HAVING spent the weekend visiting the new out-of-town stores at Monks Cross I cannot help but being impressed.

The shopping facilities are first class, the quality of stores of the highest order, although to be a little bit carping I feel that some covered walkway between stores would have provided the icing on the cake.

Environmentally friendly, newts have been catered for, original hedgerows maintained and solar panels utilised to proved carbon friendly power, truly this is a forward thinking development.

My purpose in writing is to comment on the fact that these new stores have found it possible to recruit 700 new staff from the ranks of the available staff in the city; good news for them and from what I have seen the quality of personnel in the stores is excellent.

It is perhaps, however, a sad reflection upon a city where the manufacturing base is almost lost, empty car parks prevail, food banks thrive, city centre in decline, tourists alienated by a closed river bridge, 20mph limits proliferate, and there appears to be “to let” signs mushrooming where there is claimed to be a shortage of housing.

Is this democracy in action or the responsibility of a bloody/minded “Politburo”?

Keith Wareham, Linton Road, Nether Poppleton, York