Budget Live Chat

There were one or two questions on the £55million loan for a New Civic Centre

6:39 Comment From peacefrog

how can the council justify spending so much money on relocating when services in the city are being drastically cut back

6:44 Comment From Pervez

The primary driver and motivation behind the relocation is to try to create more jobs and attract much needed private sector investment in the City. The revenue financial challenges we face are severe but is we do not create the right economic conditions then the imapct on our great City and our residents will get even worse. This Government is unfairly targeting areas of greater deprivation like Stoke. We have to creat our own future.

Comment From David Clayton

re 6.44 reply. Your intentions are laudable but what empirical evidence do you have that the relocation of the Council Offices will generate the business sector?

Comment From Ian Norris

Whats are you views on your level of anger from the residents of this City over your £55million Loan for a New Civic Building, when even your own consultants recommend staying in Stoke

7:01 SoTcitycouncil:

I fully recognise the contention surround the CBD. However, it is an integral part of our jobs and growth strategy. For too long, we have shied away from difficult decisions and the easiest thing for me to do is to halt our strategy. However, this will not lead to future economic prosperity.

7:02 SoTcitycouncil:

I am determined to push ahead with our jobs and growth strategy to secure the future of our city for our future generations. The times may not be good at the moment, but we need to be best placed to attract inward investment at the point of national and global economic recovery.

7:04 Comment From Snowfall

How will the CBD affect the actual streets of hanley and the potteries centre with all of the shops moving to the new city sentral?

7:05 SoTcitycouncil:

The central business district will provide the footfall and spending power for retail in the city centre. The streets will be buzzing with people I hope.

7:06 Comment From Duncan

The council is moving forward with its paperless office plans and I understand that you need to “invest to save” so you are getting iPads etc (even for those staff who dont want them) and yet those that or could best use them are told NO cause they to low down the chain, but when do you think the council will become paperless, and at what extra cost ?

7:07 SoTcitycouncil:

going paperless will obviously save us money. However, we also have to be mindful of the additional expenditure on new technology and therefore a phased approach to this is taking place.

7:08 Comment From Mishap

And what will happen to the streets of Stoke town centre????

7:10 SoTcitycouncil:

In Stoke, we are marketing a fantastic development opportunity comprising of the Spode site, the civic centre, Kingsway including the car park, Swann House and the town hall which has generated a lot of interest. This process is running in parallel with the city centre initiatives.

7:11 SoTcitycouncil:

What Stoke needs is sustainable footfall which will be provided through housing growth and businesses locating on the vacant sites which will be complementary to the city centre.

7:12 SoTcitycouncil:

Stoke-on-Trent is a city which needs a vibrant core. A successful city centre will act as a magnet for further growth across the city.

7:12 Comment From intherealworld

Yes it’s important to make big decisions but it’s also important to make the RIGHT decisions.Relocating the council office will not create new jobs. You create new jobs by attracting bisinesses with low rents and business rates. Why not do this instead ? How can this move possibly help future generations when you will be saddling them with a £55miliion pound debt ?

7:16 SoTcitycouncil:

It is extremely important to recognise that we cannot borrow money to run services. We can only borrow money for capital investment. Our estimate of the investment required in the central business district phase 1 is circa £40m. This will be part-funded by disposing of surplus assets and some borrowing. By acting now, as the anchor tenant, we will attract new businesses to the city, creating new jobs for future generations.

7:17 SoTcitycouncil:

when businesses locate in the city centre, in the first instance the increase in business rates will be used to pay off any debt.

7:17 Comment From Christine Davies

Why can’t stoke be the new Hanley? Complete with railway station etc. to much is focused on hanley

7:17 Comment From Gregg

I keep hearing words like “strategy” etc. What is the strategy? How exactly will the CBD attract businesses and investment? Pitch to me as if I was an investor… why should I invest in this venture? Or is it a case of “build it and hope they will come”?

7:19 SoTcitycouncil:

The strategy is jobs and growth. A successful city needs a successful city centre. We need to diversify the range of jobs on offer in the city to become much more resilient to current and future economic challenges. Hence, we are considering all kinds of things including advanced manufacturing involving advanced materials, research and development, retail, and high-quality office jobs.

7:19 Comment From Snowfall

So will spode just be knocked down? do you have power or plans to prevent that from happening?

7:21 SoTcitycouncil:

the development opportunity has gone to the market. We as a council will assess the strengths and benefits of any proposals that are put forward. We recognise the heritage significance of the Spode site and will take a balanced approach on this.

7:22 Comment From Mishap

So oyure actually going to sell off the Town Hall??????????

7:22 SoTcitycouncil:

All options for land and propoerty that will benefit the city and Stoke town will be assessed.

7:22 Comment From Ian Norris

Why would business locate to Stoke if the gleaming new CBD is to be such a success?

7:25 SoTcitycouncil:

We are looking to diversify our economic base by exploiting the opportunities and offer that are provided by different locations across the city.

7:25 Comment From Arthur

Your point about an increase in rates is flawed. You need to reduce rates to incourage new buisiness not increase. we have so much unused brown field land in the city that we should be offering it free to companies willing to come to Stoke on Trent and give jobs to it residents. Remember , Those that you are supposed to represent!. listen to the public stop wasting OUR MONEY

7:27 SoTcitycouncil:

Each case will be considered on its own merit and we will operate within legislation. Employment sites with planning consents are often more attractive than simple business rate reduction. Other barriers to growth include connectivity, infrastructure and the condition of our land due to the legacy of our mining heritage. We are working hard to address these issues.

7:28 Comment From Snowfall

absolutely agree @arthur business rate increase is just mad. there already crippling the high street.

7:28 Comment From Gregg

Is there a plan B, just in case the CBD doesn’t work?

7:30 SoTcitycouncil:

Do you think our current city centre is a success story and adding value to the city of Stoke-on-Trent? We will risk assess any development throughout its lifespan and take appropriate action to mitigate those risks, and try to stimulate more job opportunities in the city.

7:31 Comment From Oatcake

Do you have any businesses expressing an interest in relocating to stoke due to your planned move to the central business district or is it just a hope at the moment?

7:32 SoTcitycouncil:

Response to marketing on a confidential basis has been positive for both the city centre developments and Stoke town.

7:34 SoTcitycouncil:

We are going to have to end there but thank you for your contibutions. Cllr Pervez is keen to undertake further sessions of this type and these will be published in the near future.

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