Shock regeneration plan U-turn as Milton Keynes Council strip Your MK of powers

Fullers Slade,' Milton Keynes
Fullers Slade,' Milton Keynes
  • ‘Your MK have ‘not been good enough’ say council

The Your MK partnership set up to regenerate thousands of homes has been stripped of its powers by the council.

Despite owning 50 per cent of the private company, Labour-run MK Council has slammed it as ‘not good enough’ in the way it has handled the city’s multi billion pound regeneration scheme.

Now opposition Tory councillors are concerned the entire regeneration scheme may be at risk if the uncertainty continues.

Meanwhile thousands of residents on Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Tinkers Bridge, North Bradville, Fullers Slade, the Lakes and Beanhill still have no clue whether their homes will be demolished or what will happen to them.

Your MK, whose motto was ‘Today, Tomorrow, Together’, was set up two years ago, with £1m input from MK Council, to handle the entire regeneration process - starting with consultation with residents.

The partnership was also responsible for the repair and maintenance of all the council homes in MK. It has now been stripped of this work which will be handled in-house by the council by contracting the work out to private company Mears.

Ironically Mears, which recorded an £8m profit last year, owns the other 50 per cent of Your MK.

MK council itself will now also be running the public consultation and engagement with residents due to be affected by the regeneration plan.

The move follows fierce criticism from people on Fullers Slade, the estate chosen first for regeneration. Residents there recently accused Your MK of turning the consultation into an “absolute mess” and keeping most of the householders in the dark.

Lead housing councillor Nigel Long has this week apologised for the problems and said: “Your MK has not been as community focused as it needed to be.”

He added: “We did not achieve our prime objective of the regeneration being community driven....Part of the problem was the Your MK approach. We have had a false start. We will now put residents firmly in the driving seat for regeneration.”

Council leader, Pete Marland, said: “We remain committed to regeneration of key estates, but it must be community led and that has not happened. We inherited a regeneration timetable that was, in hindsight, over ambitious. We should have restructured regeneration to ensure it was community led. Our revised approach will allow residents to determine the future of their community and also allow better financial planning. We will also establish an investment programme for areas that will not see regeneration for five or more years.”

City Conservatives, however, are sceptical. Leader Alex Walker told the Citizen: “There have been real issues with the Regeneration project, but these cannot simply be blamed on YourMK. There has also been a lack of leadership from the Labour-led council, and recent changes have only added to the uncertainty.

“We will now be seeking guarantees from the Cabinet that they remain committed to the regeneration programme, and we will be seeking explanations as to why they believe an in-house solution works best.

“We have a once in a generation chance to improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged communities in England. Labour should be showing leadership, not adding to the uncertainty.”

On 3 July 2018 at 11:46, Sally Murrer <sally.murrer@jpress.co.uk> wrote:

The Your MK partnership set up to regenerate thousands of homes has been stripped of its powers by the council.

Despite owning 50 per cent of the private company, Labour-run MK Council has slammed it as ‘not good enough’ in the way it has handled the city’s multi billion pound regeneration scheme.

Now opposition Tory councillors are concerned the entire regeneration scheme may be at risk if the uncertainty continues.

Meanwhile thousands of residents on Netherfield, Coffee Hall, Tinkers Bridge, North Bradville, Fullers Slade, the Lakes and Beanhill still have no clue whether their homes will be demolished or what will happen to them.

Your MK, whose motto was ‘Today, Tomorrow, Together’, was set up two years ago, with £1m input from MK Council, to handle the entire regeneration process - starting with consultation with residents.

The partnership was also responsible for the repair and maintenance of all the council homes in MK. Now they have been stripped of this work and it will be handled in house by the council, who will contract the work out to private company Mears.

Ironically Mears, who recorded an £8m profit last year, owns the other 50 per cent of Your MK.

MK council itself will now also be running the public consultation and engagement with residents due to be affected by the regeneration plan..

The move follows fierce criticism from people on Fullers Slade, the estate chosen first for regeneration. Residents there recently accused Your MK of turning the consultation into an “absolute mess” and keeping most of the householders in the dark.

Lead housing councillor Nigel Long has this week apologised for the problems and said: “Your MK has not been as community focused as it needed to be.”

He added: “We did not achieve our prime objective of the regeneration being community driven....Part of the problem was the Your MK approach . We have had a false start. We will now put residents firmly in the driving seat for regeneration.”

Council leader Pete Marland said: ““We remain committed to regeneration of key estates, but it must

be community led and that has not happened. We inherited a regeneration timetable that was, in hindsight, over ambitious. We should have restructured regeneration to ensure it was community led. Our revised approach will allow residents to determine the future of their community and also allow better financial planning. We will also establish an investment programme for areas that will not see regeneration for five or more years.”

City Conservatives, however, are sceptical. Leader Alex Walker told the Citizen:

“There have been real issues with the Regeneration project, but these cannot simply be blamed on YourMK. There has also been a lack of leadership from the Labour-led Council, and recent changes have only added to the uncertainty.

“We will now be seeking guarantees from the Cabinet that they remain committed to the regeneration programme, and we will be seeking explanations as to why they believe an in-house solution works best.

“We have a once in a generation chance to improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged communities in England. Labour should be showing leadership, not adding to the uncertainty.”

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