‘Once-thriving Milton Keynes town is now a gamblers’ Mecca’

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The “nice little town” of Bletchley is being turned into a concrete jungle with a high street full of charity stores and betting shops, claim angry residents.

A Facebook group called Let’s Help Bletchley and Fenny Stratford has hit out at MK council for failing the entire town.

But the council, which recently spent millions on Bletchley’s Fixing the Links road project, has fiercely defended its stance.

A spokesman this week described the Facebook group’s claims as “unfair and inaccurate.”

Resident Mark Short was born in Fenny Stratford and lived in Bletchley for 52 years. He says the Fixing the Links project, designed to improve access to the town centre from the railway station, was a waste of cash when the rest of town is in dire need.

He has also hit out at the new one way system, claiming it is causing traffic chaos for residents.

“Why was the money not used to encourage better shops into Bletchley rather than more gambling dens, charity shops and pound shops? And why is the council not pushing for something to be done to the old Co-op store, which has been an eyesore for years?” he asked.

“The council has turned a thriving little town into a pathetic row of low income shops and gambling dens,” he claimed.

MK Council invested £3.5m in the Fixing the Links project to improve pedestrian and cyclist access from the rail station.

There are five betting shops in Bletchley and one large gaming arcade. The town is becoming a Mecca for gamblers, say residents.

The Co-op vacated its huge Bletchley store 11 years ago, in 2006. Since then it has stood empty with no firm interest from new tenants.