No screens for summer sports

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MILTON Keynes is missing out on a great opportunity by not organising fan-parks for this summer’s major events, according to two councillors.

In the coming months, much of the nation will be fixated on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, England’s progress in the European Championships and the Olympic Games and Paralympics in London.

But despite the huge levels of interest, no-one has arranged a place for people in Milton Keynes to come together and enjoy the events and the – hopefully – warm summer weather.

Such fan parks hit the headlines during the World Cup in Germany in 2006, where fans of all nationalities came together to celebrate the championships, watching the football on big screens all over the country.

Milton Keynes Council confirmed that no applications had been submitted to erect big screen televisions for people to watch the events unfold, with time running out before the festivities get under way.

Commenting on the Citizen’s Facebook page, readers felt it was a good idea, and suggested Campbell Park as a possible location for a fan park, while Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town councillors Tony Mabbott and Paul Bowler said that central Bletchley would also provide a great opportunity for businesses to join in with the festivities.

Central Bletchley town councillor Mr Mabbott said: “This promises to be a big summer of televised events, and not just for sport.

“In addition to the European Championship football and the Olympics, there will be all the festivities around the Jubilee for people to celebrate.

“Studies have shown that having big screens in public keeps people in an area for longer, spending their cash locally, and helps to develop a community spirit.”

And Fenny Stratford town councillor Mr Bowler said: “I’ve lived in the area all my life, and can’t think of a better way of celebrating Bletchley and Fenny’s diverse communities – don’t forget that there will be plenty of people locally cheering on Italy and Ireland as well as England.”

The pair have written to MK Dons chairman Pete Winkelman asking for his support for the idea.

> What do you think? Should more be done to celebrate this summer’s festivities?

Email editorial@mkcitizen.co.uk with your thoughts.