Stoke-on Trent Central Labour MP, Tristram Hunt has attacked the City Council Labour leader’s plans to relocate 1300 staff from Stoke to Hanley by borrowing £50m. He says the plans so far have shown a “failure of communication” leading to traders in the town fearing for their future.
Labour’s Mohammed Pervez, has led the council in the initial decision to make the move at a recent council meeting.
The intervention from the MP has added further pressure onto Pervez’s leadership, following embarrassment just a couple of weeks ago after Labour were trouced in a by-election they were expected to easily win. Both he and local councillor for Stoke, Andy Platt have already admitted communications issues about the proposed move probably cost them the by-election, and have promised to do more.
Speaking to the Sentinel Dr Hunt said:
“As an MP representing both Hanley and Stoke, anything to increase economic productivity and promote growth in Hanley is great news.
“But what I need to hear, and what I am not hearing, is a real strategy for Stoke town.
“If there are plans for new tenants at the Civic Centre and plans for the Spode building, then we need to hear about them.
“I’m in favour of kick-starting regeneration in Hanley, but it would be unacceptable to evacuate all of the council’s employees without providing a real strategy for Stoke.”