Stoke City Council move sparks “March on Stoke” campaign

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Angry residents have formed a “March on Stoke” group in protest at the city council’s plans to move up the road to Hanley.

Stoke City Council’s £40 million proposal to relocate 1,300 staff and offices to the Central Business District in Hanley has sparked fury among many.

A 140,000 sq ft site will be dedicated to office accommodation and will incorporate the city centre library in Hanley into the Central Business District.

Councillor Mohammad Pervez

Councillor Mohammad Pervez wants to move the council offices to the ‘CBD’

But the “March on Stoke” group fears the council’s move will cripple growth in Stoke town.

Alan Barrett, 57, chairman of the group, said: “Residents in Stoke are up-in-arms about this.

“The councillors are only in on our authority and they should be respecting the wishes of the people.

“We’re not about civil disobedience, we just don’t want the council to waste 40 million pounds by putting our taxpayer money into private hands.”

A 2,000-strong group of protestors plan to march from 11.30am on February 23 from Hanley’s NORSACA car park to the Kingsway in Stoke.

He added: “This is a residents’ march. Totally unaffiliated to any political group and completely funded off our own backs.

“We have the written support of several councillors and we mean to show the council what a bad idea this is for Stoke.”

The £20 million Civic Centre is now on sale, yet will not cover the costs of the proposed relocation.

“Don’t spend this money on the move, we will be paying it back, us, our children and our grandchildren,” added Mr Barrett.

Council leader Cllr Mohammed Pervez said: “It is absolutely crucial we breathe new life into our city centre which is currently under performing.

“The Central Business District will be key to attracting new business into the city, which in turn will create jobs, our number one priority.”

The next meeting of the ‘March on Stoke’ group will be held on February 11 at Stoke Baptist Church.

For any information contact Mr Barrett on the Facebook group www.facebook.com/events/125561200949044/

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4 Comments

  1. We’re hoping for 2000 marchers, the number is less important than the message. We cannot continue to be ignored by those elected to represent us. They’re not in power, they’re merely custodians in authority, and that at our behest.

    If a central Business District with the council as its anchor tenant was going to work, why hasn’t it been successful in Stoke? Why not build upon what we already have in Stoke, with the best road and rail infrastructure the city’s ever known, inviting developers to use the Spode site and Kingsway to build and improve business facilities without the added cost to the tax payers?

    The facts are simple, Genr8 wouldn’t go ahead without the council on board because it has no anchor tenant willing to invest in a scheme that the city’s own consultants (King Sturge) give a mere 11% chance of success.

    In 2011, the plan was to stay in Stoke and keep the status quo, now, we must all pay for a white elephant because the leadership is bereft of new and innovative ideas. We simply have no confidence that they can deliver what they’re promising, and we fear for the long term financial impact on the electorate, already burdened with unemployment, low pay and very little prospect of immediate improvement.

    They call it the “mandate for change”, yet we gave them no such mandate because it was never in a manifesto. It will change nothing for the better as far as we can see and it puts public money into private hands. We’re told that we will own the building, well, we already own the building in Stoke, and the surrounding land. No CPOs would be necessary and no-one would have their business bulldozed with extra unemployment resulting in move, as in happening at the moment in Hanley, even though planning permission has yet to be given.

  2. Hanley is the wrong place for this development stoke would be better the road and rail Links are better stoke is and always will be the City Center hanley is the shopping Center.Its about time the people of this city stand up to this council and Its overpaid council Managers i certainly have no confidence in them

  3. Can’t afford to empty our brown bins any more but can spend £40m (and the rest when it goes over budget) moving from one perfectly adquate building to another with no real benefit – typical