Council vision for MK’s greener and fairer recovery from COVID-19

Tuesday 14 July 2020

  • £3.4m financial package is largest ever from MK Council 
  • We cannot go back to how things were says Council Leader
  • New recovery framework prioritises green jobs and investment as well as tackling inequality and child poverty

Milton Keynes Council has published a framework for how Milton Keynes and its people can successfully recover from the impact of COVID-19, the Strategic Recovery Framework for Milton Keynes.

As many as 300 local people may have lost their lives to the virus to date, and the crisis has placed unprecedented demands on everyone.

The world that will emerge from lockdown will be different, socially and economically.  A recession across the UK would be felt in Milton Keynes, despite the city’s usual economic buoyancy, because the crisis has affected so many different sectors and organisations.

Any recession would have a disproportionate effect on MK’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and the Framework also recognises the longer-term negative impact of austerity, inequality and unaffordable housing on local living standards, rising child poverty and increasing health inequalities.

In addition, it acknowledges the challenge of climate change and MK’s ambitions for inventive and effective ways to tackle this.

In response, the Council is proposing its largest ever economic financial package for Milton Keynes’ ‘recover’ stage, worth £3.4m, alongside which it aims to protect and inspire at least £2bn of specific and identified investment into the city.  The money will fund activity led by the Council and its partners to:

  • Transition to a greener economy that prioritises inclusive growth and reduces poverty and inequality
  • Support businesses and attract inward investment
  • Retain high levels of employment and reduce unemployment
  • Provide practical help and support to those in need
  • Deliver a financially sustainable council

Council Leader Pete Marland said “This is a bold vision for a greener and fairer recovery. We cannot go back to how things were. We must emerge from this national tragedy with a clear vision for the future. To focus on how we will shape and guide our city and renew our founding principles of opportunity, affordability and good health. It’s how we restore Milton Keynes as a place of fairness and reward.”

The Framework details plans for the actions the Council would take to control further outbreaks of COVID-19, manage the potentially devastating impact on its finances and support local people and organisations who need extra help.

Priority will be given to investment and policy-making towards a green economy and communities, more sustainable transport, and support for those industries and businesses that create green jobs.

Council Leader Pete Marland added “With this approach we can come back stronger and more united to ensure an ambitious, greener, and fairer Milton Keynes in the future.”

The Framework will be considered in a Council decision on 21 July.