Clear thinking is needed on move
THE city council transferred its staff from Unity House in Hanley in 1992 to the Civic Centre 'to revitalise Stoke'.
It was not, as frequently stated, because Unity House was crumbling.
This cost some £20m. Subsequently, when it regained its responsibility for education and social services, the council spent another £10m building Swann House.
The move resulted in no economic improvement in Stoke and probably added to the decline in Hanley.
It also cost £1 million to demolish Unity House.
It is now proposing to compound the error, spending £40m on a similar venture in the opposite direction.
The Sentinel reported that the developer for the proposed Central Business District in Hanley has raised objections to the council-backed Etruria Valley development (including provision for offices) because it will attract businesses in preference to the CBD.
Similarly, in moving the civic offices back to Hanley, there will be modern offices vacant in Stoke.
This will further detract from the CBD. There will be two council developments competing for effectively the same business the council hopes to attract to Hanley.
There doesn't appear to be businesses queuing up to move into the city so it seems inevitable that one, at least, of the projects will fail.
The city council should reconsider its strategy for business developments with some clear-headed thinking.