Cllr Peter Marland has written a letter for the MK Citizen thanking people for voting in the recent council elections and setting out the challenges facing Milton Keynes.
I am writing to thank everyone who voted in the council and European elections. Congratulations to all the candidates who were elected or who stood for election. It is an amazing privilege to represent people in this great city of ours. Labour spoke to over 15,000 people during the course of the council campaign, and I am sure other parties spoke to numerous people too.
For the first time in over a decade, Labour emerged as the largest party on MK Council. Now we have the opportunity to build a consensus in the borough on the priorities that can help secure a safer, fairer and more prosperous future for the city. Labour’s plan is to introduce a living wage for the council and its contractors, to build more affordable homes, fix our roads, improve public transport and help families with childcare costs. All issues that people spoke about on the doorstep time and again.
However we need to acknowledge that a large number of voters stayed at home and a significant number did not vote for the traditional three main parties. The common thread in both these facts is the level of disenfranchisement with politics. A large number of people in Milton Keynes feel alienated from representative democracy and the believe the future vision for Milton Keynes holds little for them. We can’t ignore this. For all the innovation and prosperity in the City, child poverty, poor quality housing and low wages remain.
The challenge of making Milton Keynes a success is how we respond to these concerns. Our campaign was built on returning to the egalitarian vision that founded the City; that of well paid work, a good home and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
It will not be an easy challenge, but one that we will not ignore in order to ensure Milton Keynes remains a great place to live, work and visit.
Cllr Peter Marland
MK Labour Party