Milton Keynes Council regeneration criticism continues as work brought in house

    Milton Keynes Conservatives leader Cllr Alex Walker has criticised Milton Keynes Council's handling of the regeneration of a number of housing estates across our city.

    Earlier this month, MKFM reported that the Council were planning major changes to their regeneration plans, including bringing a lot of the work in house from the previous YourMK group, a company set up around two years ago.

    But it now appears that YourMK as a group may not be the single issue which concerns residents who live on the affected estates, which include Beanhill, Coffee Hall, Fullers Slade, Netherfield, North Bradville, the Lakes Estate and Tinkers Bridge.

    A packed public gallery was present at Milton Keynes Council's cabinet meeting on Tuesday, with supporters and anti-regeneration campaigners who claimed that the problem for the lack of progress and engagement issues wasn’t just YourMK as a group, but also "the lack of direction and scrutiny from the Council".

    The Serpentine Court Steering Group in Bletchley had actually praised YourMK for their engagement process in their area as did the Fullers Slade Steering Group.

    Group members did did however express frustration with the Council's "strategic pause", which has meant there has been no progress on any areas of the project since February.

    The Council's handling of the regeneration of a number of estates in Milton Keynes have been incredibly controversial, and even led to the resignation of the chairman of the Fullers Slade Residents Committee last month.

    There was however some welcome news this week as the Council promised to hold the first ballot of the regeneration project for Serpentine Court in September.

    The decisions taken by the Cabinet will see the engagement process brought back from YourMK along with a management restructure and changes to the Council housing repairs and maintenance contract.

    Leader of the Conservative Opposition on Milton Keynes Council Cllr Alex Walker said: “There has been a lot of raised eyebrows at the Council’s decision to bring a significant chunk of RegenerationMK in-house. We have been given no guarantees that the Council have the ability to do it better."

    "Simply blaming YourMK for the failings of the project has not gone down well - the lack of leadership and direction from the Labour Cabinet has been the fundamental problem over the past year."

    “The changes will now be made and I really do hope the Cabinet heard the need for certainty. They need to make the engagement process a success, any more substantial changes will only cause more delays and a higher cost.”

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