Community Transport

Community Transport for the elderly and disabled under threat from Conservative cuts

Community Transport for the elderly and disabled under threat from Conservative cuts

There has been a partial success on the PlusBus Community Transport service. Although the Liberal Democrat amendment to MK Council’s budget to save the PlusBus service in its current form was voted down by Conservative and Labour Councillors, your pressure helped force them to  add £200,000 to the budget to fund the transition of the service. So, although ultimately the service will be reduced current users will be protected by transitional arrangements for some time.

The Council will be devising plans for the new service, and any restrictions on its use, over the summer – so watch this space!

Make it Safe for our Kids!

This was the only "safe" footpath out of Walton Grange!

This was the only “safe” footpath out of Walton Grange!

“What a mess”, that was the verdict of the Lib Dem Monkston Focus team when they recently visited the temporary footpath out of Walton Grange. “We have had many new developments in our area but we have never seen such a mess!”, continued the Focus team.

The temporary footpath is the only safe way out of the estate to walk to school, go shopping, get onto the redways to cycle and for many dog walkers. It leads into Beales Lane.

But at present, with the latest houses being built, the builders’ contractors have managed to dump rubble and mud along the footpath so that it is very dangerous. And there were lorries and dumper trucks manoeuvring round and parked across the entrance!

The Lib Dems have complained to the developers in the strongest terms and have been told they will ensure pedestrians can get through. We wait to see!

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Subhan Shafiq said: “As a new dad, I could not have got my pram up this footpath. It is a disgrace and dangerous for kids.  Why is the Council allowing this to go on?”

SUCCESS! The path surface was compacted again and properly fenced and the material store moved within a few days.

Street Light Fiasco

Street lights come on again in Monkston Park thanks to Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Subhan Shafiq

Street lights come on again in Monkston Park thanks to Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Subhan Shafiq

The Lib Dem Focus team discovered that the contractor engaged by the Tory-run Council to fi street lights has been fixing them wrongly – and there was a FOUR MONTH backlog as a result!

Residents in Monkston Park asked for help before Christmas when one in 5 of their street lights were out – and they were getting no response from MK Council! We reported all the lights, and chased up to find out what was happening.  at last, thanks to our pressure, the Conservative-run MK Council has got on top of their contractor and nearly all are now repaired.

UPDATE: after continuing problems, hitting Kents Hill and Walnut Tree among other estates, the Council changed contractor recently. Let us know if you have problems with the new contractor! Any lights not working or flashing, or on during the day should be fixed within 3 weeks of your reporting them to MK Council.

Plans Approved for Bedgebury Place, Kents Hill

MK Council has passed the plans for 40 new homes at Bedgebury Place, Kents Hill. Work should start in April with residents arriving in
2015.  Discussions with the developers led to a reduction of the number of houses facing onto Tunbridge Grove, and safety improvements to the road, as well as contributions to buses and schools.

Cllr Jenni Ferrans said “This was an example of developer consultation at its best.  The developers put on an exhibition and publicised it well, and attended the Parish Council too.  They were then very willing to work with us to make the changes that residents wanted.  We didn’t get all of them – there is still more tandem parking than we want – but it’s much improved as a result.  Well done Bellways!”

Bellways are hoping to start work in August 2014 and complete by November 2015.


Grit Bin Success – but not yet!

THANK YOU to all the residents who signed our petition to save grit bins.  We’ve WON!

Following the LibDem campaign right across Milton Keynes, the Conservatives backed down from their proposal to stop grit bins this week.  They have now allocated a small budget next year  – but it will have to cover both replacing damaged bins and adding new ones.

Vanessa McPake commented “The budget is not enough, it doesn’t start till April, and it stops after just a year, but at least its something.  Now we need to campaign to make sure OUR residents get the bins they urgently need!”

Following residents requests, the Focus team has asked for two more bins – both on steeply sloping roads – one in Canonbury in Monkston Park, and one in Bartholomews Close in Walton Park.  The Council have said, again, that we can’t have them at present! Please sign our petitions for these grit bins to let the Council understand how important they are!

Canonbury petition    Bartholomews Close petition

If you need grit for roads and footpaths in the meantime, then ask for a bag by contacting us, or MK Council on 01908 252353 or email [email protected].  If you need it for your driveways, it can be bought at local builders merchants.

Tory Council Threatens Transport for the Elderly and Disabled

Community Transport for the elderly and disabled under threat from Conservative cuts

Community Transport for the elderly and disabled under threat from Conservative cuts

MK’s Conservatives have confirmed their proposal to make huge cuts to the  Community Transport service (currently “PlusBus”).  Around two thirds of the elderly and disabled users will be excluded from the service.

Although the Council has to make £10M cuts, the Lib Dems have made clear to the Conservatives that they expect the most vulnerable people to be protected from the worst of the cuts.

Cllr Subhan Shafiq said: “This would imprison people in their homes.  It’s appalling while the Council continues to waste money.”

Please sign our petition and respond to the consultation  to let them know your views!  There are two consultations:

Budget Consultation 2014-15 – including a massive cut to the Community Transport budget
Consultation ends 15/2/2014

Future Provision of Adult Social Care and Supported Services Transport – specifically about the Community Transport
Consultation ends 28/2/2014

Broadband Speeds Up at Last (for most!)

Like many people Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Subhan Shafiq have fast broadband - but can you get it in your area?

Like many people Cllrs Jenni Ferrans and Subhan Shafiq have fast broadband – but can you get it in your area?

BT published its plans recently for the government-funded fibre project and it’s mixed news for our area.  Fibre is needed to get even moderately good speeds, not just fast and superfast, in our area (because we’re a long way from the telephone exchange and copper wire broadband slows down with distance), so this will benefit a lot of people and it’s really important that everyone gets the option.

Fibre-optic broadband will be available to most households in our area that want it by 31st March and most of the rest during 2014.  But a few will wait longer, and some may not get it at all on this project. The details we know at present are below.  

If you want to get fibre in your area, please:

  • Check the timetable below to see whether it should be available
  • Read our quick guide Fibre-intro which tells you what the options are and how to find out for (reasonably) sure what’s available
  • If it’s not available, take our survey and register your needs for broadband with us – we’ll pass the overall numbers on to BT and the Council
  • If you’re not satisfied with the timetable, contact us to help us campaign!


The Schedule

It’s important to note that the schedule is NOT guaranteed.  The work may prove easier or more difficult than expected, so the overall timetable may slip, or individual small areas may be moved between phases.  At present, the schedule is:

  • Phase 1: July – December 2014
  • Phase 3: January – June 2015
  • Phase 8: NOT fibre.  Some speed-up to 2mbps on copper cables – in 2016!
  • Flats anywhere: by negotiation with the owners of the building.  Please let Jenni Ferrans know if you need that resolved.

Kents Hill

  • All existing roads supposed to be covered by 31st March 2014
  • Except Bedgebury Place – discussions about to start


  • Most supposed to be covered by 31st March 2014, except:
  • Bridlington Crescent some of nos 1-9 and 2-22, and all of nos 11+ and 24+, Abbeydore Grove, Aylesford Grove, high numbers in Stanbrook Place, Tynemouth Rise, Leominster Gate, St Helen’s Grove to be covered in Phase 1.
  • The rest of Bridlington Crescent 1-9 and 2-22, Ealing Chase, Tewkesbury Lane, Woodspring Court, Penmon Grove to be covered in Phase 3
  • Blanchland Circle nos 75-171 and all even numbers and St Bartholomews odd numbers,  Brinkburn Place, Parkminster and Flaxley Gate to be covered in Phase 1
  • Lilleshall Ave, Chirbury Close, Boxgrove Close, Malton Close to be covered in Phase 1
  • Kilwinning Drive some already covered. Higher numbers of the rest and Waverley Croft to be covered in Phase 1.  The rest to be covered in Phase 3.  Exact split awaited!

Monkston Park

  • Most to be covered by 31st March 2014 except:
  • Part of Canonbury to be covered in Phase 1

Walnut Tree

  • Most to be covered by 31st March 2014 except:
  • Lichfield Down nos. 10-110 and 41-73 and Wadesmill Lane, Bourton Low, Caraway Close, Harebell Close, Rosebay Close, Coriander Court, Tamarisk Court, Khasiaberry, Nutmeg Close, Paprika Court, Hockliffe Brae, Spearmint Close, Twyford Lane, Meadowsweet and Camomile Court to be covered in Phase 1
  • Tamworth Stubb, Cinnamon Grove, Celadine Court, Sandbrier Close, Samphire Court, Berberis Close, Tatling Grove, Cloudberry, Tarragon Close, Twinflower, and part of Boxberry Gardens are in Phase 1.
  • Parts of  Walton Road, Boxberry Gardens, Pinfold, Honeysuckle Court will be covered in Phase 1, but parts are in Phase 8. Exact split on these awaited!

Walton Grange

  • Every street in Walton Grange is marked as split between Phase 1 and Phase 8.  We think that’s technically impossible – so we’re pressing for details!
  • New houses finished after the start of August will not necessarily be covered at all.
  • We’re campaigning for the whole estate to be cabled with at least fast broadband speeds – this is the part of the ward where copper cable speeds are lowest.

Walton Park

  • BT claim that fibre is available throughout Walton Park.  Please let us know if that’s not the case

Walton Hall

  • The houses near the OU are not mentioned at all – BT appear to have forgotten about them.  We’ve reminded them!  We’re waiting to hear.

Making our Paths Safe

The Focus team has been out and about getting dogs mess, leaves and branches removed from our local footpaths.  We want all to be safe and not to have to walk in the road.

If you spot any problems in your area do let the Focus team know as we will get it sorted out.

Vanessa McPake and Jenni Ferrans try to walk past the buses in Dunchurch Dale, Walnut Tree and near Maida Vale, Monkston Park

Vanessa McPake and Jenni Ferrans try to walk past the buses in Dunchurch Dale, Walnut Tree and near Maida Vale, Monkston Park