Here's what the local political parties are promising you ahead of Milton Keynes City Council elections tomorrow
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Local elections will tomorrow (Thursday) decide who your local councillor will be and which party will run our £630m a year council.
Currently no single party has a majority on MK City Council, although the Conservatives are the biggest single group.
However, the authority is run by a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition called the Progressive Alliance, leaving the Tories with very little power. The leader of the council is Labour councillor Pete Marland, who has held the post for eight years.
Milton Keynes elects a third of its councillors every year. This year here are elections for all 19 wards in MK with one vacancy in each ward. The exception is Central Milton Keynes ward, which will have two vacancies.
This year, it’s important to remember to take photo ID, ideally a passport of driving licence to the polling station. New government rules mean that without this, you will be unable to vote.
Below are the manifesto promises of the four main parties in MK.
Labour promises to:
- Support people during the cost-of-living crisis with help with rent, mortgage and energy bills for those most in need.
- Fight for our local NHS - invest in new health facilities to meet growing demand and fight for better access to GP services.
- Make our streets safer – tackle anti-social behaviour, push for more police and continue to invest in knife crime prevention.
- Better council services – continue to keep council tax low, retain weekly bin collections, roll out wheelie bins.
- Fix 25,000 more potholes and repairmore redways and pavements.
- Introduce free home care by expanding our free reablement and support services to help people stay independent when they leave hospital.
- Increase mental health support by working with the BLMK Integrated Care Board and CNWL to improve and expand mental health services for children and young people.
- Build a new integrated care hub to provide modern facilities for adult day services, short breaks and care support for those with profound disabilities and their families.
- Cleaner streets with improved street cleansing, more frequent litter bin emptying and more weeding.
- Tackle fly-tipping by continuing our clamp down on illegal dumping, better use of CCTV and use of our litter wardens.
- Plant hundreds of new urban trees selected specifically to suit urban areas to replace trees lost to disease or removed due to being unsuitable.
- Invest over £30m in insulating council homes to make them more energy efficient and reduce bills for householders.
- Make MKCC’s electricity carbon neutral by building our own solar farm.
- Support struggling bus routes by giving private providers time to make services commercially viable.
- Support our local high streets with funding for more local events and activities.
- Provide start-up grants to new high street small businesses and tech start-ups.
Council leader Pete Marland says: “In Milton Keynes, we have got a record of delivery while the Conservatives have let you down time and time again. We’ve protected services, cut waste and kept council tax low. During tough times you’re better off with Labour.”
Conservatives in Milton Keynes have launched a ‘5 Cs’ plan, which they say is the best way to deliver for the residents of the city who have grown tired of “reckless overexpansion and poor bus services”.
Their 5 Cs are:
- Taking back Control of Planning – reassessing the local plan priorities in line with local demands.
- Building Communities, not just houses.
- Connectivity – a timetabled and reliable bus service that is fit for purpose for the whole city area.
- Communications technology delivering a broadband infrastructure fit for a truly smart city.
- Certainty – so people and business can invest in their futures today and for tomorrow.
The Conservative group is continuing to campaign for homes for local people delivered via a planning system that is sympathetic to the environment and built to meet the highest climate focused standards, as well as helping young people develop skills for work and life by supporting MK:U, a new university for Milton Keynes.
They have criticised the Labour-Lib Dem run council for their wasteful spending of taxpayer’s money and are determined to build a strong, sustainable local economy rather than becoming a dormitory for the cities of London, Oxford and Cambridge.
Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr David Hopkins, said: “Our plan will deliver for Milton Keynes, cutting waste across the council, investing in new and sustainable businesses, keeps communities and the environment at the heart of every decision, and will ensure that no one will get left behind.”
The Lib Dems are promising cost-of-living support, help for local businesses, and maintaining services.
Their manifesto sets out seven key commitments:
- Providing support through the cost-of-living crisis.
- Keeping our communities safe.
- Back local business and invest in our city’s economy.
- Building healthier communities.
- Taking pride in our city.
- Support local families, children, and communities.
- Striving towards a greener Milton Keynes
They’re promising residents even more cost-of-living support, fighting for more police on the streets, and campaigning for more support for care leavers.
Other policies include supporting local businesses and high streets, providing extra funding for children and young people to access mental health support, and striving towards a greener Milton Keynes.
Liberal Democrat Leader on Milton Keynes City Council, Councillor Robin Bradburn said: “Lib Dem councillors work hard for residents all year round; we listen and care for the people of Milton Keynes and are committed to making positive changes for our communities. We will continue to put the people of Milton Keynes first to make our city fairer, cleaner, safer, greener.”
Councillors Bradburn and deputy leader Jane Carr, said: “All 14 Lib Dem councillors are community champions, working hard all year round, listening to residents and fixing local issues. If you want a City Council that listens to its residents, one that cares for and works for them, then vote Liberal Democrat on 4 May 2023.”
Milton Keynes Green Party has15 candidates standing are to stand in the Milton Keynes City Council elections.
The Green Party is calling for the council to sign a Right Homes, Right Place, Right Price Charter to beat the housing crisis and ensure green spaces are protected.
This charter would:
- End the housing crisis by creating enough affordable homes – including100,000 new council homes a year built to the Passivhaus or equivalent standard.
- Empower local authorities to bring empty homes back into use.
- Transform the planning system to incentivise renovation and improvement of existing buildings to reduce the environmental impact of new construction.
- Incentivise local authorities to spread small developments across their areas, where appropriate, rather than building huge new estates.
- Protect valuable green space for communities.
- Require new developments to be accompanied by the extra investment needed in local services, such as providing extra school and GP places and better bus services.
- Transform building regulations to ensure all new private and public sector housing meets Passivhaus or equivalent standards and ensure house builders include solar panels and heat pumps on all new homes.
- Ensure all new developments will be located and designed to ensure that residents do not need cars to live a full life.
- Introduce rent controls.
- End no-fault evictions
Local Green Party spokesperson and candidate for Wolverton ward, Alan Francis, said:“ We need councillors and national government to work together to build quality, affordable housing in the right places where people live and work, with the right supporting infrastructure and local facilities.
The Charter will simultaneously protect valuable green space for communities, reduce climate emissions, tackle fuel poverty and provide genuinely affordable housing.”
There are also 24 Parish and Town Councils where elections will be taking place if they are contested. A full list of Parishes and Parish Wards up for election is available here.