shop. What is wrong with a middle class attitude anyway . . . that is the sort of thing one would expect a person with Labour principles to say, not someone who purports to be a Conservative. TDH123
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Jabbadad says...

While understanding the few jobs that yet another betting Shop would create, the betting industry must be on par to Drink and Drugs when it comes to addiction, and the ruination of many a person or whole families.
Bookmakers and their clerks work out their odds as to the Bets placed and rarely if ever, lose money, well only by bad bookmakers who don't do the sums or don't lay off money when the odds are going against them.
So Ex Labour now Tory Coun Marc Bayliss seems to have low values on what will add business acumen for the new development in St Martins Quarter. Says a lot about Tory principals eh?
While understanding the few jobs that yet another betting Shop would create, the betting industry must be on par to Drink and Drugs when it comes to addiction, and the ruination of many a person or whole families. Bookmakers and their clerks work out their odds as to the Bets placed and rarely if ever, lose money, well only by bad bookmakers who don't do the sums or don't lay off money when the odds are going against them. So Ex Labour now Tory Coun Marc Bayliss seems to have low values on what will add business acumen for the new development in St Martins Quarter. Says a lot about Tory principals eh? Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

4:58pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Landy44 says...

I'm all for freedom of choice, and if a betting shop is prepared to pay to be there, fair enough.

BUT. It really is a missed opportunity isn't it? Worcester has become a second/third rate shopping destination when compared with other cities within commuter distance. We are lacking a good number of well known names in the town, and it's not for lack of appropriate space.

If the council want to reinvigorate Worcester, then I suggest they stop repaving the high street with tax payers money, and have higher aspirations than betting shops, bars, fast food retailers, and charity shops (NOTE: I am NOT lumping those together as "bad" - merely pointing out that there are a lot of those establishments in Worcester).

As for "Middle class" aspirations - there's nothing wrong with that. At the moment though it would be nice if we had some positive aspirations for the city, the county, and it's people. It would be also be nice if we did something sensible about it rather than trusting the local CONcillors with continuing to waste our money!!!
I'm all for freedom of choice, and if a betting shop is prepared to pay to be there, fair enough. BUT. It really is a missed opportunity isn't it? Worcester has become a second/third rate shopping destination when compared with other cities within commuter distance. We are lacking a good number of well known names in the town, and it's not for lack of appropriate space. If the council want to reinvigorate Worcester, then I suggest they stop repaving the high street with tax payers money, and have higher aspirations than betting shops, bars, fast food retailers, and charity shops (NOTE: I am NOT lumping those together as "bad" - merely pointing out that there are a lot of those establishments in Worcester). As for "Middle class" aspirations - there's nothing wrong with that. At the moment though it would be nice if we had some positive aspirations for the city, the county, and it's people. It would be also be nice if we did something sensible about it rather than trusting the local CONcillors with continuing to waste our money!!! Landy44
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Tue 19 Feb 13

Jabbadad says...

When I asked a store manager at Wilkinsons Droitwich store , why they didn't open a store here in Worcester they said that they would like to but the business rates and rents are far too high in this city.
Such a shame since they carry a large & varied choice of goods and at competitive prices, and would be an asset to Worcester's shoppers.
When I asked a store manager at Wilkinsons Droitwich store , why they didn't open a store here in Worcester they said that they would like to but the business rates and rents are far too high in this city. Such a shame since they carry a large & varied choice of goods and at competitive prices, and would be an asset to Worcester's shoppers. Jabbadad
  • Score: 0

5:38pm Tue 19 Feb 13

green49 says...

I agree with Landy44, this new development has such potential but i can see it not being realised as Worcester is a mess as reguards the shopping now, why keep building more of the same units when we have so many empty?
I agree with Landy44, this new development has such potential but i can see it not being realised as Worcester is a mess as reguards the shopping now, why keep building more of the same units when we have so many empty? green49
  • Score: 0

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