Supplementary memorandum by Milton Keynes
Economic Partnership (MKEP) (NT 32(a))
The Partnership (MKEP) welcomes the opportunity
to submit a supplementary memorandum to the Committee following
the publication of the outcome of Phase 1 of the review of English
We have noted with interest that the Report
proposes that the successor body to English Partnerships should
retain responsibility for "strategic sites". While the
Report sets out some ideas on how "strategic" might
be defined, we believe that these are too vague for sensible application
to Milton Keynes.
As pointed out in our original memorandum, Milton
Keynes is a key driver of the economic development of this part
of the UK; indeed, when the current Regional Planning Guidance
Study on the future of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Area
is published later this year, Milton Keynes' importance to the
future economic health of the wider UK plc may increase. We are
confident that the forthcoming revised Regional Economic Strategies
of both SEEDA and EEDA will support this view.
It is therefore essential that the momentum
of development in Milton Keynes is continued, and that this should
be managed in a manner which retains the confidence of the investment
We consider that, notwithstanding any national-level
debates or decisions which might be made over the current EP-owned
sites (ie "strategic" vs "disposable"), decisions
on EP's Milton Keynes assets and projects must be considered in
a locally coherent way.
We therefore recommend that the review of EP's
sites and projects in Milton Keynes should be carried out locally
by the Economic Partnership, since we bring together all the relevant
stakeholders. We accept that some sites (or projects) could be
regarded as peripheral to the long-term development of Milton
Keynes, and could therefore be disposed of, or transferred, to
a third party without detriment. This locally-based review would
determine which sites or projects should be disposed of or transferred
in the immediate future.
Where sites and projects are determined as being
"strategic" in nature, and thus remain the responsibility
of EP, we further recommend that that responsibility should be
exercised in collaboration with other key stakeholders such as
MK Council, SEEDA and MKEP. An appropriate management structure
would need to be developed in due course.
Since there will probably be a lapse of time
before any new arrangements come into force we suggest that, in
order to maintain the momentum of development, the present interim
Steering Group arrangements set up between English Partnerships
and the Council be continued, and evolve into whatever longer
term structure is ultimately agreed.