Dear Sir,

I read with absolute incredulity the article on the Town Centre in particular the paragraph stating the shops had a good occupancy rate.

I am sure I and many other long time residents will use the new seating areas only to admire the trees as there will be little else left with the imminent closure of M & Co and others which will not re-locate due to the cost involved. They cannot take on long term leases which are on offer to our “more attractive shopping precinct. As a result myself and many other shop assistants are destined to become unemployed in the near future.

Is Brian Haldane and Phil Wilson for real? Sadly they seem typical of our Society’s leaders who have their heads in the clouds and wear rose coloured spectacles.

The old Library and Health Cetnre have been demolished, but perhaps the whole shopping area should go too with a new town centre built by the County Council on the ex Avenue School land adjoining Woodham Academy.

That would get rid of the ongoing problems with Landlords Freshwater and the Town Centre management who have proved their incompetence.

Maybe then we would get true regeneration of our once lovely array of shops to enjoy like other towns locally ie: Shildon, Spennymoor and West Auckland.

Name & address supplied.