Community leader gathers support in opposing possible council merger

A COMMUNITY leader in Biddulph has gained support from fellow town councillors to oppose any attempt to incorporate the former mining town into Stoke-on-Trent.

Town and Staffordshire Moorlands District councillor Andrew Hart has attacked a suggestion from research and policy group Centre for Cities that Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle Borough should merge with Stoke-on-Trent to create a 'Greater Stoke' region.

It follows a report by the County Councils Network suggesting £3 billion could be saved over five years if 213 local authorites in England were scrapped and replaced with 25 larger councils.

At Biddulph Town Council's monthly meeting Coun Hart called on fellow councillors to back him in resisting any attempt to incorporate Biddulph into Stoke-on-Trent.

Coun Hart said: "The vast majority of Biddulph people have a dread of being incorporated into Stoke-on-Trent".

He added: "There is a perception among the population of Biddulph that there is bad decision making and a waste of money.

"I feel we really ought to have a discussion about this and vote on it so the people of Biddulph know exactly how we stand."

Coun Hart's motion was backed by 12 councillors, with two against and six abstentions.

Picture: Town and district councillor Andrew Hart is opposed to merger with Stoke-on-Trent.


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