Councillors reject bid to rename £350m 'City Sentral' shopping complex
CITY councillors voted overwhelmingly to reject a motion calling for developers to scrap the branding of a planned new shopping centre.
Non-aligned member Paul Breeze called on members at last night's full council meeting to demand the name City Sentral is scrapped.
Developer Realis has been roundly criticised for the misspelling in its branding of the £350 million complex, which is set to open on the site of the current bus station and East West Precinct in 2015.
But the motion won support from just a handful of opposition councillors and Mr Breeze was derided in a series of angry ripostes by Labour members.
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The majority Labour group also voted unanimously against a named vote, showing individual choices.
Mr Breeze, below, told the chamber: "It has been suggested that campaigning to change this name is damaging the development. That's claptrap.
"Dismissing the valid, genuine, heartfelt views of the people of our city is damaging the city council and the developer's credibility.
"The name is alienating and insulting to the very people who are crying out for this development."
Council and Labour leader Mohammed Pervez said: "It doesn't matter what they call it, we're getting a £350 million investment in the city centre.
"What kind of precedent does it set to other developers who want to come here?
"It is a brand, not an English test. Who are we to campaign about the name?
"The important thing is that we get investment in our city and shout from the rooftops that we are open for business."
Labour Councillor Martin Garner said: "I'm not willing to put the investment in jeopardy.
"They can choose whatever name; what's important is the investment and jobs."
Labour Councillor Alan Dutton said: "We have a worldwide company in the city that spells the word phone with an 'F', that's Vodafone.
"I can't remember any campaigns about that and nobody thinks we're illiterate for having that company in our city."
Cabinet members Paul Shotton, Mark Meredith and Debra Gratton also spoke out against the motion.
But independent members Randy Conteh and Dave Conway offered support.
Mr Conteh said: "I'm supporting this motion on behalf of residents, not the city council or Realis. I am putting their views forward."
Mr Conway, City Independents leader, rebuked Mr Pervez for his criticism of Mr Breeze's speech.
What do you think?
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