I PROPOSE that March 5 should be made a local flag day to aid the preservation of the Old Fruit Market, Hylton Road.

I listened with interest to councillors discussing the merits or otherwise of the Safeways plan for this desolate dump and realised that unlike the refreshing debate on the Sainsbury's proposal for Swanpool, they had reverted to party politics.

Fine words were spoken by a Labour councillor about the market being on zoned industrial land, but no one has flexed a muscle on the site for the past 11 years and are not likely to in the next 11!

The vote was a heart-stopper - one vote decided that the old Fruit Market would stay to await a Prince Charming to turn it into a palace for workers.

I asked one councillor afterwards why he had voted to retain the market and he replied: " I wanted something better! " I suggested that whenever he passed this eyesore in the future he remind himself that his vote kept this monument of decay.

Through this lost opportunity, my crystal ball vision for St John's for years to come sees one or two supermarkets dominating our central shopping area and a host of children trudging up the roads towards their new school miles away.


Bromwich Lane,