Over 200 businesses and stakeholders met at the Kings Hall in Stoke this morning [Wednesday] to help shape the future vision for the City of Stoke-on-Trent.
The Mandate for Change vision is based on four strategic aims that go wider than the city council and its services.
1) Make Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business
2) Support and develop existing business
3) Work with people to promote independence and healthy lives
4) Make Stoke-on-Trent a great city to live in.
The meeting was positive and all those present were enthusiastic to play a part in the development of the city’s future and to help eradicate worklessness.
”I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend the meeting this morning.
“The people on our table were really positive about the project and it was very interesting to hear a diverse range of ideas.
“I thought the City Council CEO John van de Laarschot spoke well and I was impressed at how the event was managed.
“The councillor on our table was Peter Hayward and he really impressed me with his approach to the whole issue.
“It was also great to hear the vision and ideas of former Elected Mayor Mike Wolfe who clearly still has a lot to offer the City and always seems to shine at these kinds of events.
“Al in all, I thought the event was a success and to me, the proof of how serious the council are about the future of the city will be if they hold another of these meetings in the near future”.
The event was attended by many of the elected councillors and officers.
The clear message was to make Stoke-on-Trent a great working city and a great place to live.
Politicians and council officers have prioritised job and wealth creation to increase prosperity in the belief that they will have a positive effect on the reduction of the reliance on benefits. It is believed that in turn there will be a reduction on anti-social issues which will help the health and police services.
City Council CEO told the meeting that the future was in the hands of the private sector in light of recent cuts in local government.
“Of course we need to change how the council delivers it services, and we are in the middle of that process by introducing new ways of working, but this is much, much bigger than the council. This is about a one city approach. It is about the council becoming an enabler not a barrier. We want to show people that Stoke-on-Trent is a great place to come and bring businesses and that rewards can be reaped from being part of the city.
“Everything else will come in time if we sort the problem of the severe lack of jobs in the city. By being financially independent people will lead healthier and more independent lives and that in turn will generate a great city to live in.”
The Leader of the City Council Mohammed Pervez was absent from the meeting due to a recent family bereavement.
” “The Mandate for Change is not just about the city council it is about the future success of our city.
“We know the council cannot make Stoke-on-Trent a “Ëœgreat working city’ on its own. We need the support and help from businesses, partners and residents to make Stoke-on-Trent the place to bring business. We need to promote and market the city to say on the national and international stage that Stoke-on-Trent is open for business!
“I strongly believe the best way to significantly improve the lives of our residents is to create jobs – it really is that simple. That is why we have invited businesses, third sector representatives and partners to join us on Wednesday and give us their feedback on our strategic aims. This is the beginning of a very exciting journey for the city. One I hope everyone will get involved in.”
There was an invited to all attendees to keep coming up with ideas of how to help the city attract inward investment and to encourage and support start up businesses and entrepreneurship.
The City Council also launched a video of iconic images from around the City to support the mandate.