Kents Hill Playing Fields – More Help Needed!

MK Council have invited community organisations to bid to take over the playing fields and the pavilion at Kents Hill.
But that’s not all.  They have also included the footpath, the basketball court, and the play area!
And now MK Council is also proposing changing the use of the field from football and general recreation, to just football!

The Council says this is to ensure better community use of the facilities.  The Focus team says it’s more likely to result in the facilities being closed to the general public!

Public access to Kents Hill playing fields is threatened

Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Vanessa McPake at the playing fields

MK Wanderers want to bid for the pavilion and playing fields – but they have no interest in the rest.
Residents want the public use of part of the playing fields to continue, as well as the basketball court, and the footpath – and MK Wanderers agree.

Cllr Jenni Ferrans says “If MK Wanderers have to take the lot – and pay for it’s upkeep, they will need to raise money.  And that could mean closing off of some of the facilities except when people pay.  And the Focus team has discovered that the footpath is not a right of way, so a future owner could close that too!  It’s important to understand that MK Wanderers DON’T WANT this!  They want to keep everything public.  They would like to take ownership of the fields and the pavilion, because that makes it easier for them to raise money for their upkeep, but they have no intention of closing anything to the public.

Help Needed
Thank you to the many people who have supported our application to make the footpath a public right of way.  The application has gone in, and we’ll let you know when the DCC committee are to hear it. If you’ve not given evidence, please sign our petition – and tell your friends and neighbours!

But we need more help.  MK Council are consulting on the Playing Fields Strategy – and that’s where they are proposing to make the fields for football only.  You can read the strategy here.  Please respond to the consultation and tell them whether you think the fields should be just for football or for general use, by 11th November – and tell your friends!

And beyond that, we need to safeguard the public use of the basketball court and the play area too.  So please sign our petition to let MK Council know how residents feel.

And please let your friends and neighbours know!

Landscaping Disaster

MK Council has formally admitted that they are months behind with cutting back the bushes and removing weeds and brambles – and that urgent jobs weren’t being prioritised and have waited for months. They are now promising to get the problem under control with a new contract and work on the helpline.  We’ve put in requests for over a dozen urgent jobs that are still waiting!

Your Lib Dem Focus team thanks local residents who are helping do the work which the Council should be doing!
In Beales Lane, Cllr Subhan Shafiq celebrated with the resident who had got the grass cut – but they have not cut the weeds!
And in Pyxe Court, Cllr Jenni Ferrans finds the street sign still invisible behind bushes.



Pigeons Again

Pigeon mess at Brecon Court underpassPigeons are now causing problems under the bridge off Brecon Court, Monkston (above).  Vanessa McPake has added it to list of problem bridges.

Sadly the new anti-pigeon netting we had installed in Birdlip Lane and Tewkesbury Lane was vandalised.  MK Council have told us they are reinstalling it in Tewksbury Lane, and having a general clean up of all 3 sites.

Landscaping Must be Improved

Cllr Jenni Ferrans is pressing MKDP to prune their trees on Monkston Park

Cllr Jenni Ferrans is pressing MKDP to prune their trees on Monkston Park

The Focus team has been walking the streets to check on the bushes, grass cutting and the weeds after a number of residents have complained.

On Kents Hill, Cllr Vanessa McPake disappeared under the weeds in Tunbridge Grove!
On Monkston Park, Cllr Jenni Ferrans could not walk down Queensbury Lane because of the overhanging trees and shrubs.

They have now asked that MK Council sort out the problems.  Cllr Vanessa McPake will be pushing the new Labour-run MK Council to get the weeding done and Cllr Jenni Ferrans will be pressing MK Development Partnership to maintain their reserved sites.

Vanessa disappears under weeds in Kents Hill

Vanessa disappears under weeds in Kents Hill

Where are our Pink Sacks?

The Focus Team with some well-used pink sacks!

The Focus Team with some well-used pink sacks!

Residents have been left angry, without pink sacks, after the Tory Cabinet left the system in chaos over the last few weeks.

First – the Council ran out of pink sacks just before the really busy DIY and clear-out weekend over Easter!

Second, the Tories directed outlets to “hide” pink sacks behind the counter making residents who want extra sacks queue up to get a roll!

Third, Cllr Jenni Ferrans discovered that libraries had decided it was taking too much staff time, and refused to stock the pink sacks!  Parish Councils experience far more demand as a result, and they too stopped stocking them.  Many areas of MK were left with no supplier at all!

Following pressure from Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Chris Williams, some libraries were directed to start stocking them again, so that there are now outlets in all areas.

Cllr Subhan Shafiq exclaimed “When the Lib Dems ran the Council we introduced the pink sacks.Now this Tory budget cut is putting recycling rates at risk, costing money in staff time and risking fines! This is madness!”

Cllr Vanessa McPake, Lib Dem spokesperson on the Environment committee is now asking the new Labour Cabinet to return to free unhindered access to pink sacks. She said ” One of our important polices to achieve high recycling rates was to make FREE pink sacks readily available so that there was no barrier to recycling.   The Government is now bringing in a higher target for recycling to ensure we meet international commitments.  It’s essential that residents can get pink sacks easily to achieve that!”

Next year’s pink sacks are due to arrive in August or early September.

Verdict: Failed!

Jenni and Subhan find the dangerous steps at Kents Hill Park.

Jenni and Subhan find the dangerous steps at Kents Hill Park.

Jenni Ferrans, Subhan Shafiq and Vanessa McPake undertook a major walk around the park in Kents Hill, near Sweetlands Corner.

And what did they discover? Broken steps, litter under bushes and broken blue fencing round the pond which Vanessa is getting fixed.

“Why don’t the Tory-run MK Council do their job and get things fixed?”, asked Cllr Shafiq.


Litter Problems – and Success!

Jenni Ferrans has got this rubbish cleared from Kilwinning Drive roundabout in Monkston.

Jenni Ferrans has got this rubbish cleared from Kilwinning Drive roundabout in Monkston.

Question: What happens when you get bushes cut back?
Answer: You expose the litter!

That is what Jenni Ferrans found when the brambles were cut back on the Kilwinning roundabout, Monkston. She has got the litter removed and has asked for the bushes to be replanted.

Vanessa McPake at the bin near the brook.

Vanessa McPake at the bin near the brook.


The MK Council litter bin by Caldecotte Brook grill, Walnut Tree, has been causing problems for months with litter overflowing and ending up in the Brook or all over Parks Trust land.

After a lot of lobbying, Vanessa McPake has at last got MK Council to check it 3 times a week and empty it when needed.
“This should save us a lot of problems and ensure our area is clear of litter” said Vanessa.