Thursday, 6th April 2017
YMCA, 1 North 6th Street, Milton Keynes, MK9 2NR
The main discussion point for this meeting will be Plan:MK – the city plan for the future of Milton Keynes that is now out for public consultation.
At this months meeting we’re going to formulate our response to it based on two key aspects: Housing and the Sustainability.
According to MK People’s Assembly – the draft of Plan:MK aims to deliver new housing for the city’s growing population. This is something that is needed. Currently, though, houses available to buy on the private market are out of reach for the majority of people living in MK.
They are asking if “any new houses built be genuinely affordable for young people growing up in MK today, for example? Or will they be forced to make the choice between living with their parents/carers/friends indefinitely or moving away from their home?”
Creating a network of Community Energy Champions network in Milton Keynes
We are delighted to announce that we have teamed up with the Open University to deliver a pilot project in Milton Keynes that will focus on recruiting and training community members to become volunteer Energy Championsin their neighbourhoods and communities.
The project has been made possible thanks to the funding from the Natural Environment Research Council as part of their recent funding call on ‘Engaging the UK public with the big issues of environmental science’. The Energage project is one of 18 across the UK – click here to find out more about this funding initiative.
There is already a number of local volunteers who champion sustainable energy and environmental awareness in Milton Keynes, and we want to learn from their experiences. Further, we want to attract new people – anyone with an interest in energy and sustainability, and ways of helping their own communities be more sustainable is welcomed to get involved in the project, and is asked to please get in contact with Community Action: MK.
Carbon Conversations event run by Transition MK in 2015. Photo credit: Transition MK
The Energage project will develop a network of Community Energy Champions (COMECs) in Milton Keynes. One important part of the COMECs’ role will be to translate energy-based research from the Open University to the general public in a way that will help them find solutions that work to reduce their own carbon footprint. In return Open University researchers will learn better ways to engage the public with their research. This exchange of knowledge will occur through a series of co-creation workshops, facilitated by Community Action: MK.
Another important part of their role will be to grow the network through recruitment of new volunteers. Initial workshops will be followed by a ‘week of action’ in which COMECs will engage with the public. They will share their experiences amongst the community engagement specialists and Open University researchers. This pilot scheme is intended to be the start of longer term engagement between Open University energy researchers and the public.
Energage hope to build upon activities of the existing CAPE, Community Action Platform for Energy project at the Open University and lots of other energy-related initiatives across the city. The CAPE project aims to help reduce the carbon footprint of Milton Keynes by engaging the public with relevant data; it will also be linking homeowners identified as a good fit for energy saving measures (e.g. solar panels, loft insulation) with companies that can provide products, or to grant providers, such as the MK Council.
We will be actively promoting the project in the next few weeks and updating you about its further plans. If you are interested in getting involved, please click here to register your interest or contact Anna at Community Action: MK on:
We would like to wish all our friends in the Voluntary and Community Sector organisations in Milton Keynes as well as our members and partners a very Merry Christmas!
Thank you for all your support and collaboration this year. We very much look forward to working with you and supporting you in the New Year 2017, and continuing to promote the amazing work of our communities, voluntary organisations and volunteers!