Milton Keynes needs a major clean up but the community must help say councillors

Labour councillors are promising to give MK a major spring clean to make the city sparkle '“ providing the public will help out.

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 12:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 12:47 pm

They have pledged to scrub streets, cut back bushes, reduce single use plastics and crackdown on anybody who dares to throw litter.

Operation Clean Up comes as part of Labour’s “Making a Greater City Greater,” manifesto for this week’s local elections.

The idea is that the council does a one-off clean –then each community helps keep its own area tidy.

Already the idea has been blasted by Conservatives, whose leader Alex Walker said: “I can’t believe how out of touch Labour have become. Parish councils, neighbourhood action groups and other organisations are already working their socks of keeping their environment clean and tidy, picking up the slack from the reductions in litter picks made by this Labour council.”

Alex added: “We will invest in more litter picks not pile pressure on local communities.”

Labour’s council leader Pete Marland said his inspiration came from Milton Keynes school pupils.

Supported by community organising group Citizens:MK, a group of school children petitioned MK Council Leader Pete Marland to ask for 50 improvements to the redway system.

However rather than simply asking for things to be done, the schools pledged that if the council took the first steps in doing the clean-up, they would continue to maintain the areas concerned.

The 50 redway improvements include litter picking, bush cutting and improved lighting.

However, Labour-led MK Council has now promised more than 130 improvements.

Pete has vowed to roll out the “deep clean,” out to any parish council, community group or residents’ group that wants to improve their community and are willing to then maintain the area more regularly than the council can.

He said: “We know that litter and the upkeep of local communities is really important to people.”

But he said government cuts meant funding for such services has been “tough” and has forced reductions.

“However, we are now pledging that if we’re in charge of the council after May there will be no further cuts in street cleaning services and we will clamp down on those people that drop litter,” he said.

“MK Council sweeps up tonnes of litter each year, it’s time we tackled the people who put it there.

“Labour are therefore promising a “deep clean,” for MK. We’ll get MK Council to tidy up an area, have a blitz on litter, cut back bushes and streets and the rest.

Pete is hoping parish councils and community groups will then offer to clean and look after each area on a regular basis.

*Promises to benefit the people of MK have poured in from both Labour and Conservatives during the build-up to local elections due to be held this Thursday.

Both parties currently hold 22 seats, but Labour has control of the council and the Cabinet. One gain by Conservatives could put them in control.

Voting will close on Thursday evening but the count will not begin until 9am on Friday. The Citizen will be publishing results live.