From: Dinah Keal, St Nicholas Street, Norton, Malton.
THE aim of the heir to Malton’s throne in promoting the town as the food capital of Yorkshire (Yorkshire Post, March 1) is welcome – what isn’t is the unquestioning acceptance of the attempt to prevent the arrival of a new decent sized supermarket.
Malton is a lovely market town and I do my best – as do many of my friends and neighbours – to support its super range of independent shops and businesses, but I’m sorry to say that Tom Naylor-Leyland doesn’t live in the same world as many people who live locally – or in neighbouring Norton.
With all his best intentions for the town, he and a small hard core of people who want to only attract “high-end” businesses and shoppers are blatantly ignoring the many local people who work hard in a traditionally low income local economy and who can’t afford to shop in high-end stores and eat in exclusive restaurants.
What the Yorkshire Post article fails to mention is that for the average working person in Malton or Norton, the deluxe “day out” featured in the article is a world away from their weekly budget.
Turning Malton into the food capital of Yorkshire might be Mr Naylor-Leyland’s dream, but for many other residents the increasing gentrification which the town is being subjected to is more of a nightmare.
Many face the weekly bad dream of trying to feed a family set against increasing prices and some are turning to the town’s Food Bank. In the six months since opening the Ryedale Food Bank run by Elim Church from their Hope Central base in Malton has provided crucial support for over 300 people.
So before a “high end” supermarket is provided in the town by the Fitzwilliam Estate and the vocal minority who are whipping up a storm against Ryedale District Council’s bid to sell a site for a “medium range” store, perhaps they could give some thought to those people in the town who, however much they might aspire to buy “The cheapest lobster this side of anywhere”, might just have to shop in a – and I hardly dare write the word as it is tantamount to swearing in some circles in Malton – a new, good-sized supermarket.
Specialist shops already compete successfully in the town by offering something different or better and that will remain the case regardless of whether or not a supermarket is built that is big enough to rival Morrisons.
That is what is needed to attract more shoppers and traders into the town, which will benefit all businesses as well as providing the competition needed to make the weekly shop more affordable.