Leo Montague – Working for Monkston ward

Leo Montague – Lib Dem candidate for Monkston ward, MK COuncil on 2nd May 2019

Lib Dem campaigner Leo Montague is standing for election to MK Council on 2nd May as the third councillor for Monkston ward, alongside Jenni and Vanessa.
Leo grew up in MK and went to school here. He has been an active member of the community for well over 10 years, serving as a Youth Cabinet Member, and a Parish Councillor, before moving to Monkston and joining the Focus team. In his spare time he manages a Sunday League football
team and enjoys playing piano and guitar.
Leo says “Lib Dems have made a real difference to MK and to our area, and I’m keen to help continue the work. I’m passionate about the environment and I know many of you are too, so I’m particularly pleased about the extra money the Lib Dems have got there for the coming year, and I’m looking forward to making sure that its spent well in our area, but our programme includes many other important things that the Lib Dems are pushing for to make MK better as well.”
● Increasing the Council house building programme to provide more affordable housing for larger
families and free up small homes for small families
● Continuing the great work for the street homeless that’s helped many to get back into housing,
health and work
● Cleaning up the litter blackspots and dealing with the brambles and weeds
● Sorting out long term management of our landscaping with the Parks Trust
● Sorting out the recycling system so that MK returns to being one of the best for recycling
● Improving mental health provision, particularly for children and those threatened with, or
recovering from, homelessness, and more support for Special Educational Needs provision
● Continuing to press for proper funding for care for the elderly from the Government
● Supporting plans for the new University and for the expansion of MK College
Vanessa and Jenni say “We’ve enjoyed working with Leo over the past couple of years and we really look forward to him being elected and
joining us on the Council. Please support him, so that the Lib Dem Focus team can work even harder for you and for this area.

Recycling Info

The Council has published a new leaflet telling you what you can and can’t recycle.  Download it here.
Please note that the Council will not take ANY items left loose beside bins and bags except Christmas trees.

Items that can’t be recycled include plastic bags, film food wrappings and covers, and crisp packets.  Cardboard must be folded or torn up and put in the clear sacks. Any item left beside the sacks, including cardboard, can’t be recycled.  Dead birds and animals can only be put in green bins if they have no fur or feathers.  Wrap them and put them in black sacks otherwise please.
Please recycle as much as you can.  It helps the environment and keeps our council tax bills down!

Plan:MK Exhibition at Kingston Library until Sat 9th December

Plan:MK, which will define the Council’s current plans for development until 2031, is out for consultation until 20th December.  An exhibition about it is at Kingston Library until Saturday 9th December.

The Plan includes catering for the number of houses that MK’s growing population will need, and a wide variety of jobs to go with them, with most new jobs in “knowledge based” sectors, and new schools, health centres, community centres, etc. in the new major development areas as well as a major expansion in CMK.  It will see MK’s population rise to 350-400,000 by 2031.

A number of small sites for development had already been approved in Monkston ward, including:

  • Ladbroke Grove, Monkston Park (housing)
  • Lilleshall Avenue, Monkston (housing)
  • The schools at Kents Hill Park
  • Walton Manor (part housing part employment)

And very close to Monkston ward:

  • The Eastern Expansion area including Broughton Gate and Brooklands for housing, and Magna Park for employment
  • The Strategic Land Allocation along the H8 (A421) towards the motorway and to the east of Old Farm Park
  • The land on the corner of Towergate and Groveway in Wavendon Gate
  • The completion of Oakgrove

A few additional sites in Monkston ward are now proposed in Plan:MK:

All of these sites had previously been reserved for future development, and the Walnut Tree ones were in the Neighbourhood Plan, although Walton Community Council wanted a day nursery and more parking as part of the Wadesmill Lane site.

And sites nearby:

  • Land on the corner between Isaacson Drive and Ortensia Drive in Wavendon Gate
  • Land on the corner between Britten Grove and Byrd Crescent in Old Farm Park
  • A new major site extending the city between Wavendon and The Brickhills accessed from an extension to the H10

All in the Neighbourhood Plan.

Please have your say on the proposals by 20th December 2017.  The changes that can be made at this stage are limited, but if you have serious concerns about any of it please let Cllr Jenni Ferrans know, as well as responding formally, and we will see whether we can alleviate the issues.

Kents Hill Park Planning Application

A planning application has been submitted for the private hospital, and housing, at Kents Hill Park.  You can see more details on our leaflet Kents Hill Park Plans, and the full application on the Council’s website here, and search for reference 17/02616/OUT.

The application appears to allow 4-storey homes, whereas we had been assured that they would be a maximum of 3-storey, so we are asking which is correct.  Either way, the actual proposals will be decided in a further, detailed planning application next year.

Kents Hill Park Schools Consultation

The organisations who will manager the schools at Kents Hill Park have been appointed, and it’s good news: they both run outstanding schools locally at present.

The SEN unit will function as an extra campus of the existing Slated Row school.

The primary and secondary schools will be run as one all-through school, but taking in extra children at each stage, by the Kingsbridge Educational Trust, who run Oakgrove at present.

Kingsbridge are consulting on the admissions arrangements for their school now, and you can have your say.  The details are on their website at www.kentshillpark.school and the consultation closes on Wednesday 29th November at 5pm.

Basically, they are proposing that:

  • the infant school will be sized for, and have catchment of, Kents Hill Park only.
  • The junior school will have the same catchment as Heronsgate School – Kents Hill and Kents Hill Park homes will be most of the closest ones giving them priority.  Children who attend the infant school will have an automatic junior place.
  • The secondary school will have a catchment to the west of our area, plus Kents Hill Park, but not the rest of our area.  Children who attend the junior school will have an automatic secondary school place.

Please respond to the consultation and also let us know what you think.  Thank you.

STOP PRESS: Meeting re Kents Hill Park Developments

The developers have announced details of their meeting:

Consultation on Residential and Private Hospital Developments on Kents Hill Park
Thursday 21st September 2017 6-8pm
Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre
Swallow House, Timbold Drive, Kents Hill Park, MK7 6BZ

They are hoping to get the planning application in by the end of September, and there will be a formal consultation (but no meeting) then, but this is your chance to request changes before they finalise the application.

See you there!

Kents Hill Park West Plans

Spire Healthcare met with Councillors and Parish Councillors recently for a preview of the latest draft of their plans.

They are planning a private hospital and 140 homes to be built on the fields on Kents Hill off Timbold Drive. The woodland strip between that and the existing homes will stay, but they wanted part of it as private space behind the hospital. (Techically it’s private now apart from the bit the Parks Trust own.)  We told them that most residents wanted public access to the woodland.

The hospital will be a private hospital, which means that they plan it as a separate business, not as an integral part of local health care, but they do hope to take some patients under contracts from MK General Hospital.  They wouldn’t comment on how many.  They will have a critical care department, but they will not take in emergency cases so there should be no ambulances with sirens.

The hospital building will be in the area shown on our last Focus leaflet, and will be three storeys high, set down the slope a bit so that it’s no higher than the houses behind. It will have its own car park.  The housing will be 2-3 storeys.  There will be a shop and play areas.

What Next? – A Public Meeting

They are intending to hold a public exhibition/meeting as soon as they have finished checking their plans, in September.  We were given the probable date of the evening of Sept. 21st, but we don’t have any details or confirmation yet.  We will update this website when we hear.

They then hope to put the planning application in a couple of weeks after the public meeting, once they’ve made any changes from the consultation.  The application will be a full application for the hospital, and an outline application for the housing – saying how many homes, shops, etc, will be where, and where the access will be, so that traffic issues can be assessed.  All other details of the housing will be reserved to be decided later.  That application will be on MK Council’s website for public comments, before being decided, and they hope that work will start on the hospital in spring 2018.

After that, probably autumn 2018, they will put a “reserved matters” application in with the details of the housing. That will then go onto MK Council’s website for public comment, before a decision is made on that.

In the meantime, the Government Inspector has examined the policy to put a mix of the hospital and housing on the site.  His report won’t come for several weeks, but he appeared to be content with the policy.

Kents Hill Park Primary School Delayed

In a shock decision, after Government interference, MK’s Labour Cabinet has decided to give the Government the whole say over who manages all our new schools including Kents Hill Park Primary. 

Cllr Jenni Ferrans at Kents Hill Park Primary School

Cllr Jenni Ferrans at Kents Hill Park Primary School

But the earliest the Government can appoint managers is Autumn 2017 – too late for the 2017-18 school year, and the Government’s last appointment was an academy that has failing schools!  Oakgrove School has offered to accommodate the extra children in 2017-18.

Your Lib Dem councillors think MK Council should still go ahead locally with the primary school, to get it open on time, with a good academy managing it.

Please sign our petition or ask us for a paper petition, quickly, if you agree!

Elections in Monkston ward

We have three sets of voting going on soon locally.

On May 5th we have the election for councillors on Milton Keynes Council.  You can see the Lib Dem Manifesto for Milton Keynes here.

V McP cropOur local candidate is Cllr Vanessa McPake, who has served this area as a councillor or campaigner for ten years, and is standing for re-election as a councillor.  She is now campaigning to:

  • Get more houses built that our children can afford
  • Clean up the litter grot spots with more flexible litter picking
  • Increase our evening and weekend buses
  • Safeguard and maintain our lovely landscape
  • Work with parish councils to keep our play areas.

Also on May 5th we have the election for a Police Commissioner.  This is the elected person who oversees the Police in the whole of Thames Valley.  Lib Dems believe that one person cannot possibly represent the interests of such a wide area, but that is the system we have, so we have to work with it at present.

Our candidate is John Howson, who is campaigning to cut crime, not constables!  He points out that if we can use modern methods to increase detection rates, and use the best methods of dealing with each category of offender to reduce reoffending, then we will reduce crime without needing to spend more!  Win-Win!

You can see more about his campaign on the Thames Valley Police website at https://www.choosemypcc.org.uk/area/thames-valley

Finally, on June 23rd we have the big one – the referendum on whether to Remain In the EC or to Leave the EC.  You can see the Lib Dem party comment on this here.  After the Council elections, we’ll put more on this website about the issues for Milton Keynes.