Matt’s View: Why ‘market tax’ is a price worth paying and Stan Collymore has a point

The town council wants to buy land where Royston market is located The town council wants to buy land where Royston market is located

Sunday, January 26, 2014
3:06 PM

Back in the day when I lived in Royston, my wife and I would use Royston market quite a lot.

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The fruit and vegetables, bread, cheese and fish on offer were all of good quality and sold a reasonable price. It was, and still is, a good thing to have at the heart of the town, so I think the prospect of Royston Town Council buying Market Hill and securing the market’s future is positive news.

Judging by our postbag this week, not everyone agrees, chiefly because council tax is going up to pay for it. While no-one likes to see their bills rising, I think it’s important we look at the bigger picture before rushing to have a moan at the council.

The amount of money involved is fairly insignificant. I know times are tough, but will you really miss five pence a week? Is £2.43 a year, roughly the cost of a salt-heavy supermarket sandwich or pint of beer (in Wetherspoon’s), not a reasonable price to pay to ensure we have a market in years to come? Royston town centre regularly gets a pummelling from all quarters, and anyone who is whinging about their tax going up is basically saying that we can afford to lose another feature which makes the place unique. With their lease on Market Hill coming to an end, it would be negligent of the council not to do something

That said, I think there’s work to do to restore the market to its former self. The number of stall holders seems to have dwindled of late, and that’s not a trend which can afford to continue. Buying local is very much in vogue at the moment, and with a bit of hard work and imagination, there’s no reason Royston can’t have a thriving market for years to come. Then no-one will be able to say there five pence a week hasn’t been well spent.

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Footballer-turned-pundit Stan Collymore is never shy in voicing his opinion.

This week he’s turned his attentions to Twitter, and their lack of action over abusive tweets he received following a radio debate on diving in football.

He said: “In the last 24 hours I’ve been threatened with murder several times, demeaned on my race, and many of these accounts are still active. Why?

“I accuse Twitter directly of not doing enough to combat racist/homophobic/sexist hate messages, all of which are illegal in the UK.”

I often find Collymore to be an annoying loudmouth, but here he has a point. This kind of abuse would be swiftly and harshly dealt with in any other sphere of life, yet on the internet people think it’s fine to say what they like, and seem to be getting away with it.

Twitter is a great thing, but they certainly have work to do to clamp down on this sort of behaviour.

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