Budget boost for for High Streets in Milton Keynes is welcomed by MPs

Milton Keynes MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart have welcomed the Autumn Budget and the additional support that will pour into Milton Keynes’ high streets.

The Labour leader of MK Council Pete Marland slammed the 2018 Budget on Monday as ‘a missed opportunity for Milton Keynes’.

MK MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart

MK MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart

Then the Tories hit back with Cllr Alex Walker telling Marland the ‘Conservatives have fixed the roof Labour destroyed’.

But MK’s MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart are in agreement that it is good news for the high streets.

In his speech the Chancellor Phillip Hammond outlined plans to cut business rates by a third for up to 90% of retail properties for two years. :

He said: “Embedded in the fabric of our great cities, towns, and villages, the High Street lies at the heart of many communities. And it is under pressure as never before as Britain adopts on-line shopping with greater alacrity than any other large economy.

“So, if Britain’s High Streets are to remain at the centre of our community life they will need to adapt.”

The government will also set up a £675 million Future High Streets fund will invest in improvements to town centre infrastructure, reduce congestion, support redevelopment around high streets and enable housing and new workspaces to be created.

Milton Keynes North MP Mark Lancaster said: “This is great news for our high streets here in Milton Keynes. We have some fantastic independent retailers be that in Wolverton, Woburn Sands, Bletchley, Olney, Newport Pagnell or Stony Stratford. All of which work incredibly hard twenty four seven to make their business a success. It is right as they come under significant pressure from online retailers they are given a helping hand.”

Milton Keynes South MP Iain Stewart said: “This was a really important announcement today, as was the UK Digital Services Tax, both together will look to rebalance and modernise the retail economy.”

He added: “There is plenty more we can do locally to help keep our high streets moving forward. We can’t forget about CMK either, which is seeing footfall falling. Mark and I are continuing to work with the local Conservative Council group to push free parking, and I hope we can have a serious grown up conversation with the Council about how to deliver that and other local initiatives.”

Newport Pagnell High Street

Newport Pagnell High Street

Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond