Investment will benefit whole city
Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has been accused of neglecting Leicester's outer estates while ploughing millions of pounds into city centre improvements, as we reported in yesterday's newspaper.
The criticism comes from trade union representatives and from the city council's sole Conservative opposition councillor, Ross Grant.
Sir Peter has announced a series of city centre improvements under the banner of his £19 million Connecting Leicester scheme.
These include the much-criticised Jubilee Square as well as the demolition of the existing indoor market and its replacement with a pavilion and plaza.
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The idea behind Connecting Leicester is to link up the city centre's main shopping area with the historic parts of old Leicester.
It is a regeneration plan which is aimed at making the city more attractive to visitors, so boosting the economy and creating more jobs and wealth.
This will benefit Leicester as a whole, not just the city centre.
Those criticising Sir Peter for focusing on the city centre are missing the point.
The purpose of investment is to target the money where it will have the maximum effect.
This is clearly the city centre because this is where the shops and businesses are located.
This will create wealth which will flow out across the city via people's wage packets, having a beneficial effect across every area.
It is not a case of focusing on the city centre while neglecting other part of Leicester. The whole point is that everybody benefits.
Of course money has to also be spent on maintaining community facilities and infrastructure in other parts of the city.
However, that is separate to an investment programme.
And there is indeed such work going on at the moment in terms of improvements to the city's primary and secondary schools.
While people may disagree about some of the details of the city centre programme, the principle behind it is a sound one.
Leicester has to invest now to profit in the future and it has to do so in the way which will benefit the maximum number of people.