Support the opposition stance against the Stoke on Trent HQ move to Hanley
After reading the proposals of the Council decision in relocation of its HQ to Hanley I think the community should support the opposition stand to the relocation plan. When you have to save money and cut your budget the last thing you do is borrow more thus placing the burden of the costs onto the citizens who will have to bail the council out with increased rents and taxes and is totally irresponsible in the present climate. There are various reasons for my objection to the proposal and the Citizens of Stoke on Trent should show some solidarity before the plan is implicated as the additional costs that will be placed on them.
a) If the public think back when the Victoria Hall was renovated with the conservatory built on the side of the Hall it costs millions of pounds above budget and they had to increase the Council tax to fund the additional costs (can anyone remember it coming back down once the debt was paid )
b) The present proposal started its announcement as costing £40 Million then it was released an additional £15 Million to be spent on the business district, it is not giving the overall cost of when you borrow money you have to pay interest and as the previous track record it will definitely will cost more in its development.
c) The present proposal for the design of the premises I believe was given to an architect from London and a brilliant job done. It is a basic square building which (which I am not knocking) but I would think any local architect could have achieved this design without too much of a problem and its covered with coloured panels to represent Claris Cliff design again could have been achieved locally at a far greater less cost and supported the locality and they missed a good opportunity.
d) I do not know if the new bus station still have sufficient space or not but should be the most basic requirement and again questions the design brief which is the Council responsibility.
e) The existing HQ in Stoke has had £20million spent on it to establish its present standing and it looks impressive, it is only a short period of time following the investment and does not demonstrate value for money and once closed will dramatically effect Stoke centre and the cost recuperation will not reflect the full value and the city will lose a fantastic property.
f) From the write up in the paper they indicate that it will cost £20million to maintain the existing Stoke HQ. Whenever a condition appraisal is done it is not surprising that these sort of figures crop up and generally it is to bring the premises back to A1 condition and can be seen is far less than the proposed investment to obtain a A1 condition premises.
g) Additional cost not mentioned are areas such as, staff relocation, furniture, interest on loan, loss of business to Stoke traders and many more areas.
h) Another interesting proposal the Council have is to stop the 1 hour parking charges, you can be sure that the parking charges for Hanley or anywhere in the City will again increase you will not get 2 hours for the same cost. If you want to support the businesses you need to increase the visitors to the centre and not implement proposals that deter visitors or increase business rates at a time when high street shopping is struggling and organisations folding.
i) Remember Mr Mohammed Pervez and Mr Paul Shotton, it is not your money that you are spending look at the bigger picture and look after your citizens. If you want to borrow money bring back the houses that have been demolished, this will benefit the Citizens of Stoke on Trent far more and bring more people close to the City Centre it will support the existing shops and provide local jobs. The proposal is nothing more than demonstrating incompetence I believe.
Remember these members of the council when the elections come around and support all those who are trying to campaign for a more realistic solution Mr Peet's e partition at www.epetitionsdirectgov.uk/petitions/41825 and Mr Graham Barrett and Mr Dave Conway campaign and others. The council should represent the citizens not themselves possibly a vote of confidence should be called for.