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.
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/