Launch of Our MK

Our MK website ready for collaboration!

Our MK, a new collaborative website designed for sharing ideas on how to transform Milton Keynes into a smarter, greener place to live, was showcased at the launch event held at Transport Systems Catapult on Wednesday 23rd September.

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Launched as part of the city-wide project, MK: Smart, it’s a platform for all people living in Milton Keynes who want to have their say in shaping the future of our city. Individual citizens as well as existing groups can share their ideas through the website and apply for up to £5K funding to run projects beneficial for the city’s transport, energy, water, health and environment. The main aim for the website is to generate exciting and tangible citizen-led projects in Milton Keynes.

The launch event, with cheese & wine, was organised by the Citizen Innovation team, one of the eight workpackages of the MK:Smart project.

We were delighted to see a number of MK citizens and representatives of local organisations, groups and businesses, keen to find out more about this local initiative. Many of them shared their ideas with us at the event – by leaving comments at our ‘inspiration station’ and expressed their eagerness to be part of Our MK by running or helping to run local projects.

Robbie Macpherson, Chief Operations Officer at Community Action: MK, who has been working on the MK:Smart project from its inception said:

Great to meet so many enthusiastic people – many with ideas and some wanting to volunteer and help others, develop their ideas and deliver projects. A real buzz, and a “great gig”. 

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The event featured presentations from the key people behind the MK:Smart project, including members of the Our MK team at Community Action: MK and the Open University, who explained the concept of and the core objectives behind the smart cities initiative.

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The real highlight of the event was a talk from Michael Sheppard – MK citizen, teacher and a keen activist involved in a number of local initiatives, including Transition MK and the MK Green Party.

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Michael has just been announced as the winner of the first round of Our MK funding competition and was telling the audience about his plans for the innovative project related to off-grid solar lighting. You can visit Michael’s page on Our MK to find out more about his project and you can also sign-up to our monthly newsletter to receive updates on how Michael’s progressing in the coming months.

Our MK Competition

If, like Michael, you have an innovative and impactful idea for a project that could be run in MK, visit Our MK and find out more about our Citizen Ideas Competition, and your chance to win up to £5K of funding. See more information about the application process here:

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To explore further and sign up to our Drop-In Sessions at which we will provide you with support & advice for your project idea, please click here.

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Draft CMK Transport & Parking Strategy – drop in

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A drop-in session has been arranged on Wednesday 28th October 2015 as part of the consultation process on the draft CMK Transport & Parking Strategy. This session has been arranged at the Civic Offices Room 2 from 10:00am to 12:30pm. There will not be a formal presentation, however council officers will be on hand to answer any questions on the draft strategy.

The draft strategy document can be viewed on the council website at: http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/streets-transport-and-parking/cmk-draft-tps

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Volunteering levels remain healthy in Milton Keynes

Volunteering levels remain healthy in Milton Keynes

During August, Community Action: MK registered 82 new volunteers, 4 new organisations and 20 volunteering opportunities.

We currently have 355 volunteering opportunities with local charities and community groups registered on the Do-it website.

If you need any help to design a programme, recruit and retain your volunteers, please get in touch with us via volunteering@communityactionmk.org or call 01908 661623.

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Western Expansion Area Public Exhibition – 8th October

We invite you to come along to a public exhibition about the Western Expansion Area, MK’s biggest new development. Once complete, the WEA will be home to around 18,000 new residents and 6500 homes. Pop along to our exhibition at the Kiln Farm Club to speak to those involved in this new development and see the plans for the area.
Copy of WEA exhibition poster

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Advice to small charities on pension auto-enrolment

Practical guidance for small organisations on how they can prepare for pensions auto-enrolment regulations has been published by Charity Finance Group.

The publication aims to support the estimated 20,000-plus charities due to be auto-enrolling their staff between 1st January 2016 and 1st April 2017, with advice on how to prepare, implement and build processes. It urges them to plan early and budget for additional costs created by auto-enrolment. Click here for more.

Via Voluntary News

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Top prizes up for grabs in exclusive MK energy trial

You could win a UHD TV by changing your energy habits 

Are you prepared to re-think the way in which you use electricity and gas? Samsung is running an energy trial exclusively for Milton Keynes residents and only 90 households will be selected to take part. These people will have the chance to win a top-of-the-range Samsung appliance or TV (amongst many other prizes). MK residents can take-part as an individual household, or increase their chances of winning by inviting friends and family (only one application per household).

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What’s in it for the participants?
  • Be part of a ground-breaking trial which will revolutionise the way people think about energy;
  • Benefit from innovative new energy web apps and tools being developed by Samsung;
  • Earn prizes for you and your friends/family (top prize of a top-of-the-range Samsung appliance or TV; other prizes for all participants).
How does it work?

Eligible participants who apply now will have equipment installed in their homes in the next few weeks which will record when and how they use energy.

The state-of-the-art sensor equipment will be installed at five plug sockets and gas/electricity meters and an energy monitoring hub will send data to Samsung about participants’ energy consumption via their Wi-Fi router.

The trial is taking place as part of the MK:Smart project, which is an Open University-led project working to make Milton Keynes a smarter city. The data collected will be curated in the MK Data Hub located in Central Milton Keynes.

In the New Year Samsung will provide a web portal for those taking part. There is no need to change energy provider to participate in the trial, but participants are free to do so if they wish. The scheme will not affect the rate participants pay their supplier for their energy.

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For further details or to register for the trial visit www.mksmart.org/samsung

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Public consultation on plans to merge Bletchley and Great Holm Fire Stations, and creation of blue-light hub

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Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority has launched a public consultation into a proposal to merge Bletchley and Great Holm Fire Stations in Milton Keynes and create a blue-light hub station at West Ashland. The consultation runs from 10am on Monday 14 September 2015 to 10am on Monday 9 November 2015.

Under the proposal, all existing fire engines and other resources at Bletchley and Great Holm Fire Stations would be relocated to the new hub station.

Click here for more detail on the proposal

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