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A view onto new houses near Brooklands Meadow in the Eastern Expansion area
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Growth Gossip

June 2015

Welcome to the June edition of Growth Gossip. We have lots of exciting plans to share with you for work which will be happening over the coming months…

In the East: We are excited to have secured some funding from MK Community Foundation to run a pilot of our new training programme for residents living in the Eastern Expansion Area. This funding will allow us to deliver a series of workshops which build the residents’ skills and confidence in running community activities. At the end of these sessions, we will support residents to take action on their own - either volunteering, setting up groups, or running activities for their communities. Our longer term aim is to expand this programme across all the expansion areas so we have a ‘bank’ of skilled and confident residents who want to deliver activities in their neighbourhoods.  We will keep you posted as this pilot develops!

The second primary school and community centre in Brooklands are coming on well and are still on track to open in September 2015. For those of you who haven’t visited Brooklands for a while, you will be surprised how quickly things are moving along - housing is now up in Brooklands Meadow and they are also building houses which face onto Fen Street. I encourage you all to go and have a look!  

In the West: Many of you will have noticed the changes happening at the Western Expansion Area (off the V4). A new roundabout has gone in towards the Crownhill-end of the site. And in the site opposite Fullers Slade (called area 11), there are 2 houses nearly complete! Things are definitely starting to happen on the WEA so we are working with a local residents and officers at MK Council to put together an exhibition about the WEA and the plans for the area.  We will invite local residents, groups and stakeholders to find out more about the plans, talk to those involved in the development, and share their views.  We are currently in the very early stages of getting this exhibition together so will keep you up to speed with progress and what you can do to help.

In Tattenhoe Park we continue our arrivals visits to welcome new residents. We are also working with the local Parish Council (Shenley Brook End and Tattenhoe Parish Council) to run a ‘pop up’ activity on 25th June so residents can meet their neighbours and see what activities are happening in their area.

If you would like to know more about our work please contact us.

Happy Reading! 

Hannah M


Local Policy and Consultations

Sharing libraries - Have your say
Local residents are being invited to give their views on the future of libraries in Milton Keynes as part of a borough wide review that is seeking to make significant savings over the next three years. A series of discussion sessions will take place in the borough’s nine libraries for people to hear about some current proposals as well as put forward their own ideas on how they can support the libraries by sharing responsibilities and working together to use library buildings better and become more sustainable.
Sessions are taking place at the following dates and locations:
  • Bletchley Library; 6-7pm, Tuesday 23 June
  • Newport Pagnell Library; 6-7pm, Wednesday 24 June
  • Olney Library; 6-7pm, Thursday 25 June
  • Stony Stratford Library; 6-7pm, Monday 29 June
  • Wolverton Library; 6-7pm, Thursday 2 July
  • Central Library; 6-7pm, Monday 6 July
  • Kingston Library; 6-7pm, Tuesday 7 July
  • Woburn Sands; 6-7pm, Thursday 9 July
  • Westcroft Library; 6-7pm, Tuesday 14 July

Further updates will be made available shortly on the following link:

Ladbroke Grove Monkston Park Draft Development Brief Consultation
The Draft Development Brief aims to provide clear planning and design guidance for land at Ladbroke Grove Monkston Park. This guidance will assist selected developers to determine future planning applications for this area that reflect best practice as well as the aspirations of the landowner, Milton Keynes Development Partnership (MKDP), and other stakeholders.
Click here for information
Date of consultation: 13th April - 8th June

East West Rail Public Exhibitions
East West Rail is a major project to establish a strategic railway connecting East Anglia with Central, Southern and Western England. They are holding a series of public consultation meetings to cover the 33 crossings between Bletchley and Bedford. No decisions have been made regarding these crossings, so this is an ideal time for local residents and communities to understand initial proposals and have input into how these proposals are developed further. The remaining dates are:
  • 25th June - Bow Brickhill Village Hall  
  • 26th June - Woburn Sands Summerlin Centre
For information about the scheme visit the website.

Stantonbury neighbourhood plan area designation consultation
Milton Keynes Council has received an application for the designation of a neighbourhood area for the Parish of Stantonbury. Designating a neighbourhood area is the first regulatory step in the process of creating a neighbourhood plan, outlining the proposed area for which a neighbourhood plan will apply to. A neighbourhood plan is a community-led initiative which allows communities to create a vision and set out policies on the development and use of land in a parish or ‘neighbourhood area’.
Click here for information
Date of consultation: 13th May - 10th June

Change of date for Plan MK Vision Workshop
Due to a clash of dates with another Council meeting happening on 19th May, the Plan MK vision workshop has now been postponed until Thursday 11th June between 6pm and 9pm, and will now be held at the Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre.
The Plan MK team give their apologies for any inconvenience and ask that if you are able to join the postponed session please email them -

For a full list of council consultations, click here.

General News and Interesting Stuff

Engage MK Networking Event - Building Your E-Community
22nd June, 3 - 4.30pm at Bradwell Abbey

Social media is a key tool to help us make connections in our communities and reach a wider audience. We invite you to our networking event at Bradwell Abbey on Monday 22nd June from 3-4.30pm to get some top tips on using social media, and hear how local charity, Willen Hospice, use social media to reach new audiences.

Network with existing contacts and make new ones, and enjoy some yummy refreshments and a friendly atmosphere!

This event will benefit anyone working directly with communities.

Sign up using our eventbrite page or call 01908 661623.

Click here to book your place on the Engage MK Networking event

Destination Milton Keynes looking for volunteers
Destination Milton Keynes (DMK) will be opening a Visitor Information Centre in CMK shortly and are looking for volunteers who are passionate about MK and who want to take a pro-active role in promoting the city.
It is hoped that the VIC will be become a real focal point for visitors travelling to and staying in Milton Keynes for the Rugby World Cup which has inevitably put MK on the global map.
If you’re interested in volunteering please email for an application form. Volunteers must be over 18 years old.

Sew, Stick or Knit a Poppy for the Great War MK Project
The Arts and Heritage Alliance MK is looking for groups and individuals to create and donate poppies, to be added to a WW1 centenary banner.  Part of Westbury Arts Centre’s Banner Project, these banners will be included in an act of commemoration on 5th July at Campbell Park.  
To get involved: Find some fabric and cut out a poppy using the template provided on their website (or alternatively crochet or knit a poppy).  Embroidery or sparkle can be added, as well as the name of a relative or local person that was involved in WW1.  Photos of the poppies can be shared at or on Twitter using #GreatWarMK. Finally attach the slip from the Poppy Brief to the poppy and contact AHA-MK who will collect them. The deadline is 12 June 2015. Please contact Lallie for more information.

Arts Central Festival of Nations

After an immensely successful first year, the Festival of Nations is back on 30th July 2015. They are inviting performers, food and retail vendors, exhibitors, cultural groups and volunteers to get involved. Contact Arts Central to find out how you can support this event or like them on Facebook -

Walking With Giants Parade - 5th July
Walking with Giants is now the largest carnival in CMK which attracted an audience of over 10,000 in 2014. This year the parade will take place on 5th July. Visit the Festive Road website for information.

Celebrate National Picnic Week (13th - 21st June)
Celebrate National Picnic Week at the Midsummer Picnic Festival in the beautiful Fred Roche Gardens in Central Milton Keynes on Friday 19 June 2015 between 4-8pm. Bring along a picnic and enjoy some live music from local, talented musicians and support your local parks. Visit MK Community Foundation website for information.

National Bike Week - 13th - 21st June
During this year’s National Bike Week, MK Council want to celebrate all things ‘cycling’ and would like to see citizens get on their bike and spread the love of cycling! If you are planning an events, organised rides, or anything ‘cycling’ please contact them so they can pull together a list of what people can enjoy. So far there are 4 free Sky Rides (Local guided rides), MKC are holding a ‘Bike to Work Day’ on 16th June, and the OU are holding a ‘Bike to Work Day’ on 17th June. The final list of events will be created on 5th June so please share your ideas asap.

Tours of recycling centre
Free public tours are held on the first Thursday of the month between 6:30pm - 8:00pm. These tours are popular so booking is essential. (There is no Public Tour in August. For September please see Heritage Tour information). Visit the website for information.

RegenerationMK is MK Council’s programme that is focusing on providing our neighbourhoods with improved housing and public space, and supporting and empowering communities through increased skills and access to employment. To find out more visit their website.

Changes to parking in CMK
From 18th May, changes to parking in CMK have been introduced. Visit the website to find out more.

CMK Business Neighbourhood Plan
On 7th May, citizens of MK got to decide whether or not to pass the CMK Business Neighbourhood Plan in the first referendum of its kind. The referendum was passed which means the Business Neighbourhood Plan will now become part of the MK Development Plan, and together with the Council’s Core Strategy, will guide development in CMK (including the Campbell Park grid square) over the next decade or more. Visit the CMK Town Council website for information.

Locality Webinars
Locality are running a series of webinars on issues such as ‘community ownership and management of assets’, ‘neighbourhood planning’, ‘community buildings’ and ‘community enterprise’. Visit their website for more information.

Legal help around community buildings
New guidance on the law about buildings and land designed to help busy managers of community buildings has been published on the Building Assets website. The resource has been developed by Russell Cooke Solicitors, and should also be useful "for trustees and members of management committees and all in the sector who want to check or improve their understanding of the law in this vital area". Click here to visit the website.

Growing MK
Find details on the major development sites that are contributing the growth of Milton Keynes.

Green energy - how it benefits the environment and the bank balance
As I was looking about the web, I came across 2 Guardian articles. The first looks at how using green technology can help a country’s bank balance as well as its environment. And the second looks at some examples of green technology from around the world.  How can MK harness green technology to benefit our citizens?

Social Atlas dropped for 2015
The Social Atlas, compiled by MK Council’s MK Observatory, provided a snapshot of each estate in MK based on social indicators, such as life expectancy, crime stats and health. However this year the social atlas has been ‘put on hold’ due to a re-prioritisation of work. Some voluntary groups use this data to justify the need for project funding, so if you are stuck on how to evidence the need for your work, please contact the Community Action: MK’s Support and Development Team who can give you some alternative ideas to evidence a need (a vital part of any funding application).

Free support for your voluntary group available
By 2026 MK’s population is expected to grow by 20%! If you are part of a voluntary or community group you may find increased demand for your services, need to find new members or volunteers, or explore new ways to fund your work.  The Community Action: MK Growth Officer, Hannah, is here to talk to your group about how MK expansion may impact you, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. Please get in touch to see how we can help your group.

Funding available to help your community project
New and existing voluntary groups can benefit from up to £5000 of funding to provide services and activities in our city’s newest estates. Many groups have benefited from this grant so far including local scout groups, football clubs, summer activity programmes and community events. To apply contact the MK Community Foundation.

Support for Cooperatives
Community Action: MK are proud members of Co-operatives UK, the national body that campaigns for co-operation and works to promote, develop and unite co-operative enterprises.
Co-operatives are a flexible business model. They can be set up in different ways, using different legal structures, depending on what works for the members. The definition of a co-operative business is that they are owned and run by the members - the people who benefit from the co-operative's services. Although they carry out all kinds of business, all co-operative businesses have core things in common. Have a look at this video which explains a bit more about it all and then contact us for more information on or 01908 661623.
Copyright © 2015 Community Action: MK, All rights reserved.

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