Hundreds in Stoke-on-Trent council headquarters march

Some of the protesters The protesters marched from the site of the proposed headquarters in Hanley to the present civic centre in Stoke

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Up to 1,000 protesters have joined a march opposing plans to move Stoke-on-Trent City Council's headquarters.

The protesters, wearing white elephant masks, say the £40m move to the new Central Business District (CBD) in Hanley is a waste of money and claim the public were not properly consulted.

They marched from the proposed site to the present civic centre in Stoke.

The council said it hoped the move will save it £2m a year and said all the correct planning rules were followed.

Campaigners have also said that moving about 2,000 council staff from the present civic centre would "kill" the town of Stoke and damage businesses there.

March organiser Alan Barrett said the numbers of people who had turned out showed the strength of feeling against the move

The council is moving from the civic centre, which opened in 1992, back to its former home of Hanley when the CBD is completed.

The authority said the move is part of the long-term regeneration of the city.

March organiser Alan Barrett said the numbers of people who had turned out for Saturday's protest showed the strength of feeling in the city against the move.

Staffordshire Police said up to 1,000 people had turned out for the protest, while Stoke-on-Trent City Council put the number at about 650.

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