On April 21, Marks and Spencer will be leaving its Commercial Road store, followed by its sister store in Fareham.
For many years M&S have been the benchmark of quality shopping.
Their presence encouraged smaller shops to come here, with ideas of expanding due to firms like M&S drawing the public to a vibrant shopping centre.
Their departure will leave a huge gap, unless our councils can entice crowd-pulling stores to take their place, like Ikea, Wilko etc.
Of course, even that won’t be good enough if the councils keep putting up rents and rates to the smaller shops, who are scraping the barrel to survive.
In May we are having local council elections, and I advise voters to support people who are willing to go the extra mile, to reach winnable targets, to aid the citizens of this proud city.
It is time to tidy up Portsmouth.
There is a lot to be done, and it won’t be done by wishful thinking, otherwise our shopping centre will resemble a Middle-Eastern bazaar.
Talk to your councillors and the ones yet to be elected, listen to their views, and express your own.
Let them know, the downslide on our streets has got to stop.
Raymond D Williams
Austin Court, Paulsgrove