The Leader of Milton Keynes Council will propose at a meeting on Wednesday that Milton Keynes Council agrees a budget to move forward with regeneration plans for Bletchley.
The £210,000 funding is part of an extra £1.5m of budget spending the Labour-led administration is proposing to support the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in Milton Keynes.
The council is currently waiting to see if a bid to government to secure £25m in regeneration funding is successful, and Labour councillors want to progress with funding for a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for Bletchley Town Centre, and funding to support the Town Deal Board, a collective of local Bletchley, parish councils, community groups and landowners, who are leading the regeneration bid.
The Supplementary Planning Document would act as the planning guide to any potential new development and would allow local communities a greater say in what they would like to see as part of the regeneration plans. Funding is being proposed to undertake a parking and traffic study with the aim of improving access to Bletchley town centre that has long been an issue highlighted by local residents and visitors. Money will also be allocated to engaging local communities to help develop the plans.
However, the proposals are in doubt as an amendment to the budget submitted by a Conservative councillor for Bletchley would remove the funding allocation and instead spend it on Conservative proposals to help advertise Milton Keynes on its “post-Brexit journey.”
Cllr Peter Marland, Leader of MK Council said: “Economic recovery, jobs and making sure all people in Milton Keynes benefit from our success is a key aim of the Labour council. Regenerating Bletchley is a key example of how we can do that, and this funding is another sign the Labour administration is serious about delivering a recovery that is not more of the same. The residents of Bletchley have suffered years of empty promises, it’s time to get stuff done.”
Cllr Elaine Wales, Labour councillor for Bletchley Park said: “I’ll be supporting these budget proposals on Wednesday, especially the funding promised to undertake a parking and traffic study to help bring forward solutions to the parking issue in the town centre. Residents want action on regeneration, not some promise to develop Bletchley for the benefit of big global businesses rather than local people.”
Cllr Marland concluded: “The Labour administration is serious about regenerating Bletchley and making sure local people benefit. We want to create local sustainable jobs, regenerate an amazing town centre and tackle issues such as parking to benefit local people, not fat-cat out -of-town developers.”
“After the pandemic we can’t go back to more of the same failed ways of doing things. On Wednesday the council will decide if it wants to back locally-led regeneration of Bletchley or Conservative proposals to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money advertising in expensive glossy brochures at international property events.”