Right to refuse St Modwen

SIR – Regarding the regeneration of Hatfield town centre. The borough council must be congratulated on not being persuaded by St Modwen to help finance the building of the multi-storey car park. Hatfield certainly does deserve a facelift, after the delays

SIR - Regarding the regeneration of Hatfield town centre.

The borough council must be congratulated on not being persuaded by St Modwen to help finance the building of the multi-storey car park. Hatfield certainly does deserve a facelift, after the delays of the last seven years, but the unnecessary replacement of our reasonably adequate parking is most definitely not a priority, now that we are not to have the promised new thriving shopping centre in the foreseeable future.

St Modwen has just declared an interim loss of £20m so it must sorely need to make quick profits wherever it can, but this should not be at the further expense of Welwyn Hatfield ratepayers.

So far, the council has not revealed what refusable inducement St Modwen did offer, but why not?

And we should also be informed what the council has spent so far on the Hatfield regeneration project and what other potential costs, guarantees and other commitments, have been made which may have to be met at some future time.

I have raised these queries in your columns in the past but the council has never responded. Hopefully, it will now come clean, but, if not, perhaps one day a conscientious whistle-blower may reveal the true picture.

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In the meantime, we must thank Action Hatfield for its efforts in keeping the council 'on its toes', and also all those coming forward with ideas and suggestions for making Hatfield more presentable and livable in, including your recent correspondent E McNair (WHT, July 16).

My own suggestion (first made some years back) is for the encouragement of more music to make for a happier Hatfield. Buskers or groups of all varieties could be encouraged, perhaps even with modest council subsides, to put a spring in our steps, a lift in our hearts and a more cheerful and happier Hatfield, even on the gloomiest days.

Thank you for your attention.

Brian Bennett,

The Ryde, Hatfield.

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