Emergency meeting to '˜Take Back the Buszy' as city chiefs put it up for commercial rent

Protesters are holding an emergency meeting to 'Take Back the Buszy' after the community asset has been advertised commerically for private rent.

Monday, 5th September 2016, 4:17 pm
Updated Monday, 5th September 2016, 5:21 pm

The once-popular venue opposite CMK rail station was home to a range of groups helping young people, disabled people and families until November last year.

Milton Keynes Development Partnership, the organisation that manages the land on behalf of MK Council, closed the building down and arranged for a private company to rent out the spaces in its car park.

They employed contracter to clean the artwork off the walls and this month the building is up for grabs on the private rental market, says the Milton Keynes People’s Assembly.

Assembly chair Kevin Vickers said: “For years community services at the Buszy were provided using revenue from the Buszy car park. Now that money goes to a private parking company and the Buszy, once a thriving community hub, sits empty.

“The Buszy has now been advertised for commercial rent at market rate whilst homeless charities and community groups, already hit hard by government cuts, are desperate for suitable premises.”

Kevin added: “This is an important community asset. It should be run by local people, for the benefit of local people; particularly those who need help and support. We want to help bring different groups together to take the Buszy into the hands of the community where it belongs. The building has now been empty for 10 months despite explicit assurances from the leader of the council, Pete Marland, that it would not close.”

The People’s assembly has called an emergency meeting this Wednesday. The aim is to encourage individuals and community groups to build a working group to “Take Back The Buszy”.

The building is part of a £32 million package of land that was transferred to Milton Keynes Council from the Homes and Communities Agency in 2013. The transfer was heralded as a triumph of localism.

At the time Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, said “It will enable the people of Milton Keynes to have far greater power over the development of our cit

Hundreds attended a “Save the Buszy” meeting last year when the closure was announced and nearly 4000 people signed a petition that was delivered to MK Council by service users and local people.

Helen Wilson of Milton Keynes Green Party said: “Questions need to be asked as to whether MKDP should be allowed to circumvent local democracy and put its commercial interests and partners before the people of Milton Keynes. The council needs to regain control. It should be imposing its will on MKDP instead of having MKDP set the agenda for Milton Keynes on development and planning”