Stoke-On-Trent City Council and Staffordshire County Council have committed to support businesses through the planning process in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire by signing a Planning Charter Mark to commit to support businesses through the planning process.
The charter was signed infront of more than 130 business representatives at the New Vic yesterday. The event organised by the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry on behalf of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP was fully booked and saw all local authorities in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire area sign up to the charter.
Councillor Mark Meredith, Stoke-On-Trent City Council cabinet member for economic development, said
The city council is committed to helping to support existing businesses and encourage new investment in the region. The charter is the council’s pledge to help businesses flourish by providing a red carpet service to guide firms through the process as quickly and effectively as possible.
The charter which aims to make development in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire flourish will focus on five main areas
- clarity and consistency
- effort and focus
- competence and respect
- accuracy and fairness
- dialogue and understanding
to create clear advice for businesses looking to expand or develop.
County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Enterprise, said
This valuable and unique Planning Charter Mark is part of the red carpet that authorities are rolling out to businesses looking to grow and thrive across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire. The pledge demonstrates that pace, professionalism and good customer service underpin our planning processes and help us to all play our part in delivering jobs, growth and sustainable developments. This business friendly approach is one of the reasons that big names are investing in the area
Stephen Dixon, LEP board member and managing director of Johnson Tiles, was also be joined by fellow board member Sue Prince and founder of Beechenhill Rural Enterprise to talk about the work so far of the LEP and the support the partnership can provide.
As part of the commitment all of the councils are signing up to have their planning policies reviewed annually to check whether they fulfil the criteria and can keep the charter mark.
Sara Williams, North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the move was welcomed by businesses saying,
Businesses will welcome anything that makes the planning process easier and quicker. Enabling business to concentrate on growing and creating jobs, not bureaucracy, is something we all want to see.
Maitland Hyslop, chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said
The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP is committed to supporting businesses to grow and welcomes any move which helps to increase investment in the region. The key to this charter is the fact that all of the local authorities have joined together to pledge their commitment making Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire the place to invest.