A round-up of the latest letters to the Milton Keynes Citizen from our readers
Cut councillor numbers down
Following the May 3 Milton Keynes Council elections I was disappointed as a Labour Party member to read that the MK Labour Group and the Liberal Democrats will work together in a
partnership and Labour will continue to lead the MK Council as a minority administration.
A statement from the Lib Dems read: “Under the new Enhanced Partnership the Labour Group will continue to run the council in return for delivering the whole of the Lib Dem manifesto and giving the Lib Dems and enhanced role in formatting future council policy.”
In the past a precedent was set that the political party with the most number or council seats held the administration and formed the cabinet and the other two parties with the least number of council seats chaired the scrutiny and other committee chair positions to hold the cabinet to account. It is difficult to understand that this formula will work in the future.
There is a question of being honourable and having principles and my concern is that the echo I’ve heard too often from voters in local elections “That their all the same” is now a reality where Labour and the Lib Dems work in tandem in Milton Keynes.
The Boundary Commission findings for Milton Keynes Council Elections set out 19 Wards with three councillors in each ward and three yearly elections in every four years and no mention of the cost effect. My view, like many others, is that the electorate feel that MK Council elections should take place once every four years and the low turnout of voters reflect this point of view. The emphasis is the number of additional elections to local elections ie general, MEP and parish council elections.
No doubt readers are possibly aware of the massive reduction of Milton Keynes Council staff, because most all of the council’s services are now outsourced in the hands of private contractors and the Boundary Commission should look at cutting the existing MK Council’s 57 councillors to half of this figure and, most important, introduce one councillor representing each MK Council Ward in order to hold councillors to account. At the moment it is difficult to know that the three councillors per ward are working equally hard as each other particularly on the question of participation with the residents they represent.
In addition MK Council are farming a great deal of council work on to the MK parish and town councils consisting of approximately 200 or more of parish and town councillors representing each of their area in the whole of MK.
Potholes are still there, why?
It is now only five weeks to midsummer and there is still no sign of the appalling pothole situation being addressed.
Surely we should see plenty of repair teams at work by now.
On the one hand we are told that funding is available and on the other hand we are told that only potholes greater than two inches deep will be repaired.
I would like to see the risk assessment published that the council believes will justify their (in)actions.
Surely the council has a duty of care to its residents and highway users.
Mr Tisdale to bring us hope?
Maybe Pete Winkleman can do a deal with Paul Tisdale, manager of Exeter City.
This experienced 45-year- old has done well for Exeter, during the 12 years he has spent there.
From National League, to League One within two years,from 2009.
Then relegation to league two in 2012, which was unfortunate.
Supporters of Exeter are not too happy with Tisdale at the present time, for no just reason, but they possibly feel that the club is not moving forward fast enough, despite leading the club to a play off final last year, and a top four finish this year.
Maybe it was the away depeat of 3-1 at Stevenage, who knows!
Tisdale will not be able to resolve all the problems which MK Dons have, and Pete Winkleman must be looking to purchase one or two new players, and possibly to obtain one or two experienced players on loan.
At least if Tisdale comes to MK Dons, it will give some new life, and hope to the club.
Plastic is the tip of the iceberg
We understand passion about plastic pollution is running high, and rightly so. We must protect our planet for us now, and future generations.
But in the panic over plastic we are in danger of damaging the recycling of very valuable resources including basics such as metal, glass and cardboard.
Just last week a national newspaper accidentally said that it wasn’t possible to recycle baked bean cans. A correction was later issued, but we feel the damage may have been done.
The most common question we’re asked about recycling baked bean cans is “should I wash them out first before throwing them away?” to which the answer is: “yes please.”
It’s not that the baked beans inside won’t be burned off in a smelter when the cans are melted down to raw metal again, it’s that they will rot and smell, and contaminate other waste streams, while in transit to the final reprocessing destination.
Now some people might think they don’t need to bother recycling tins, never mind washing them out first.
We need to increase the recycling rates of all materials, and everyone can play a part if they are given the right information.
Take coffee cups for example. The card in coffee cups can be recycled. We should know as we collect them and send them for reprocessing into other goods. The cups are turned to pulp so the component parts can be captured and recycled.
The fibres in cartons are actually long and strong, made from wood, and can be recycled up to six times, converted into products such as tubes and containers.
The reason so few cups are currently not being recycled is because people don’t have access to an appropriate waste collection service or are confused by stories in the media that their cups can’t be recycled, so they don’t bother trying.
Minds should be focused on increasing recycling rates of everyday items, and our eyes opened to the elephant in the corner – litter. A mountain of which makes its way, eventually, to the sea.
We are in danger of letting passion about plastic damage the efficient recycling of all the resources we consume, and failing to address the major issue of littering.
Director of Customer Service, Cawleys
Clear policy for dogs on buses
Letter to Arriva buses: I am sorry to have to write to you again on this topic - especially after I thought it had all been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
Since raising this issue with you in October 2017, I have had no trouble travelling on your 21 route (Milton Keynes - Lavendon) with our dog but it seems that your tolerance of all well-behaved dogs is not universally applied by all of your drivers.
My wife was travelling from Newport Pagnell on the 3pm 21 bus on Saturday, May 19, from Newport Pagnell to Sherington and witnessed a young couple with a well-behaved dog being refused access even though they only wanted to travel for one stop.
I am told by my wife that although they were unknown to her, the couple seemed very pleasant and polite and had been waiting at the bus stop for 20 minutes only to be told by the driver “guide dogs only”.
This response poses the question, what is the difference between a guide dog and an ordinary domestic pet? My wife, when asking the driver why the dog was not allowed on the bus, was told “it was a dangerous dog.” which was in her opinion, patently notthe case. There were also only three passengers – perhaps they could have been asked?
I don’t think stating it is at the driver’s discretion is a very workable solution. Some consistency is needed here surely?