‘There’s so much to celebrate about living here’ say residents on one of Milton Keynes’ most deprived and crime-ridden estates

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It’s 50 years since the building of the estate began

Proud residents on Fishermead are organising a special carnival to celebrate the estate’s 50th birthday.

Old and new residents are invited to gather at the Pirate Park from 12pm to 6pm on Sunday July 2 to join the celebrations.

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It's exactly 50 years since building began on the estate and over the years it has become one of the city most diverse communities.

Fishermead is celebrating its 50th birthdayFishermead is celebrating its 50th birthday
Fishermead is celebrating its 50th birthday

Today the three storey townhouses and blocks of flats are home to more than a thousand people from many parts of the world, and all the communities will contribute to the celebration.

There will be music, traditional dances, choirs, break-dancing and stalls selling ethnic foods. The schoolchildren of the estate even have their own special song to perform, and the lyrics start with: “Let me tell you about the place I live, so much to do, so much to give. You don’t know where it’s gonna lead when you start a party in Fishermead!”

Fishermead’s Jubilee Wood Primary School last year won praise from Ofsted inspectors for its caring and responsible pupils. The school was rated ‘Good’ and inspectors said they were particularly impressed with the personal development that pupils receive.

However, many people believe Fishermead has a bad name.

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It is officially one of the 15% most deprived neighbourhoods in England and, according to crime tracking website ILiveHere, there were a total of 597 “street level crime incidents” on the estate during March this year. As with many urban areas, the largest category was violent crime, followed by shoplifting.

Last year a new group called Fishermead Citizens Alliance was formed, with the aim of promoting improvements, cutting crime and promoting community pride on the estate.

Their plans included implementing a 20mph zone for safe driving, a Neighbours Day, improved streetlighting and forming litter-picking teams.

Another charity based on Fishermead is Action Speaks. Their spokesman Ophelia Cole said: “Our residents have been working hard preparing for the celebration on the 2nd of July. We have been making bunting from material supplied by the people of Fishermead. We are just praying for good weather for the day!”

Local councillors, the local MP, the MK Mayor and the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire have all agreed to attend to support the celebration.

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