Monday, 6 December 2021

Milton Keynes has a scary drug problem !

COMMENT ON THE NEWS

I agree with what Boris has been saying in regard to drug crime BUT I would invite him and all of his government to pop along to SPECSAVERS so he can see the wider picture.

Before the pandemic I was heavily involved supporting on a personal level homeless rough sleepers in Milton Keynes.  Homeless rough- sleeping and drugs go hand in hand. I know for certain that  if I were in such a tragic situation I would be an addict in order to shut out the horrors of life.

BURNER PHONES  Boris if you are serious the very first thing you need to do is to shut down

the phone system used by criminal gangs. When mobile phones first became common you could not have a number without it being registered. Go back to that system and you will immediately frustrate the gangs.

A DRUG ADDICT IS A VICTIM AND NOT A CRIMINAL  On an overnight walk across Milton Keynes working with a homeless support charity at 2am we found a rough-sleeper outside the post office in Central Milton Keynes. Talking with him a car pulled up and waited patiently until we left. That car contained a dealer making a delivery.

During the same overnight walk we found a vast drug camp in Campbell Park directly behind The Bus Shelter MK which was the then mayor of Milton Keynes nominated charity. The following year the new mayor chose YMCA MK as his charity. I found a drug camp adjacent to this hostel on what is known as the YMCA bridge. I tried to get the council to engage, I tried to get the YMCA to engage but failed with both.

Originally as a blog but later I included this in my e-book DOWN AND OUT IN MILTON DREAMS. Let me share it with you now.

A TRILOGY OF TRAGEDY  Bob, Billy and Lewis are REAL people. They are human beings but human beings society fails to recognise, fails to respect, fails to value and above all fails to love. These are not their real names but they are REAL people, indeed they are human beings just like you and just like me !

Thursday morning 4am. I was on my way to the radio studio to broadcast Dave's Disco the podcast from which was played on Saturday at the Dreamsai Lunch of Love. I pulled up outside Milton Keynes Council's Civic Offices. I had a letter to push through the letter box, a letter complaining about the council's failure to support a vulnerable adult. I knew I was wasting my time and the ink I had expended on a sheet of paper a waste but you have to go through the system don't you ?  The wind was blowing a gale and it was lashing down with rain.

There I met BOB. That's not his real name of course.

4am, this man was walking along. He turned to walk towards my car then changed his mind and moved off again. I opened the door: Hang on mate - wait - what do you want ?  I fumbled in the dark to find the letter to put through the council's letter box then stepped out to meet him.

Bob was a tall friend, I guess aged around thirty, who was soaked to the skin. I knew what he wanted. Or did I ?

Have you got a bit of change ?  Off to buy some drugs. A homeless rough-sleeper in search of his fix.  NO NO NO !  Homeless and rough-sleeping yes, soaked to the skin yes but he was NOT a drug addict. He was on his way to the all-night McDonald's primarily to be in the warm and out of the rain there to spend the few coins he had on something to eat. Even if he was begging for dug money I would have given him something - an addict is not a bad person but a victim of bad. I gave him money to buy a breakfast.

We then stood in the wind and rain talking for twenty or so minutes. What a lovely, beautiful man. Yes, he was homeless and rough-sleeping. His tent, just along the way from Milton Keynes Council's offices, had blown over. Many of his belongings had blown away, been picked up and stolen. Please do not tell me that Milton Keynes Council did not know he existed.

I talked to him about getting help but he knew the situation was futile. He said he wanted to get to Luton where the council is better at supporting homeless rough-sleepers. Is it ?  I don't know. The important thing is that was his perception.

He had problems with his eyes but could not get any help. He is a non-person. NO HE IS A HUMAN BEING.

NO, he was not a drug addict. I know how to recognise an addict, trust me he was not one. He explained that he had been an alcoholic and went on to say how he was treated and escaped the situation.  He told me how he had become homeless. His grandfather had been contributing £400 a month towards his rent. When his grandfather died the money stopped and the income he had working as a plasterer was not enough to pay for his private rented accommodation. I do not know if Milton Keynes was or was not the local authority - probably not and it does not matter but that local authority said it could not help. I said I did not know if it Was Milton Keynes Council or not, I can actually name SIX people the systems within Milton Keynes Council have in recent months have constructively made homeless. Not all ended up rough-sleeping but had it been left to the council they would have.

With every word of conversation my heart warmed to him, warmed while at the same bleeding. 

I returned to the car and grabbed one of the information sheets I have for Dreamsai on which I list phone numbers of help lines, details of the soup run and food bank locations. These are deliberately laminated so the information is not affected by the rain. I told him about Saturday's Dreamsai Lunch of Love and begged him to come along. He said he would.

As we parted, me off to the radio studio and Bob to McDonald's he kept thanking me, shaking my hand and saying how pleased he was to have spent time with me. When I got to the radio studio I was soaked to the skin. I broadcast my 279th show, if you listen to the podcast you will hear how the friendship we had experienced in the wind and in the pouring rain outside Milton Keynes Council's Civic Offices lifted the show to a happy and I hope inspiring level.

Bob did not turn up to Dreamsai's Lunch of Love. After it was over I went in search of him. I could not find him. Perhaps he had gone to Luton. Perhaps he had died. Who cares ?  I CARE !  I am a human being, Bob is a human being, he is my friend and I CARE !

Billy is a regular visitor to the Dreamsai Lunch of Love, we always have a little chat and a laugh but it is always small-talk.

At the lunch Bob failed to turn up to I overheard Billy, again that is not his real name, saying: If you are a drug addict Milton Keynes is NOT the place to find help.  If you have mental health issues and need help you will NOT find it in Milton Keynes. If you are homeless do NOT look for support you will NOT get it in Milton Keynes !

I approached Billy and pushed myself into his conversation. He suggested we step outside and speak in private. We talked for ages and ages, or should I say that Billy talked for ages and I listened.

Billy said he had had a brilliant life so being homeless and rough-sleeping was not what his life had been about and did not matter. As we talked it became clear his anger a frustration with the "system", an anger and frustration I share was not for himself but for others.

No, he is not a drug addict but watches every day the way criminals prey on and manipulate homeless rough-sleepers. 

I am wondering what Billy did earlier in life, I wouldn't mind betting he was a Professor of Philosophy in a major university.  He did not just talk about the failings of government, government covering decades -  indeed centuries, of the multiple failings of Milton Keynes Council but gave his insight into the causes of those failings.

Take a chicken, Billy said, hold it up. There is a LEFT WING and there is a RIGHT WING which never meet. Both fail to understand that there is a heart beating in the middle !

My way of regarding this level of failure is to say that the right wing is totally oblivious to the existence of REAL people. The left wing knows real people exist but thinks they are only there for them to play politics with. A politician, particularly at local level, will play to the gallery waving at those in the expensive corporate boxes but never look down to  see REAL people sitting in the stalls.

Billy talked about how criminal drug dealers groom vulnerable people, particularly children. His insight and passion was both deep and intense. He blamed a society where life revolves around a smart phone. I hate smart phones and refuse to use one. I think a smart phone is the world's worst invention. Billy explained how the younger generation today is being destroyed by the damn things.

Did you know, I said, there is a Class A drug dealer working out of YMCA Milton Keynes where he is living. This is something I was told and something I put into Crime Stoppers for the police to investigate.

You are wrong !  I was told by Billy. There is not one class a drug dealer operating out of YMCA Milton Keynes, there are TWO !

Billy told me there were one thousand people making money from the illegal drug trade in Milton Keynes. My immediate reaction was to say that was a gross exaggeration but I fear it may not be.  If you want to buy illegal drugs I know that North Ninth Street adjacent to Milton Keynes Civic Offices is a good place to be. Another good place is Campbell Park named after Lord Campbell of Eskin, the Chairman of Milton Keynes Development Corporation. What a way to celebrate the achievement of this man !  There is, of course, what is known colloquially as The YMCA Bridge, that's an excellent place to buy drugs. many times I have told Milton Keynes Council of the drug came located there. Many times I have wasted my breath.

Billy knew the names of local politicians, departments within Milton Keynes Council and could explain at length his perception of their failure to recognise that in the centre of left and right wings there is a beating heart, a beating heart of a real person - a human being. Sadly a human being that counts for nothing.

Lewis IS a drug addict. He has been an addict and homeless rough-sleeping for a number of years. I have known of the existence of Lewis for some time but I met him for the first time during our taking food from Dreamsai to homeless rough sleepers after the lunch.

The weather was harsher even than when I met Bob earlier in the week. Lewis was in a desperate situation. To avoid the storm he had slept in a covered private car park. No, he shouldn't have done that but do you blame him ? The security had chased him away and thrown all his few belongings into a skip. What little he had he had lost. I saw his shoes, the soles were falling off and so his feet were wet. He was hungry and he was cold.

I began by verbally attacking the security guards for which I am now embarrassed, then backed off, apologised profusely and recovered Lewis's property. We all parted friends. Lewis and I are now friends.

With the wind blowing and the rain lashing we walked along to my car so we could sit and chat. Trying to hold his wet sleeping bag and his bits and pieces Lewis's trousers kept sliding down his legs revealing his underpants. He was so skinny and he did not have a belt to hold his trousers round his waist.

Talking in the car I wish there had been a camera to broadcast the conversation to every television network in every country of the world. What an incredible man yet to so many he is sub-human and worthless. 

Our conversation covered three areas.

Lewis knew Jimmy  Owens who was found dead in his tent in Milton Keynes. Jimmy was one of my former students from when I was head of year at Leon School. It was Jimmy's death that first moved me to become involved in the lack of love for homeless rough-sleepers. 

Jimmy, I knew him as James, was a happy go lucky teenager with a great life ahead of him. As Lewis described him he had not changed. Lewis said he was always cracking a joke and larking about. Jimmy died three and a half years ago, DO NOT believe the lies  and fake news in the media !  His death DID NOT spur Milton Keynes Council into action. If it had then Lewis and others like him would not be in their current situation.

Throughout those years Lewis has not been able to get any help. We talked and he said he was trying to get ID. ID aint going to put dry warm clothes on his body. ID aint going to put food in his belly and stop his trousers falling down all the time. ID aint going to find him somewhere warm and dry to sleep. ID aint going to give him the love he needs.

We talked about drugs. If you want to end criminal drug activity in Milton Keynes then Lewis is the man to take advice from. His philosophy is if drugs were decriminalised, as they are in certain enlightened parts of the world, and sold under licence as is alcohol and tobacco it would no longer be cool, cool is the word he used, to take drugs and they would fade into a background of insignificance. Given that never happening he knew exactly how to set up a support system, a support system which currently does not exist in Milton Keynes.

Lewis believes in the death penalty for some serious crimes but he also firmly believes that petty crime and anti-social behaviour associated with drug addiction MUST be punished with community service orders so offenders can give back constructively to society. Those community service orders must be  a positive experience for those engaged in them and they have to be part of a larger programme of support and reform.

He talked about the lack of support for addicts which means the situation in Milton Keynes is and always will be on an upward spiral.

We then talked about my hobby of writing and my ambition to engage people like Lewis in writing stories. It could be fiction or it could be their own autobiographies. Autobiography means SELF - LIFE - WRITING.  I see it as a support mechanism for the victims and a way to grab hold of those like Milton Keynes Council which fails to recognise human beings.

When we parted Lewis kept hugging me and thanking me. I got into my Jaguar and drove home to my warm home and something to eat. Lewis bundled his belongings into his wet sleeping bag then set off in search of somewhere to spend the night.

I see that the leader of the labour party has been shouting his mouth off following Boris’s announcement. Let’s see just how he shouts his mouth off at this !

A senior member of Milton Keynes Council, a labour member, was making press announcements saying how the council wanted to reduce knife crime. Well that reduction did not happen did it ! How many stabbings, how many murders have there been since then ? I wrote to her asking if we could meet and for me to pass on the knowledge I had from the vulnerable people I worked with. SHE IGNORED MY LETTER. I wrote again – SHE IGNORED MY LETTER. I wrote for a third time SHE IGNORED MY LETTER. Kier Stammer how are you going to shout your mouth off about that !

BUT there are three rings in Milton Keynes Council’s political circus. I was contacted by a former member of the conservative ring asking for help. I wanted to help but numerous e-mails and communications sent by myself and those forwarded by this ex-councillor to the leader of the Milton Keynes Council conservative group were ALL IGNORED. Boris Johnson what have you go to say that that ?

Yes Boris I agree with what you are doing but  go to Specsavers and drag along all those who would seek to shout their mouths off – look at the full picture then rid out country of this evil organised crime.

I will not be holding my breath as I wait for a reply !



Milton Keynes London's Thirs Airport !

Here is another chapter from my 1994 book NOT THE

CONCRETE COWS

No Airport Here:

Season travellers of the Airways will be familiar with the coded baggage tags that ensure one’s suitcases arrive via the same aircraft with their owners and at the same destination.

LHR -  London Heathrow SFO - San Francisco LAX - Los Angeles  JFK - New York Kennedy   LGW - London Gatwick

But what about LMK - London Milton Keynes ? Daily flights to New York, Cairo, Rome, Bombay and one hundred other far away destinations ?

Don't smile because this was very nearly the case ! If the now infamous Robert Maxwell, one-time Labour Member of Parliament for our area, had had his way intercontinental jets would be constantly roaring overhead.

Thirty years ago advanced planning was calling for a new airport to relieve the strain that anticipated demand would place on Heathrow and Gatwick in the next century. One of the best options looked to be building London’s third airport at Cublington just south of the area designated for the construction of a new town.

Within the triangle of roads between Stewkley, Wing and Cublington is the site of a former

World War Two airfield from which the Royal Air Force flew against the might of the Third Reich. It is up on this site the proposed airport was planned, only six miles from Milton Keynes. But the project intended extending to a staggering seven and a half thousand acres, bulldozing flat everything in the way. The destruction would have included obliterating the entire village of Stewkley, claimed to be the longest village in England, and rehousing it's eleven hundred residents.

North Buckinghamshire is already on the North Atlantic route with dozens of heavy jets passing overhead everyday but these are all well on their way to their initial cruising altitude, flying sufficiently high to be relatively unnoticed. Had the airport come here instead of Stansted then living in Milton Keynes would have been akin to residing at the bottom of the runway. Perhaps Milton Keynes would have become a replica of Crawley to the south of Gatwick. Instead of a multi-industry the city would have been almost entirely dependent upon the airport for its employment. It is estimated that fifty thousand people would have worked at the airport.

It was the most efficiently organised public protest since the anti-coral Corn Law League of 1839 the saved us. The outward manifestation was a host of signs reading NO AIRPORT HERE. They sprang up overnight along roads and adjacent to the railway between Bletchley and Leighton Buzzard. But the organisation went much deeper.

The Wing Airport Resistance Association was under the chairmanship of Desmond Fennell, later to be Justice Fennel and head that Kings Cross enquiry, and Evelyn de Rothschild, from the family of merchant bankers, as treasurer, the local population  banded together to prevent at all costs and airport being built on their doorstep. Many other famous names like Johnny Dankworth, Cleo Lane and Roald Dahl, who all lived in the area, through in their unqualified support. (Robert Maxwell, millionaire publisher and MP, joined in but history now shows that his motives and intentions were decidedly unclear.)

They knew only too well but they had an uphill task ahead of them for in every way Cubblington/Wing was the best site for the airport. Had it come to North Buckinghamshire, London Milton Keynes International Airport may not have become London's third airport at all but the countries first airport ! There would have been no need than for Luton, Birmingham or even East Midlands airports and much of the traffic would have been stolen away from Heathrow.

I recently spent a pleasant evening with WARA executive committee member Dennis Skinner in his Whitchurch home, enjoying his hospitality about a roaring log fire, as he explained the airport perimeter fence had been planned for no more than one hundred yards away from where we were sitting.  It is his belief that Milton Keynes would have needed to expand south to meet the airport, swallowing up everything as far as Leighton Buzzard. The resulting conurbation, some planners saw it is reaching right down to Aylesbury, would be little like the city we know today.

On another evening I chatted with Farmer Morris and his wife from Manor Farm, Hoggeston realising we were right in the middle of where the main runway would have been. Their family has farm land in the village for ten generations dating back to the 1700’s. What a personal tragedy it would have been to fall victim to a compulsory purchase order.

Eighty year old Raptor of Dunton, the Reverend Hubert Sillitoe, brother of Sir Percy Sillitoe head of wartime MI5, preached hell, fire and damnation against all airport planners. He was a popular character, if a little eccentric, and achieved fame in The Sun newspaper who dubbed him a modern-day Elijah. They quoted one of his speeches ... This damn sacrilege we will fight on the door steps of our homes, in the fields of our farms, at churchyard gates and church doors ! A later edition of the paper had on its front page a picture of this campaigning cleric setting fire to a giant copy of the government's report and reprinting his prayer ...that these inhuman and sacrilegious proposals be so absolutely rejected and reduced the flames of fire shall reduce this copy of the Roskill Report. The reporter went on to describe how the flames leaped upwards as a brass band played the funeral march. But others attracted less favourable media attention. There were those who thought the best thing to do would be to load up their tractors with manure and dump the lot on Downing Street. Mr Justice Roskill, detailed by Harold Wilson's government to study the various sites for the airport, actually received death threats. Some of the protest posters and cartoons in the national press made no secret of the intention many had of actually turning the campaign into a literal fight if talking failed !

I asked Mr Morris if he thought people would have really engaged in hand to hand fighting with bulldozers. A mild mannered man himself, he doubted if he would have actually been involved but were certain others would. WARA not only had to tackle the politicians and bureaucrats but also to disassociate themselves from any threats of violent activity activities if they were to maintain credibility.

The membership of Robert Maxwell was also hardly an asset to the group. Maxwell, as recent events now only to clearly show, was a past master when it came to playing one person off against another. He played WARA off against his own political party and the local community against the planners but never failed to keep his own business interests uppermost. It was reported in the Guardian on 15th of June 1970 that Maxwell said to Bletchley factory worker Let's get Milton Keynes first if we can have the airport as well so much the better !

Three days later he lost his seat to Bill Benyon, so ending his parliamentary career, and he subsequently left the executive committee of water.

Dennis Skinner is convinced it was the election of a Conservative Government, under Prime Minister Ted Heath, but finally saved the day. Wing was the best, but also the most expensive option, in his opinion the Wilson Government had little regard for the costs. Tories, on the other hand, weighed finances with a rather with rather more care and eventually went for the cheaper Stanstead project.

WARA attack the finances of the proposal on every front. It strived all along to avoid becoming a political body, something that frustrated Robert Maxwell, but to truly represent everyone who was against the airport. This included Buckinghamshire County Council, the Milton Keynes Development Corporation and just about every living soul within twenty miles of the proposed airport. There was little to be gained by stressing the environmental issues which carried no weight in the swinging sixties. Instead the organisation employed professionals to undertake their own investigations then question every facet of the government's Roskill Report.

Their arguments were presented to every member of parliament whose final decision found against Wing. While that managed to convince them but the costing was wrong, indeed it was. Nearly a quarter of a century later it has become clear that a London Milton Keynes International Airport, as well as handling more than its fair share of business and cargo traffic, would have developed into the nation's number one holiday resort. Nobody in the 1960’s quite foresaw such an explosion in leisure travel.

There was a victory torchlight procession from Stewkley Church on the 26th April 1971, a tree planted in the churchyard at Whitchurch proclaims:  This tree is planted to the glory of God and in thankfulness for having been spared the third London airport 26th of November 1972. Buckinghamshire County Council planted the spinney at Cubblington upon the site originally intended for the terminal building.

Little now remains of the actual project, the signs have been taken down, the graffiti that once adorned motorway bridges have been sponged off but in the barn at Manor Farm where many of the rallies were held there is still a mural demanding NO AIRPORT.  When I saw it a couple of weeks ago a herd of beef cattle ambled about in their winter quarters oblivious of the fact that they could have been jumbo jets.

But would Milton Keynes be a better place at double its size and serving one of the world's major airports ? Perhaps, perhaps not.  It is difficult to say. During the campaign the activities of WARA cannot have escaped the notice of teenager Richard Branson, then a border at Stowe School near Buckingham. Would it be better if Virgin Atlantic, together with British Airways,  American Airlines and all the rest, brought their vast needs for employment to the area ?

Next time you are sitting in the traffic on the M25 as you head off on holiday by way of


Heathrow or Gatwick you can weigh up the advantages and disadvantages then decide yourself.

I hope you enjoyed that. I'll share some more another day

The windmill that never turned

My book NOT THE CONCRETE COWS published in 1994 contains some of the weekly features I wrote for The Milton Keynes Citizen. Within these were a number of follies. Here is one, it  is actually the very first feature I published in the Citizen. Have a read and see if you remember the windmill that never turned.

Focus on the follies starting with the windmill but never turns:

We are all, no doubt, familiar with the follies of English architecture, those enigmatic towers and castellated edifices erected in the grounds of many a stately home the former Duke of Buckingham's estate at Stowe is positively littered with them.

The Oxford English Dictionary describes a folly as a costly structure which is totally useless. Perhaps that is a little unkind for many a folly was built in harmless fun and thousands every week derive innocent amusement by visiting those now preserved by the National Trust.

But what of the follies in Milton Keynes, nothing pre twentieth century in this purpose built city of the modern age?

No, I do not mean the concrete cows !

What I had more in mind with some of the landmarks we have come to love and hate, often in the same breath, for their eccentricities and impracticability of design and purpose.

Some are amusing, others are downright frustrating. Some, in their time, aroused much public controversy while others climbed onto the back of our landscape almost unnoticed.

I have chosen the follies that come instantly to my mind but let me make it clear it is not my intention to be cruel or unkind, simply to bring each to attention in what I regard to be the true spirit of a folly.

My first choice of folly is the windmill that never turned. Well it's not a windmill exactly but a wind powered generator. Located at the junction of Watling Street and Faraday Drive this folly is a feature of Energy Park, an estate of purpose designed and built energy efficient homes.

But the trouble is this folly is one of the most inefficient articles in the entire city.

To return to the dictionary definition, goodness only knows what it cost to put up and certainly it is quite useless.

In Denmark I have seen entire hillsides covered with these generators, like farms of cultivated giant objects from a science fiction nightmare, all gently turning in the breeze.

But their junior emulator in Milton Keynes has failed to learn one important lesson from its mentors. In order to generate electricity the blades of the windmill have to turn around ! Those at Energy Park remain steadfastly static and have done so for many years.

Perhaps the mechanism is rusted up, surely the inactivity cannot be blamed upon a lack of wind. No, for unless my memory is seriously failing me, I remember the blades once revolving. Presumably the dwellings it was designed to serve now received their electricity from less environmentally sound sources courtesy of National Power and Powergen.

It is rumoured the windmill was constructed ahead of its planning permission. Perhaps that is true, nobody seems to know for certain, it's one of those legends that tend to grow up about follies. At least no official in a pinstripe suit a so far demanded it be torn down.

But then why should it be ? It is not doing anybody any harm is it ?  It serves as a useful landmark on Watling Street and a true folly of Milton Keynes.  Long made it remain.

A 2021 UPDATE:

The estate behind this windmill was an estate way ahead of its time. It supposedly was built containing energy efficient houses. Perhaps we need to bring back our windmill. Bring it back and make it an icon reminding us all how important it is to be energy efficient. Perhaps the windmill may never physically turn but a metaphorical rotation could be a practical reminder.

PS: I wrote under the pen-name of Jonathan Flie back then - as in Fly-on-the-wall. When I stoppoed writing newspaper articles I changed to Max Robinson

Sunday, 5 December 2021

Wouldn’t it be sad if every city had a council like Milton Keynes !

Wouldn’t it be sad if every city had a council like Milton Keynes

The good – The bad – And the ugly.

CELEBRATE the good – RECYCLE the bad and make it good – PAINT the ugly and make it beautiful.

It is going to take a very big recycling plant to mend the failure of elected members on Milton Keynes Council. A fleet of tankers will be required to hold all the paint to beautify the folly of Milton Keynes Council.

PLEASE read this case. PLEASE share it. PLEASE help to recycle and to paint this failure as a matter of urgency.

At 11.50am on Friday 3rd December 2021 I sent the following e-mail to Milton Keynes Councillor Middleton. I copied this e-mail in to every single member of Milton Keynes Council. As of 8am on Monday 6th December 2021 I have not received a single reply.

Dear Councillor Middleton

I would refer to a recent media report where you say you want contractors to be environmentally conscious. (pasted below) I have to say, given the activities of Milton Keynes Council, I find that somewhat hypocritical.

Central Milton Keynes has a giant carbon footprint and appalling lacking in biodiversity. Such is down to the planning policy of Milton Keynes Council.

When the Milton Keynes Development Corporation was planning our new city a fundamental foundation stone was: NO BUILDING SHALL BE TALLER THAN THE SURROUNDING TREES. Milton Keynes Council trashed that idea and trashes it with every new planning application and construction.

Across Milton Keynes there are twenty-two million trees and shrub bushes. How many are there in Central Milton Keynes ?  How many per square acre compared to the borough overall. Milton Keynes is not particularly biodiverse but biodiversity is a word outside the lexicon of


Central Milton Keynes. Central Milton Keynes where the council’s planners have given the town what is probably the most hideous skyline of any town or city in England. An architectural folly Milton Keynes Council continues to peruse with a vengeance.

Part of Central Milton Keynes high carbon footprint includes a building which Milton Keynes Council allowed to destroy the fundamental ley-line about which Milton Keynes Development Corporation wrote its strategic plan.

While what you are calling for is right and proper if it stands alone it is both hypocritical alongside the folly of Milton Keynes Council as well as being ridiculously too little hideously too late !

Wouldn’t it be sad if every city had a council like Milton Keynes !

Here is the media report my e-mail refers to:

Milton Keynes Council is on the hunt for 'green experts' to help reduce carbon emissions.

Earlier this year, MK Council agreed to look for new contactors to ensure all of its buildings are maintained to high sustainably standards to help it become carbon neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050.

The Council is looking to begin the process of finding contractors to help achieve its climate action goals while delivering value for money for local people. 

A council decision to approve the process is set for 7th December, with contactors appointed from July 2022 as soon as the existing contract ends.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Cllr Rob Middleton said: “We regularly review our

contracts to ensure we’re getting the best deal for our residents.  We want all of our contractors to be environmentally conscious with sustainability at the forefront of everything they do. 

"This helps us provide a better service to local residents, keep bills down and tackle climate change.”

Wouldn’t it be sad if every city had a council like Milton Keynes !

We are not talking here of pot holes in the road, we are not talking of missed bin collections WE ARE TALKING OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING MANKIND AT THIS TIME. Sadly, within its three ring political circus not one, NO NOT ONE, member of Milton Keynes Council thought my e-mail merited a reply.

Additional irony is the fact that Milton Keynes Council thinks it is green. It is not green when it comes to saving our planet but perhaps it I s green where the word can be used to mean ignorance.

Wouldn’t it be sad if every city had a council like Milton Keynes !

What do you think ? What is your opinion ? Please share such with as many people as you can. Let us together take this BAD and recycle it into GOOD. Let us together pain the UGLY and make it beautiful. Let us end the Lord Lucan Fan Club at the centre of Milton Keynes Council and it s three ring political circuys then return our home to the Red Balloon advert of Milton Keynes Development Corporation.



 

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Milton Keynes Worthies

If you go to The National Trust parkland at Stowe near Buckingham you will find more follies than you can count. One of these is the Temple of the British Worthies. It’s a bit of a fun place overlooking a lake but in its day it was something of a political statement.

Within my 2020 book MILTON DREAMS THE CITY THAT NEVER WAS I talk about honouring Milton Keynes Worthies. If such a celebration were to happen who do you think we could honour ? Who do you recognise from this picture ?

Left to right:

Sir Herbert Samuel Leon 11th February 1850 to 23rd July 1926

 

Sir Frank Markham 18th October 1897 to 13th October 1975

 

Dame Cleo Laine 29th October 1927 +

 

Jim Marshall aka The Lord of Loud 29th July 1923 to 5th April 2012


Sir Harold Wilson 11th March 1916 to 24th May 1995

My 1991 book IN SEARCH OF THE LEONS reunited the present-day Leon Family with their ancestral home at Bletchley Park. Going back to the Doomsday Book, Bletchley Park has a long history and at one time was part of The Duke of Buckingham’s estate as was Stowe. The Leons lived in Bletchley Park for a relatively short period from 1883 to 1937 but they gave us more heritage than any other owner before and after their time. There is more, much more to Bletchley Park than the code breakers of World War Two. While living in Bletchley Park  the Leons gave so much to the community. I am celebrating this with a book I  plan to publish in the summer of 2022 – IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SAMMY LEON.

Yes, I am a fan of Sir Herbert Leon so have no hesitation in naming him as a Milton Keynes Worthy.


I like to think that I am a prolific writer, well I am but while I write across a number of genre my

books in Milton Keynes fade into insignificance by the side of Sir Frank Markham.

Sir Frank Markham was the member of parliament for North Buckinghamshire between 1951

and 1964. Born in Stony Stratford he was a Milton Keynes man way beyond being a mere politician. He began writing his book THE HISTORY OF MILTON KEYNES AND DISTRICT in 1948, it was planned as THE HISTORY OF NORTH BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, and finally published it in 1973. At the time of publication I attended two lectures Sir Frank gave. Milton Keynes was then little more than an idea on a sheet of paper.

I have said many times that no person should be allowed to serve on Milton Keynes Council without having first read Sir Frank’s book. I do at times wonder how many of today’s politicians can actually read !  None have given us the heritage Sir Frank did and so I firmly believe he is a Milton Keynes Worthy.


The very first 7” vinyl single I spent my pocket money was African Waltz by Johnny Dankworth the husband of jazz singer Cleo Laine still lives in Wavendon, along the road from where my wife grew up. Cleo has an incredible voice which can sing across three octaves. Cleo is the only female performer to have received Grammy nominations in jazz, popular music and classical categories.

That alone would merit her being a Milton Keynes Worthy but beyond that she and her late husband, Johnny Dankworth, founded the Wavendon All Music Plan which today is the internationally famous Stables Theatre. Without question Cleo Laine is a Milton Keynes Worthy.



If you go to The Hollywood Walk of Fame you will find mention of Milton Keynes Worthy Jim

Marshall. He had a music shop in Queensway, Bletchley  where he taught drumming. He then went on to make amplifiers without which many of the great pop groups we are all familiar with would never have achieved their fame.

Marshall’s motto was TURN IT UP TO ELEVEN and on all of his amplifiers, which are still made in Milton Keynes today, the volume dial goes from zero to eleven. Jim Marshall who became known as The Lord of Loud is a true Milton Keynes Worthy.

Without our next Milton Keynes Worthy there would indeed be no Milton Keynes.

In 1967 Harold Wilson’s government announced an area of land in North Buckinghamshire was designated for the building of a new city, that new city became Milton Keynes.

But more than that, Harold Wilson co-founded The Open University in Wavendon Milton Keynes. His son went on to become Professor of Mathematics at The Open University.

My book MILTON DREAMS THE CITY THAT NEVER WAS is dedicated to this Milton Keynes Worthy.

HERBERT SAMUEL LEON

FRANK MARKHAM

CLEO LAINE

JIM MARSHALL

HAROLD WILSON

Who else do you think we Mkeneyans should celebrate in this way ?


WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF ALL CITIES HAD WORTHIES LIKE MILTON KEYNES