Dear Mr Coulborn,
Thank you for your email. Like you I am also proud of our City in terms of its heritage, six towns, hard working people and two football teams.
That is why we acted decisively when it came to the rescue of Port Vale FC on the hour of their need; that is why we are in negotiations with central government over a City Deal to make Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire an economic powerhouse in terms of advanced materials (ceramics, metals, polymers etc.) and that is why even in these economically difficult times we continue to invest in our city to stimulate jobs creation and growth.
Our state of the art bus station went on display in the last couple of days and what a beautiful building it is. An excellent gateway to our City Centre. We continue to push for the City Sentral development (in terms of retail and Leisure) and are very serious about the creation of a Central Business District (CBD) (high quality office jobs, retail, hotels etc.). So serious that we have taken a bold decision to kick start the CBD development. We are building brand new secondary schools for our future generations.
Whenever I speak to people their number 1 priority remains jobs and growth and this is where the future of our city lies.
The harsh reality of our City is that despite being the 13th largest city in the UK we rank 76th when it comes to the performance of our city centre in terms of the retail offer. Our performance in terms of other key indicators can also be a a lot better.
Being proud of our past is one thing but we also need to secure the City's future and that is why it is so important for us all to work together to promote our city positively to attract the jobs we need for our people. Our strategy is not just about the city centre but the whole city.
If we are going to make a real difference then we have to be bold in our approach and not shy away from difficult decisions. The easiest thing for me to do is to sit back and not make any difficult decisions but this will do nothing for the future of our city.
We have a clear vision for our city, a vision that will create the jobs and growth that our people crying out for and the vision that will transform our city to one which we can continue to be proud of !
Councillor Mohammed Pervez,