The future of an entire Milton Keynes estate could be decided on the vote of a tiny handful of people, the council has confirmed.
The council is set to have no lower threshold for the number of people needed to vote in a controversial regeneration ballot on Fullers Slade, a meeting heard on Thursday.
“There is no turnout threshold,” a member of the public told Thursday’s meeting of MK Council’s Regeneration Cabinet Sub-Committee. “It is quite frightening to think that four people could vote for a whole estate.”
Michael Kelleher, the council’s housing and regeneration director, said: “It is correct, there is no threshold for the turnout. The rationale behind that is that encourages people to vote for their preferred option.
“So if there is a fear that an option or an approach can be voted through with only four people voting then it is for residents to vote.”
But council Cabinet member Cllr Hannah O’Neill (Lab, Woughton & Fishermead) said she would like more information about the rationale for setting no threshold to get a “little more reassurance”.
Cllr Carole Baume (Lab, Woughton & Fishermead) chairs the council’s Regeneration Scrutiny Committee called for a push to get residents to register to vote. She was told there would be a registration push, managed by the council’s elections team.
The vote will also include 16 and 17 year-olds, as it did in the regeneration ballot at Serpentine Court, on Bletchley’s Lakes Estate.
Sylvia Airs, who chairs the Fullers Slade Resident Steering Group, said a schools workshop will seek to “educate, inform, and engage” young people to speak to their parents and look at how can get involved. The MK Youth Cabinet also supports the move.
The ballot, to be confirmed by the council’s Cabinet on October 1, will take place on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30. Residents will be asked to vote for one option only. Each home will receive a copy of the options.
Four businesses will also have one vote each: George’s Fish Bar, Oriental Express, Costcutter, Peri Peri Chicken and Fullers Slade Tyre, Exhaust And Auto Centre.