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

Walton Grange Water Treatment Plant

MSD, the company opposite Walton Grange, are intending to start the further development of their land.  Cllr Jenni Ferrans and a local resident went to see the site and got more explanation of what they are planning.  You can see a diagram here, or the plans on the MK Council website here and search for 15/00385/FUL.

  • A new small water treatment plant will replace the existing one on the site.  It will be fully contained.  The waste water is piped into sealed tanks, and treated.  That is the same way that it operates at the moment and there was no odour standing just outside the tank shed.  The existing pump can’t be heard or felt even 2 metres away, let alone across the road in a building, so there should be no disturbance from that. The new one will be similar.
  • The existing glass crusher is not moving from its present site, or changing. But they are to fit a canopy over the top. So there will be no disturbance from that
  • A new access road within the site is to start to help reduce congestion on the main road.  They will do more work within the site once the first changes are done, that should reduce the queues significantly.  It won’t change the amount of traffic along Hulwell Gate.
  • A new small visitors parking area will normally only be used in office hours and gives them only a few more spaces than at present.
  • A loading/unloading bay will only be used to deliver chemicals to the treatment tank: one vehicle once a fortnight during office hours.

Both Cllr Ferrans and the resident agreed that there should be no impact on residents apart from the loss of the green field view. Sadly, since the whole area is designated as industrial, there is no protection for that.

Update: the plans were approved in summer 2015 and work will start in November/December 2015.

Rubbish Collections – Ooops!

Rubbish collection dates are a day later than usual this week as the service catches up after the Bank Holiday.

Monkston’s collection will be on Wed 7th  (Note NOT 8th as in Focus – sorry!)

The other estates in Monkston ward will be on Thurs 8th.

Next week they return to the usual days of Tuesday and Wednesday.

Labour’s Savage Budget Cuts

Car drivers, bus users, young, old, those with disabilities
– all will pay the price in Labour’s proposed budget cuts!

What are they proposing?
Parking charges up to £2 an hour. More spaces, but much higher car parking charges.
Some night time and Sunday bus services will disappear. Young people and pensioners face higher bus fares.
Even fewer people eligible for Council housing as they want to change the rules.
MK Citizens Advice Bureau faced with closure. Local charities, like those that help the blind and help the young homeless may vanish for ever.
Children’s Centres, Youth Clubs, Community Centres – all are on Labour’s ‘hit list’.
No more black bin bags, and higher charges for special collections.

And what are they proposing spending money on?
Spending millions on new furniture and new computers for their offices.
More money on senior staff and “away days” for staff.

The Liberal Democrats want to save our crucial services for the disadvantaged and disabled. Keep critical voluntary services that help all. And not hit car drivers or bus users.

Cutting the Cost of Housing

Home buyers in Milton Keynes will pay on average £392 less in Stamp Duty.  The new system – announced in the Coalition Government’s Autumn Statement – is based on a long-standing Liberal Democrat policy and will reduce the cost of moving house, especially for 1st time buyers.

Broadband Comes Closer to Walton Grange

Broadband took a step closer last week when BT finally decided on action.  They have not solved the software problem to install fibre-to-cabinet, so they will be attempting to install fibre-to-premises for all occupied homes that want it.  Read this leaflet for more details.

Now we need your help.  BTOpenreach provide the cabling for fibre, irrespective of who your service provider is.  Now they need to know the number of people who genuinely want fibre on Walton Grange so that they can put in nodes with enough capacity – so please follow this link and email Jenni on [email protected] with the information requested on the form at the end of the leaflet.

If you got the leaflet around lunchtime on Sunday, we missed a question out!  Please let Jenni know who your current internet provider is, as that’s one of the compulsory questions BTOpenreach ask in order to register you.


H9 Closure

Roadworks close the H9 till Spring 2015The H9 will be closed near Kingston roundabout until spring 2015 while a new underpass is constructed underneath it. The underpass will serve new housing beyond the roundabout.
The road is still open from the V11 as far as the entrances to the houses in Wavendon Gate, and the businesses in Brinklow.

The roadworks are causing queues on the V11.  Please remember to leave room for people to cross the V11 into and out of estates.  Thank you.

Fibre Delayed for Walton Grange

Walton Grange residents say what they think!

Walton Grange residents say what they think!

Sorry about the lateness of this update.

Just a few weeks after residents celebrated success after BT planned to install fibre in Walton Grange this summer, they were disgusted by the news that BT had put the plan back to next year!

Thanks to all the residents who turned out and emailed to make the point to BT that Walton Grange needs broadband.
It helped – when we met with BT a couple of weeks later, they certainly knew about Walton Grange’s plight!

At first no explanation was given.  But now BT have explained that the software routing broadband signals cannot cope with the cabinet connecting to both fibre-to-cabinet and fibre-to-premises!

Cllr Jenni Ferrans commented “This is a fundamental limitation that will affect many outlying areas, and should have been dealt with years ago.  BT have said that they are trying to overcome it.  They need to succeed – quickly!”

Residents in Walton Hall and parts of Walnut Tree are also affected by this problem.  The Focus team is helping  residents to keep the pressure up on BT!

Top Class Apprenticeships in MK

Since 2009 the Lib Dems have been encouraging apprenticeships – first in Milton Keynes, and then after 2010, across the country.  Modern apprenticeships provide flexible training while you earn, giving students between one and seven years of high quality training backed up by practical experience.

Now one of our local companies has contacted us asking for help publicising vacancies in Kingston.  Please contact them if you are interested.


Milton Keynes’ top young people needed for unique vacancy

Remit Training is offering two lucky young people in Milton Keynes an amazing opportunity to get into the automotive sector.

Remit is working alongside Sytner Mercedes Benz, based on Grey Friars Court in Kingston, to offer two young people the chance to be Sales Apprentices with the biggest retailer of prestige cars in the UK.

The roles offer the candidates a chance to gain nationally recognised qualifications and be fully-employed from day one, as well as a chance to get valuable work experience.

But this is no ordinary apprenticeship. Sytner is offering the young people who take up the opportunity the chance to earn £12,000 per year with a further earning potential of up to £3,000 bonus paid on achievement of the qualification after two years.

This is one of the highest-paid available apprenticeships in the country, and the high quality training delivered by Remit Training, Sytner, and Mercedes-Benz, will provide any young person with a CV to be proud of.

Steve Barker, Sales and Marketing Director for Remit, said: “An apprenticeship is always a fantastic route into work, not only providing you with employment, but the opportunity to build your skills, knowledge and experience, while achieving nationally recognised qualifications.

“This apprenticeship of course offers even more, with an excellent starting salary rarely seen in apprenticeship circles, and the opportunity to work for a multi-national company, with fantastic opportunities for career progression.”

This is one of the more elite apprenticeships available. Those applying for the Milton Keynes positions must have a valid UK driving licence and grades A-C in GCSE Maths and English and be educated to A Level standard which may include an NVQ, BTEC National or Diploma level qualification.

Steve added: “There will be a lot of young people in Milton Keynes thinking about their future right now, and I would encourage those who might be interested to contact us straight away to find out more.”

Remit works with more than 4,000 apprentices across the country, the majority in the automotive industry. It also works with young people in the IT, hospitality, health and social care, customer service and business administration sectors.

To apply, please contact Remit on 0845 8399 200 or visit the website: http://www.remit.co.uk/vacancies/.