Council bid for Milton Keynes to formally become a city to be heard tonight

The council has made several bids for city status over the years

By Reporter
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 5:14 pm

A cross-party motion confirming the council’s plans to formally bid for Milton Keynes to become a city will be heard at tonight’s meeting (Wednesday) of the Full Council.

Milton Keynes is still officially a town, but with Her Majesty the Queen granting formal city status to a number of towns in 2022 to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, Councillor Pete Marland, Labour Leader of the Council, hopes to see that change.

He said: “Milton Keynes is the most successful post-war New Town. Our growth and success over the past 54 years has mirrored the reign for Her Majesty, and the success of her 70 years as our monarch.

Council to bid for Milton Keynes to finally become a city

“We are proud to reflect her commitment to areas such as innovation and building strong communities.

“Our charity and voluntary organisations are at the heart of Milton Keynes, and diverse communities, with people from all over the Commonwealth, make our town special.”

It has been over a decade since the last new cities were created and in that time Milton Keynes has grown significantly.

While most people now refer to Milton Keynes as a city, it is still, in fact, a town and requires a charter from the monarch to have the official title.

The council has made several bids for city status over the years, with the most recent ones in 2000, 2002 and 2012, but they have always lost out to the likes of Chelmsford, Preston, Perth in Scotland and Newport in Wales.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Liberal Democrat Councillor Robin Bradburn, said: “In Milton Keynes we have an enterprising and inventive local economy that attracts businesses from all over the world, and more green space per person than any of the UK’s other towns and cities.

“We’re full of history and innovation, with so much to offer. City status would bring the recognition and opportunity that Milton Keynes is so deserving of.”

If successful, Milton Keynes will become the 70th official city in England. Surprisingly, receiving city status does not bring any benefits, extra funding or new powers for the local council - it simply gives a town the right to refer to itself as a city.

Many people think a town needs a cathedral to become a city. In fact, this is incorrect. All UK towns, through their local council, can apply - whether they have an Anglican cathedral or not.