MK no longer a laughing stock

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THE final documents have been signed off – Milton Keynes’ city status bid is ready to go.

On Friday, the Mayor Alan Richards will post the 25-page document off to Downing Street in a bid to become Britain’s newest city.

However, competition will be fierce as 20 other hopefuls submit their claims along side that of Milton Keynes’ – including Luton, Swindon, Middlesbrough, Ipswich and Bolton.

Milton Keynes has applied for city status on two previous occasions, and campaigners are hoping that it will be third time lucky when the results are announced early in 2012.

Councillor Sam Crooks, who is in charge of the city status bid, believes that the ‘buzz’ around Milton Keynes will be key to making the bid successful.

He said: “We are hoping that our recent ventures into the public eye have done our bid the power of good.

“I remember the early days when we were a laughing stock. But the old stigma of roundabouts and concrete cows is going and people are seeing us in a new light.

“Now, when you ask people, they are proud to be from Milton Keynes and that buzz is felt by everyone who lives here. And our worldwide image is spreading.

“No-one expected us to be part of the World Cup bid and we were, named alongside places like Manchester, Sheffield and Liverpool.”

He said that while Milton Keynes lacks the traditional markers for city status in the past, the town has a great chance of becoming the newest city named by the Queen when the announcement is made next February.

“We have everything going for us,” he added. “We build around five schools a year, we have a university opening soon, we have huge companies moving to Milton Keynes and creating jobs.

“We were the first into the recession, but many have marked Milton Keynes to be one of the first places in the UK to come out of it. We are in a great position.

“We just hope that when the Queen makes her decision, she has given great consideration to Milton Keynes.”