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Why should cheap shops get such a pounding?
Recent complaints by T&A correspondents about charity shops and pound shops in the city centre entirely miss the point.
Bradford's image as an international city, the equivalent of Florence, Paris or Prague, is being harmed by the presence of some many in the vicinity of Darley Street apparently.
Unlike those cities, Bradford is a low pay area; it is also a low cost of living area, which is why so many people get low pay. And as the T&A often shows, Bradford is also an area of large and increasing personal debt. Pound shops and charity shops thrive because, as I have come to realise over the years, there is a need for them, a market for them.
With up to a third of the population on welfare benefits of one kind or another Bradford is never going to be a magnet for Harvey Nichols and other West End-type stores. Who could afford to shop in them?
If those who believe that Bradford is the best of all possible worlds would care to go to affluent Ilkley they won't see any pound shops, but they will see plenty of well-stocked, busy, charity shops located in Brook Street and The Grove. Even the well-to-do like a bargain.
Bradford needs to stop pretending that it is a big league international city as it was in the days when its world significance was based on its trade in textiles, from Australia to Peru.
Although the pretence has paid a coterie of image-makers very handsomely, that won't last for much longer. Soon they'll be off, leaving Bradford to its fate.
Good riddance. Meanwhile, leave the pound shops and charity shops alone. They serve a purpose.