Stoke-on-Trent City Council's leader has called for a comprehensive review of the city centre's night-time economy.
Councillor Mohammed Pervez has asked for a task and finish group to be set up which will be made up of a number of city councillors who will work with businesses, visitors and licencees. They will collect information on the current night time economy of the City Centre and make recommendations for future improvement.
The task and finish group will examine alcohol-related crime, strengthening the safety of the night time environment in the City Centre and supporting the council’s Mandate for Change pledge of encouraging the city’s economy to grow.
Councillor Pervez said: “We want to ensure our City Centre is a thriving and enjoyable place to visit, where people feel safe and where businesses prosper.
“I am asking for a task and finish group which will see councillors scrutinise the night time economy and consult with a wide a range of people who use the City Centre.
“The group’s remit will be to gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues which affect the city centre and to look at ways we can encourage growth. We work very closely with colleagues in the police and other public services, and we also want to build on our close working relationships with businesses.”
Latest statistics from the city’s Safer City Partnership show that alcohol-related crime is more of a concern in the City Centre than elsewhere in Stoke-On-Trent, but the figure is coming down.
The number of alcohol-related violent crimes has fallen over the last 12 months. In 2010/11, there were 1,257 alcohol-related violent offences, in 2011/12 there were 830 – a fall of 34 per cent. The City Centre accounted for a total of 500 offences over the two year-period, with 296 offences in 2010/11, and 204 in 2011/12.
A group of councillors will carry out the review over the next three months. They will report their findings and recommendations back to the city renewal overview and scrutiny panel and ultimately to the council’s cabinet. The results will be used to shape the way the council responds to the situation and works with partner agencies.
Councillor Matt Wilcox, who chairs the city renewal overview and scrutiny panel, said: “We welcome this review and the opportunity to look in detail into the City Centre’s night time economy. Over the last 10 years there has been a steady decline in the music and culture offer in the city centre at night, and as a result, the number of visitors has dwindled. We want to examine the reasons why this has happened, and to support the night time economy to thrive once more.
“The council is committed to improving and investing in the City Centre. The new bus station development will help to attract visitors, the proposals for the central business district will bring in more workers, and the new City Sentral development will bring in extra shoppers. All of this will also draw in many millions of pounds of investment.
“This review is very timely in helping to ensure these very exciting developments are supported in the best possible
way and that we, and all stakeholders in the City Centre, are doing all we can to ensure the City Centre thrives.”
For media enquiries please call Andrew Brunt at Stoke-on-Trent City Council press office on 01782 232671.