Star Opinion: Market traders vote with feet

The Star: Opinion.

The Star: Opinion.

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THERE has been much said about moving the Castle Market stalls to a new home on The Moor.

But if the take-up figures are anything to go by, a lot of the moaning and predictions of disaster for the traders is based upon nothing but fear of change.

The council has been “deluged” by last-minute applications for the new Moor Market – sending a strong signal that the move, while not being entirely popular, is one that is going to be a success.

It is a success for the future of the market, but also for the beginnings of the Moor development.

In a week where we have voiced our disappointment at the new tenants of the former TJ Hughes building, it is reassuring to see that everything about the Moor appears to be good.

There are exciting new designs, great news about Atkinson’s and Debenhams’ redevelopment plans, and now a vibrant market. What we now need is an imaginative solution to what will be left behind when Castle Market hall closes.

WHY CHARTER IS BAD FOR YOUR STAR

In a week that saw a Royal Charter passed in an attempt to regulate the press and the reaction from the national newspaper publishers, it is useful to set out the position of this newspaper.

We believe that any law governing or regulating the press is damaging to the political independence of our media organisation.

To give politicians the ability to dictate the terms on which we operate and ultimately how we behave is not in the interests of democracy.

But that aside, the terms of the regulatory body, made up of people who have no experience of how the press operate, will ultimately lead to bad decision- making.

In addition, to have an arbitration system that encourages a compensation culture backed and supported by lawyers will mean that the existing system of reconciling complaints and handling them will put an undue administrative burden on local newspapers.

What has not been said is that the arbitrator appointed by this body will charge for their time and pass that cost onto newspapers regardless of whether the complaint is valid or not.

That cannot be in the interests of good press regulation.

One thing that we should not forget. Lord Leveson said the local press had shown exemplary behaviour through the years and he urged that we should not be disadvantaged by any new body. At the first pass, his requirement has fallen.

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