‘Give us power to shape our destiny’, says Milton Keynes Council leader

Council leader Pete Marland
Council leader Pete Marland

Council leader Pete Marland is demanding government transfer powers to local authorities and says what’s good enough for Scotland is good enough for Milton Keynes.

In the aftermath of the Scottish Referendum, Mr Marland is calling for the city to take control of more local business rates, infrastructure funding powers and measures to make it easier to build more social and affordable housing.

Mr Marland, pictured, said: “The Prime Minister has pledged to grant Scotland new powers within nine months.

“The question is will he give Milton Keynes what he is promising to Scotland, the power to shape our destiny?

“These powers can be transferred quickly and at little cost to the Treasury.”

He added: “Imagine what MK could do if we were given the powers locally to make changes and deliver growth rather than being dictated to by a Westminster elite who simply don’t get it.

“More powers for fewer people in a remote parliament is not the solution, we need radical devolution of power back to citizens. It’s time we had power in our own hands.”

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said Scottish devolution was a seperate issue to giving more power to local councils.

He added: “I was discussing these issues with the Prime Minister at Chequers today. Labour are confusing two separate issues.

“The main question is whether it is fair for Scottish MPs to continue to vote on laws that apply only to England when, because of devolution, English MPs cannot vote on these matters in Scotland.

“I do not think it is fair; Labour seem to think it is.

“A separate point is the transfer of powers from Central to local Government. This Government has already done a lot in this area; for example transferring to Milton Keynes Council the assets and responsibilities of the Home and Communities Agency, which decided things like the future expansion of MK.

“I am open to a sensible debate about how this can further evolve but that is separate from the fundamental question of treating England fairly under devolution.”