I was disappointed to read the comments in the Citizen last week from the council’s Environmental Protection Team Leader, Dr Steve Moorhouse, who did not mention the use of mediation in helping to resolve noise issues between neighbours.
This is rather surprising as his department has referred hundreds of cases over the last 15 years to the local MK Community Mediation Service (MKCMS) charity based in Acorn House. Mediation gives the wonderful opportunity for neighbours to come together in a positive way to listen to each other, discuss issues and work positively to agree future behaviour and ways of communicating.
MKCMS provides a completely free service to all MK residents; the matter is handled in strict confidence; the mediators are impartial – it is up to the neighbours to agree a suitable way forward; and the organisation is independent of other bodies. Professional, highly trained mediators help people understand their neighbour’s concerns so that all parties can gain something positive from it.
For many years MK Council departments such as environmental services and housing and other bodies such as the Police, housing agencies and the CAB have referred cases to MKCMS and they have a proven track record of helping to successfully resolve conflict around everyday issues such as noise, parking, hedges and anti-social behaviour. Rather sadly it looks as if many of these agencies are preparing to cut funding to MKCMS and this may perhaps explain Dr Moorhouse’s omission. If so, it is rather short-sighted as MKCMS is one of the most cost-effective suppliers of mediation services – just compare them to legal fees – and they are able to handle cases that would otherwise take up a lot of time for these agencies.
On a positive note, MKCMS is available absolutely free to any MK citizen who wishes to seek help directly in resolving an issue with a neighbour. Simply call them on MK 200828 or visit www.mkcommediation.org.uk.
Richard Moore, Bletchley