When you go to your polling station this week you will see that, aside from the elections, residents of Milton Keynes are also being asked to decide whether or not to adopt the CMK Business Neighbourhood Plan. The Plan, in case you havn’t heard about it, is a new document that will, if adopted, act as a guide for how developments in Central Milton Keynes and Campbell Park should be designed over the next decade.
This Plan has not been prepared by MK Council but by a voluntary alliance of local businesses and community groups over a two-year period, with public involvement throughout. If passed, it will act as a blue-print for developing CMK over the next 10 – 15 years. A core policy is to retain the original, successful layout of CMK with its tree-lined boulevards, open spaces and safe pedestrian routes. Other policies support a major university, new community and sports facilities, new public transport shuttle service, Market Hall and civic square
You can view a summary document here or see the full plan here. We really encourage you to take some time reading about this plan and deciding if it’s something you want to vote for or against.
A group of Beanhill residents, with support from their Community Mobiliser, are organising a community-led clean up day on the estate on Wednesday 13th of May.
A number of local residents are volunteering their time to organise the event, hoping to get as many of their neighbours involved on the day as possible.
Beanhill Action Group and Community & Events Group are also getting behind the initiative to help make it a success.
Both Woughton Community Council and Serco, the cleaning contractor on the estate, have offered their support and will be providing the necessary tools, including litter-pickers.
The Community Life Champion at the local Asda store has also committed to supporting the initiative, donating a £20 food shopping voucher, which will be drawn by the volunteers on the day.
Moorlands Children’s and Community Centre is also supporting the event. The volunteers will meet at the centre after cleaning the streets to have a well-deserved cup of tea and a snack!
The aim of this initiative is to get the local residents together in a joint action that will help to tidy up the badly affected spots on the estate as well as highlight the ongoing environmental issues in Beanhill, including fly-tipping and dumped rubbish. The residents want to take action to send a clear message to the whole of the estate: that a joint effort can help towards making and maintaining Beanhill as a tidy, friendly and desirable place to live.
Local residents in Beanhill have already been initiating some great ‘green’ projects on the estate, like this flower & plant bed and bug-box:
This community-driven clean event is a sign of a strong community spirit in Beanhill and the fact that the local residents do care about the cleanliness of their estate.
“I hope this initiative will bring the community together and let people know we want a nice clean area. I also hope it will encourage people not to fly tip, but to ask for help with rubbish removal, and encourage residents to help one another”, said Laura Nash, the event’s coordinator, who has also volunteered as a Community Champion in Beanhill.
Any residents wishing to get involved, including those living in the neighbouring estates, can join in on Wednesday 13th of May – the volunteers will be meeting at 9.30am outside Moorlands Centre.
Sarah Dean is the Chairperson of the West Bletchley Action Group. The Community Mobiliser supported the group to become constituted in September 2013. Since then the group have been supported to apply for funding and have run a variety of skill sharing workshops, such as pottery and bread making. Sarah was asked a few questions about the community mobiliser and the impact this had had on her and the rest of the group…
What made you volunteer?
Sarah was keen to see more going on in West Bletchley and wanted to take a proactive role in getting involved and making things happen.
We supported Sarah to become a constituted group along with several other members of the community as she wanted to run community projects.
How did the community mobiliser help you to volunteer?
Mim has pointed me in the right direction- supported me to get funding, connected me to other groups, helped me to access Community Action: MK 1:1 support around laws and regulations etc. She has been my back up. I would never have known where to start. she has supported me and pointed me in all the right directions.
What happened next?
We started the group last September, West Bletchley Action Group, for skills based learning, pottery, bread making and activities for all ages.
How did that make you feel?
Having someone like Mim to call and ask to pop round, or call with a question, is so important.
You need a pat on the back sometimes, you do fail sometimes and it can be disheartening but Mim focuses you on the positive and gives you the encouragement to keep going. I don’t know what I would have done without her!
I wouldn’t have done it without Mim. I wouldn’t have known where to start. There is no manual for this stuff. A Community Mobiliser like Mim says ‘I don’t know but I will find out’ and she always comes back with an answer. Lots of people don’t know about any of this stuff, and don’t realise they can do it.
Enjoyed taking part in the phone survey as it has been her way to give back to Mim and the CM’s, people often moan but they don’t say thank you enough- SO THANK YOU!
What are you looking forward to in the future?
We took part in the MKCF Car Raffle to raise funds and we are now working with West Bletchley Council to run a Craft Fair/Farmers Market in the fifth weekend of the summer holidays. All funds from the Fair/Market will come back into the WAG, and Community Action: MK have supported me in learning the laws and regulations around Food Hygiene and other things to do with the event.
Moorlands Children’s and Community Centre has a new and exciting addition to its already busy calendar of events and activities.
The local residents have set up a new knitting and crafts group and proudly called themselves: ‘Creative Stitches’.
Residents involved in creating the group have described it as an opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to unleash their creativity, spend time with fellow residents and, most importantly, develop new skills.
A number of residents offered their time, skills and even materials to make the initiative successful.
At the first meeting the group facilitators printed out some useful patterns and guidelines for the beginners. The more experienced knitters were helping those new to knitting by showing them techniques and patterns. All this was accompanied by interesting conversations (and a lot of laughs!) as well as tea/coffee and cakes!
Creative Stitches will be meeting every Tuesday 4-5PM at Moorlands Children’s Community Centre: Dodkin, Beanhill, MK6 4LP.