Normally we’d knock on hundreds, if not thousands of doors each year to find your issues and views. But this year, we can’t do that because of COVID restrictions, so please take our survey to let us know what you think needs doing. Thank you.
Homes For The Future
All rough sleepers were oﬀered homes during lockdown, and MK Council continues to house them, but with high rents and lost jobs the number are going to increase. Jenni Ferrans, Lib Dem spokesperson on Housing has been talking about what is happening in MK.
Jenni says “We have managed to house everyone and keep them safe, and we are supporting the few who refuse to come in or to obey basic rules to keep people safe, and now we’re moving to provide longer term help and accommodation for those whose mental health problems etc. need more work. But the homeless keep coming – with family homes overcrowded during lockdown, the stress of the pandemic causing relationship breakdown, and some landlords still evicting people. So the work goes on.
“For people who have homes, rents are so high, they are causing poverty, even among those who are still in work, so we have to work with landlords to help keep them down. This is essential to help reduce Child Poverty and improve mental health for everyone. “We’re also building more council housing and I’m pleased the Liberal Democrats are supporting new building projects, but it is the tip of a very big iceberg. We will keep the pressure on to get people a roof over their head and one they can aﬀord to keep. We need developers to build the sort of homes MK people need and can aﬀord” Jenni added.
Jenni Ferrans got bins at Queensbury Lane flats cleared after it became a very smelly problem! Please report any missed collections promptly on the Council website and leave your bins out for a day or two for SERCO to empty them.
Vanessa McPake has fought hard to retain our bus services at present, but if passenger numbers don’t recover, the Council will be forced to make cuts. Subsidies are costing MK Council £3M a year. Vanessa says “Our local bus companies are enforcing the precautions and buses are pretty safe – sometimes safer than taxis – so please use them if you can – and wear a face covering!”
The Conservative Government are proposing big changes to the Planning System – and we think they will damage Milton Keynes. The changes include:
- Most local planning policies will go. Government policies will apply. This is a real threat to MK’s unique design.
- Money for infrastructure will be set nationally irrespective of local needs.
- Housing targets and affordable housing will be calculated by the Government. MK’s level is likely to drop – more people homeless
- Planning committees will largely be abolished. Residents and councillors will have no opportunity to object to most planning applications.
If you object to this please respond to the “Planning for the Future” consultation, and also complain to your MP at www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-an-mp-or-lord
In the meantime, they have brought in changes allowing people to build an extra storey onto their home, office or shop, among several other things, without planning permission – so no objections allowed!
Leo and Vanessa reported several pavements blocked by trees after storms. Please let us know if there are any more.
The all-wheelie bin trial will start at the end of October in parts of Monkston (Lilleshall Ave area) and Monkston Park (including the Goldhawk Road area). “Residents affected will receive letters and bins soon. There are special bags to use if you are in a block of flats with Euro bins” said Vanessa McPake. There will also be a consultation about it for ALL residents.
Did you know that if you put the wrong thing in a clear recycling sack, the whole lorry load may be rejected? And it costs MK Council taxpayers a million pounds a year! The most common things that shouldn’t go in clear sacks are:
- Food – in your green bin please
- Glass – blue boxes
- Electrical items, textiles, household goods – black sacks
- Nappies, baby wipes etc – black sacks
- Face coverings and PPE – black sacks
- Wet paper or card – black sacks
And if you use Eurobins, don’t put your black sacks in the recycling bin please!
If you’re not happy about the precautions being taken, or you’re under pressure to break the rules, or to tolerate others doing so, please report it to the Council on [email protected]
As we go into lockdown again, we won’t be able to deliver Focus but the Focus team will continue to update you via email. If you want to receive these emails, please send us your email address.