Letter: Re severe blow for Rochdale Riverside development as M&S pulls out
Date published: 25 November 2017
Marks and Spencer
Despite rumblings from Chief Executive Rumbelow, he and the council must realise what M&S, together with other departing Rochdale businesses have, and that is that despite a population of 200,000 approximately there is a limit to what that population alone can support financially.
Successive councils over the years have not been alive to either business or residents needs or indeed their aspirations. When there was money available to them they and other senior authorities lived the high life while serious welfare issues went unattended and ignored.
Flights of fancy in planning commercially were indulged in to such an extent that competitors had done it before we had started; we closed a thriving market and turned footfall away from a bustling town centre. The very ingredient that business needs to survive and thrive.
Business cannot, as councils can, increase their viability or indeed profitability by increasing council tax or business rates, in other words Rochdale is a business and needs to address the challenges, in whatever form, from Oldham, Bury or wherever or go bust and be taken over by elsewhere.
M&S and others are merely responding to economic conditions, they must be profitable or leave Rochdale.
The hand wringing and legal position will be sorted profitably by the lawyers in due course and Rochdale will still not be a viable attractive proposition for either commerce or residents unless they, or a replacement council, get their fingers out and start thinking competitively.
Rochdale Online is here and viable because newsprint, as in the Rochdale Observer, is not profitable because the internet can do the job faster and cheaper and people want that. Hence the questions from others as to why the council is spending considerable sums on printed paper and killing trees to boot.
The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Rochdale Online.