THE LOCAL ECONOMY.
Getting the local economy moving in the right direction again needs to be done from numerous directions,from small, easily implemented ideas, through to more complex and time consuming schemes.
First off, we need to help businesses that are already located within the city, and we do this by lowering business rates, and by lowering, or even dropping completely, car parking charges. If people know that parking will cost a little, or nothing at all, you will attract them in to the retail areas, if in these financially tight times you try and screw them with sky high parking charges, they simply won't come, and if the public aren't there, the sales won't be either, and that just applies more pressure to already strained businesses.
The unattractiveness of places like Hanley needs to be changed too, and I'm not just talking about architectural aesthetics either, having the main retail area of the city filled with drunks, druggies, and gangs of immigrants on every street corner, does nothing at all for the image of the place, so social changes can and will effect the financial success of the area too.
Large contracts given out to national/multinational companies would be far more effectively used if split up amongst local companies employing local people. A list of local builders for instance, held by the council and checked that they are cosher, could become the recipients of parts of a large contract that would have gone to a single company, but that has been split down into pieces small enough for local companies to handle. As part of them being listed for this contractual work, we make it part of the deal that these companies have to supply proper apprenticeship places.
Offering this work to local companies guarantees that the money gets used in the local economy, this is one way in which we can help get things moving.
The city council have to make Stoke-on-Trent a viable proposition for companies to want to move here, and in particular the larger companies that bring finances and jobs, and the way to do this is leading by example. The city council have to show that they have the innovation of policy that will attract the attention of big business, and in financially tight times like these, the only way to attract those big businesses is by showing them something special.
Financial packages that keep local business rates low are essential, being able to adjust the school curriculum in order to teach the skills these businesses will need is also essential if the employment of locals is going to be noticeable.
Running the council fleet on bio-fuel, creating at least one bio-mass plant in the city, green ideas like infra red lamp posts that switch on when triggered by movement, and then click off when that movement has passed, would save a fortune in electricity charges. Using rainwater for the flushing of toilets, using sewage to produce methane, comprehensively overhauling the recycling done by the council in order to improve efficiency and revenues, there are dozens of things to be done which could highlight this city in a positive way that are just being ignored by the present council regime, and you won't attract in the businesses that will change the city for the better doing this.
Remeber too that "economy" touches on just about every service area the council deals with, from housing to public transport, so all these services can have an effect on the financial success of the city if handled right, not ignored or corrupted like at present, and the importance of regeneration means it cannot be left in the hands of who control it at the minute, their touch upon our city has been disastrous, their pathetic attempts at regeneration have left the city looking like it did after WW2!
There is much to be done, but we have no doubt that what is needed can be achieved, it's down to you as voters as to what you want the city to become.
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