Labour-run Milton Keynes Council is offering broke Tory Buckinghamshire County Council help to save well-loved Thrift Farm on the edge of the city.
Cash-strapped Buckinghamshire County Council have proposed closing Thrift Farm in a desperate bid to save funds as it teeters on the edge of a Northamptonshire style financial meltdown. The community farm has been loved by generations of people growing up across MK and North Bucks, but also provides supported employment to people with learning disabilities.
Thousands of people have opposed Bucks CC’s idea to close the service, and salvation could be on the way, from Labour-run MK Council.
Cabinet Member Hannah O’Neill has spoken out against the closure and its impact on MK residents, and those who are helped into supported work, and has said that she is reaching out to Bucks CC to offer a deal to rescue the service.
Cllr Hannah O’Neill, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “It is sad that Tory Buckinghamshire County Council have put this service at risk, but I believe that with the right deal Labour-run MK Council could run it properly and save Thrift Farm.”
She continued: “Buckinghamshire County Council is another by-word for Tory incompetence and maladministration. They are yet another Tory county on the verge of bankruptcy. Their children’s services are inadequate, they are overspending on substandard social care services, their highways are amongst the worst in the country and they’ve closed all their children’s centres. Now they are threatening to close a much loved community service and attacking some of the most vulnerable people in society. While parents like me see Thrift Farm as a family friendly day out, to others it’s a vital lifeline in the world of work. MK already pays for social care places at the farm, so closure has an impact on our most vulnerable too. We will not sit back and let that happen.”
She concluded: “We have offered Bucks CC the hand of friendship to work with a competent Labour-run Council and save Thrift Farm. I hope they will swallow their pride and work with us to reach a deal to allow MK Council to save the service.”