'This is why Milton Keynes needs to be a city' says our Mayor

Will it be fourth time lucky for MK?

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 2:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 2:02 pm

The Mayor of MK has released a video giving his views on why the borough should become an official city at last.

His words come after councillors voted wholeheartedly to make a bid for the status to coincide with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee next year.

Cllr Mohammed Khan says he is "delighted" at the decision.

Mayor Mohammed Khan and Mayoress Lilipa Aktar
Mayor Mohammed Khan and Mayoress Lilipa Aktar

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.

It will be our fourth attempt for the status, with previous bids failing in 2000 for the millennium, 2002 for the Golden Jubilee and in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee.

The Mayor described Milton Keynes as "one of the most diverse places in the UK" and said it was an honour for him to support the bid.

He said: "MK is progressing towards a 2050 plan with huge growth and big companies like Santander and Network Rail making their hubs here with lots of others onlooking."

He praised the "iconic" buildings, the shopping centre, and the fact that there are more than one million trees in the borough, making it one of the greenest towns in the UK.

A cross-party motion confirming the council’s plans to formally bid for Milton Keynes to become a city was heard at last week's full council.

Council leader Pete Marland 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.

“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.”

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.”

In May the Citizen launched a campaign to persuade Milton Keynes Council to make a fresh bid for the coveted status.

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.