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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Jenni Ferrans listens to the noise across Caldecotte Lake.
Residents in some parts of Walton Park have been hearing a lot more noise from the H10 recently – while others nearer the road are hearing nothing more than usual! The Focus team has looked into it. It is mainly due to the Parks Trust severely cutting back some trees, increased traffic and partly weather conditions leading to extra noise across the water.
Jenni checking out the site on Simpson Rd near St Bartholomews.
Cllr Jenni Ferrans has arranged for a new dog bin to be put at this key redway junction in Simpson Road, Walton Park, as so many dog users go across to the lake. And the dog bin at the entrance to the lake near Wadesmill Lane will be replaced by a larger one. She has used some of her councillor’s budget to pay for them. Thanks to Walton Community Council who agreed to install them and – very importantly – to empty them!
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 includingKents Hill Park Primary.
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!
There have been reports over the last few weeks of a dangerous dog accompanied but off the lead. This is attacking other dogs, and sadly, occasionally people, around CaldecotteLake and on Walnut Tree. The dog is a black and white heavy-set dog. If you witness an attack of this sort, please ring the police immediately. It DOES warrant 999. Unless the Police can catch the owners, they can’t take action.
Please remember that ALL dogs should be kept on leads when on paths. Dogs who jump up at people can be a danger, even if they are friendly and well-behaved.
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.
Our 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!
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.