Tenant battles to bring Milton Keynes Council to account

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A dissatisfied resident has launched a one-man battle to make Milton Keynes Council more accountable.

Derrick Reid was appalled to discover there is no official body to regulate councillors, councils or council officers in England.

People can make complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman, but he has no authority to take disciplinary action, says 47-year-old Derrick, who lives on Conniburrow.

“I’ve heard so many empty promises that ‘lessons will be learned’ at MK Council – whether the scandal is financial mismanagement or broken street lights not being repaired for 16 months,” he said.

“But in current law there is no proper redress for proved wrongdoing. It seems there is nothing to deter repeat behaviour,” he added.

Derrick has discovered Wales, Scotland and Ulster all have regulators for local authorities.

“The Nolan Principles of honesty, leadership, openness, objectivity, selflessness and objectivity are enshrined in our three Celtic cousins’ law. But in England there is nothing,” he said.

“It seems councillors here can be their own judge and jury.”

Derrick has spent months emailing politicians and officials pushing for a change in the law. But so far, he says, the replies have been unhelpful

MK Council once tried to prosecute Derrick for “harassing” city councillors with emails - the court ruled he was within his rights.

“I won’t give up on pushing for a regulator of councils.

“I don’t mind how many emails it takes. It’s too important to drop,” he vowed.