Pupil power wins pledge to improve Milton Keynes redways

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More than 400 safety-conscious schoolchildren joined forces to grill the council leader about redway improvements.

The determined youngsters knocked at the council offices and asked to speak to Pete Marland on Friday.

They then invited him to accompany then across the road to City Square, where pupils from five different school were poised for their own version of Question Time.

The session started with Pete being presented with bulging bags of rubbish – all items the children had picked up from redways.

A pint-sized spokesman told him: “We are fed up with the litter, broken glass and other rubbish dumped on the redways and we want to clear it up.”

The pupils then revealed the results of a their own safety survey.

Some 2,300 children in six city schools were questioned about their views. The survey showed most of them use the redways but only 40 per cent think they are safe.

All the schools are members of Citizens:mk, which is an alliance of 23 community groups.

The goal of Friday’s deputation was to win pledges from the council and the Parks Trust to carry out 50 redway improvements before the end of MK’s 50th birthday year.

Pupils have already identified three priorities: improved lighting, litter removal and pruning of overgrowth.

Pete promised to support the pupils’ goal and as a reward was presented with a paper garland decorated with the children’s comments.

Some 80 per cent of pupils surveyed said they use the redway system and 62 per cent of them said the lighting on redways should be improved.