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.

Exhibition about Plans for Walton Manor

The plans for the Walton Manor development, west of Walton Grange, between the H9 and Simpson Road, will go on display at SNAP in Bourton Low, Walnut Tree, on Wednesday 28th November, from 4pm to 8pm so that you can comment before the application is finalised.

The development will comprise up to 174 homes, and a much needed play area for the area.  A few homes will be accessed off Simpson Road, Walton Park, and the rest from Groveway, where we understand that a new roundabout is proposed at the OU junction.

You can see the brief the developers were given here – but they are free to propose other layouts if they want.

Please have a look and let us know of any concerns so that we can argue for changes.  Thank you.

Walnut Tree Pavilion – Consultation Thurs 8 November 6-7.30 pm at SNAP

MK Council are consulting on proposed changes at Walnut Tree Pavilion.
The Pavilion has been vandalised repeatedly, and currently the toilets are out of action, which means teams can’t use it for practices.  It’s not viable to keep it going unless something is done to protect it.  Now the Council is proposing to erect a fence around the Pavilion, as has been done round several others, to protect the building, without interfering with public use of the car park and the playing fields.  See the document attached.

After that, the Council and Hertsmere Leisure who run it would like to know whether there are any more improvements that you want to help you to make better use of the pavilion  – so please let them know!

They are holding an exhibition where you can ask questions at SNAP in Bourton Low on Thursday 8th November from 6-7.30pm.  Or you can read the document here, and reply by email to the address given.

Please have your say by 15th November!

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 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.

Developments near Walton Grange

The MK Local Plan designates the area around Walton Grange for development, and a number of plans and development briefs have been prepared that will shape the developments.  This article gives you an overview, with links to more information about each part.  It will be updated as things change.

The phase 1 plans (see below) are now out for consultation, until 25th October, so have your say!

Overview

A planning brief defines the development opportunities and constraints and suggests a broad general shape that the development might follow.  For larger developments, Outline plans and Reserved matters (the rest of the detail) then follow, while for smaller developments, we go straight to a detailed plan.  Both the development brief and the plans are consulted on, so you have the chance to express your views.  However, it’s important to understand that what the Council is allowed to insist upon, and sometimes even what they are allowed to propose, is limited by planning law.

The area around Walton Grange is divided into two: the area currently owned by MSD, the company opposite across Hulwell Gate, and the area currently owned by MKDP, the Council’s development arm.

The MKDP land

The MKDP area, known as Walton Manor, was the subject of a Development Brief consultation last year.  If you want to see what was consulted on, then please click here, and search for the keywords Walton Manor.   The brief was delayed for a variety of reasons, and extra technical information has led to a change.  The new version is being prepared at present, and will be published soon.  We will update this article when it comes out. We’re not expecting any plans until well into 2016.

The MSD Land

MSD also want to develop their existing land, in three phases.

Phase 0 covers the land immediately across Hulwell Drive in front of the flats on Walton Grange.  The plan is to build a very small water treatment plant (basically relocating one they already have), together with a small visitors car park, and a row of landscaping by the road to screen it a little from the flats.  You can see the information we put out on it here.

Phase 1 will include building a new small production plant (to replace an existing one) on the land further in beyond the treatment plant, with landscaping to screen it, and extensions to the car parks near the V10.  They will also add an extra lane to the HGV access within the site, so that vehicles can queue there, and not on Hullwell Gate.  See our leaflet for more details and search for plan 15/02293/FUL on the Council’s website here.  The planning application is out for consultation until 25th October 2015, so please get your comments in, and let us know if you still have any questions.  We have obtained mock-up views of the plant from outside the Abells Close flats and the Harley Drive flats.

Phase 2 will cover two more buildings within their site, and a new large car park near the H9 and access from the H9.  That may reduce traffic on Hulwell Gate.  They have not finalised the planning application yet, so there is nothing to see, but they will do so soon and we will update this article when they do.  The leaflet describes a little more about the phase 2 intentions.

No Local GP?

The Focus team at Walnut Tree surgery where expansion is desperately needed

The Focus team at Walnut Tree surgery where expansion is desperately needed

Many people locally can’t register for a GP or NHS Dentist, or have to wait ages for appointments.  The Focus team is calling on NHS England to make more provision available either in Monkston ward, or on the estates immediately next to our homes.

NHS England have now confirmed:

  • Not to expand either MK Village or Walnut Tree surgeries to take new patients
  • to close Broughton Gate surgery and open a new “super-surgery” at Brooklands
  • to send all new patients to that surgery – near Junction 14
  • Walnut Tree surgery to get help to shorten GP waiting times – for those who’ve been able to register there!

We know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of local people, particularly in Monkston, Monkston Park, Kents Hill and Walton Grange, who have not been able to register at either Walnut Tree or MK Village.  This means drastically increased journeys for them, with no direct bus, when they are ill.

If you want to protest about this, and to ask for MK Village and Walnut Tree surgeries to be expanded, and more dentist provision to be made available locally, please:

We have to keep the pressure up on this!  We will be taking your complaints to meetings of the MK Health and Wellbeing Board, so please get lots of signatures!

Election Result 2015

Thank you to all the voters who supported us in the recent MK Council elections.
Sadly, it wasn’t enough and we lost to the Conservatives.  The full result was:

Andrew Buckley (Conservative)  2373
Matt Drewett (Liberal Democrat) 1486
Kathryn Colgrave (Labour)          1326
William Leahy  (Green party)         373
Turnout was 61.89%

Vanessa McPake and Jenni Ferrans continue as councillors and the Focus Team will continue working for you. Thank you again to all who supported us.

Across MK Council, the seats are now as follows:

Party              Seats Now     Change

Labour            23 seats          -2
Conservative  22 seats         +4
Lib Dem          12 seats          0
UKIP                 0 seats         -1
Vacant              0 seats         -1