Local News

Bringing you news that matters to you from across the local area

14th Jan 2017

From the nurseries of Milton Keynes to the rooftops of London

The Bridgman & Bridgman story started back in the 1970s when horticulturalist Neil Bridgman and his wife relocated to Milton Keynes to work for the visionary Milton Keynes Development Corporation. Neil worked on the tree nursery at Milton Keynes Village and his young son, Chris, would soon join him in his passion for horticulture. From the age of about five Chris would spend weekends and school holidays working alongside his father: “Those childhood memories really inspired me to go and study horticulture after I left school.” After working together for numerous years, the father-and-son team made the decision to venture out on their own, establishing Bridgman & Bridgman LLP in 2006. Chris says it’s a pleasure to be based in his hometown of Milton Keynes: “It really is the city of trees, and the city is so well-maintained with green space and biodiversity being a top priority. It’s amazing how..

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13th Jan 2017

£2 Million Park Improvement Begins at Willen Lake

Willen Lake, Milton Keynes’ most popular park, is receiving an investment of over £2million from The Parks Trust in the first half of 2017. This money will be used to improve facilities for visitors, including the installation of a state of the art ‘Splash Park’. The ‘Splash Park’ will be joined by a new coffee and ice cream kiosk, with increased toilet facilities, and a new, surfaced car park offering an additional 300 spaces. Additional natural play features will be installed and grass areas within the site will be re-landscaped, improving the space available for play, picnics and events. Furthermore earth bunds will be formed to better screen the site from traffic noise from Brickhill Street. Initial tree and shrub clearing work has already begun in preparation for the earth moving and construction works which will start later this month. The development is expected to complete in its entirety by..

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11th Jan 2017

A Big Thank You from Rotary...

Wolverton & Stony Stratford Rotary Club would like to pass on its sincere thanks to all the members of the public who gave so generously to the club’s Santa Sleigh when it toured around northern Milton Keynes and local supermarkets during December. This year’s Santa Tour raised the magnificent total of £6,052, which will be distributed to various charities and local community organisations including Willen Hospice, Kids Out, Walnuts School, Tools for Self Reliance and the Alzheimer’s Society. Special thanks also go to all those who helped our members with the collections and to the management and staff of Budgens Stony Stratford, Tescos Wolverton and Sainsbury’s in Central Milton Keynes for kindly allowing us to collect at their stores. Information about Wolverton & Stony Stratford Rotary Club can be found at www.wolvertonandstonystratfordrotaryclub.co.uk

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09th Jan 2017

No better time to start school in MK: Don’t forget to apply...

Parents and carers with children who are due to start school for the first time or transfer from infant to junior school in September 2017 are being reminded to apply for a school place in plenty of time before the deadline on Sunday 15 January 2017. The easiest way to make an application is by visiting the council’s website at  www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/schooladmissions  The process is quick and simple, and once it is started you can revisit your application and make amendments at any time before midnight on 15 January. Councillor Zoe Nolan, Lead Member for Children said: “There has never been a better time to be at school in Milton Keynes. Our schools are performing better than ever with the majority rated good or outstanding by Ofsted, and recent figures show that by the end of primary school, pupils are performing better than the national average. “With the festive season behind..

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09th Jan 2017

Willen Hospice Santa Dash raises over £7000

Willen Hospice held its Santa Dash on Sunday 18th December which took place around Willen North Lake, starting and finishing just outside the Willen Hospice gardens. Over 500 dashers attended and so far over £7000 has been raised to support the specialist care Willen Hospice provides. Currently it costs £7 per minute for Willen Hospice to provide the specialist end-of-life care for its patients and support for their loved ones –events such as the Santa Dash contribute greatly to helping raise those urgently needed funds. Sarah Sweet-Rowley, Events Manager at Willen Hospice said “We were delighted to see so many people take part in our Santa Dash. It was a wonderful morning for a festive run and was fantastic to see a big group of Santa’s from the community take part showing much needed support for the care we provide here at Willen Hospice. Thank you to everyone who took..

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09th Jan 2017

MK Gallery on track to deliver new multi-million pound arts centre for the region

MK Gallery continues to progress with its ambitious expansion plans which will culminate in the delivery of a new multi-million pound arts centre for Milton Keynes and the wider region. The Gallery is working with renowned British practice, 6a architects, on its major renovation and expansion, with bar and café, auditorium for film, music and events, and dedicated community facilities. The Gallery has revised its original timescale as it seeks to deliver excellent value for money for the scheme. Capital works are due to begin during 2017. Earlier this year, MK Gallery was recognised for its work in Milton Keynes when the Gallery won in the Community Impact category at the 2016 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards. The Gallery continues to contribute to Milton Keynes during the expansion planning and build phase with its popular learning and events programme, alongside projects such as City Club, which levered £750,000 of new..

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07th Jan 2017

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South

Happy New Year! I hope that you have all had an opportunity to spend some good quality time with you friends and families over the festive period. I would also like to thank all those people who worked over that time to keep our key services running. I was very pleased when the Chancellor made his Autumn Statement as it contained significant commitments that will benefit Milton Keynes. Readers will know that I am a long-term proponent of the East-West rail link so the news that it is to receive £110m sooner than previously expected, together with the Transport Secretary’s follow-up announcement of a new company to build and operate the line, should enable progress to be accelerated. Alongside this goods news was that announcing £27m to develop plans for the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge expressway. This is all good news for Milton Keynes. On Takeover Day – which allows students to..

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07th Jan 2017

Take part in the first ever Caldecotte Xtreme Challenge

Make up a team of 4 and tackle a new and unique challenge at the Caldecotte Xperience on the weekend of 18th and 19th March 2017. Test yourselves against a whole range of obstacles and challenges and you’ll learn what you can do and how to work together as a team. It’s hard and its great fun! As you follow a track around the site, you’ll climb, abseil, negotiate the scramble wall, go underground in the caving system, try to strike gold at archery, go canoeing on the lake, run round the lake and finally wade the river on your way to the finish. It is likely to take 1 to 2 hours to complete and each team will have its own start time. Points will be awarded for successfully completing each challenge so we will have a winning team at the end. It costs just £200 for each team..

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05th Jan 2017

Which Arriva bus driver is your champion...

Bus operator Arriva is launching a quest to find the nation’s favourite driver of the year. As part of its annual Made a Difference awards Arriva is appealing for customers in Milton Keynes to nominate their Arriva Bus Champion. The bus operator is looking to its passengers to shine a light on hard-working drivers who have demonstrated outstanding customer care. Nominations are open until 31 January and the four top-scoring drivers in each region will go head to head in an online vote to find a regional champion to go forward to the national finals. The award is nominated and chosen entirely by bus passengers. For more information or to nominate your champion, please visit www.arrivabus.co.uk/champions

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04th Jan 2017

The Parks Trust Needs Your Votes to Bag a Share of Bag Charge Fund

The Parks Trust is bidding to receive a cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative, to install BBQ sites in its parks. Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects. Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant. The Parks Trust is one of the groups on the shortlist, with customers able to vote in a number of Tesco stores across the Milton Keynes area (see below list), including the Extra stores in Kingston and Wolverton. The money will be used by The Parks Trust to create four community BBQ..

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04th Jan 2017

Frosts Garden Centre Celebrates a Bumper Christmas

Last year’s Christmas at Frosts Garden Centre was its most magical yet, recent figures have shown. The Garden Centre, which recently completed its impressive £1.5m refurbishment, saw a brand new Santa’s Grotto in 2016 that delivered the region’s ‘best Santa experience’ according to posts on the Group’s Facebook page. Over 40,000 people visited the grotto, which opened on Sunday 6 November and closed on Christmas Eve. During this festive period, Santa saw 21,400 children and each was given a free toy, 18,458 mince pies were handed out to parents and over 20 tonnes of reindeer food was made. It was also estimated that Santa said ‘Ho, ho, ho’ 85,000 times. Over the entire festive period, the Garden Centre welcomed a total of 850,000 people – its most visits ever over Christmas – who were enticed by free events including Ladies Night and the Magical Night. The iced topping on a..

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03rd Jan 2017

The Parks Trust Urges Caution During Icy Weather

As the wintery weather takes hold, The Parks Trust, the self-funding charity that cares for Milton Keynes’ green spaces, urges all residents and visitors to its parks to be extra cautious around lakes and rivers. Smaller bodies of water, such as the Grand Union Canal and the ponds at Westcroft tend to freeze over very quickly during the winter months, with the larger lakes following suit as the temperature continues to drop. While these frozen over areas may seem like a tempting playground for many, the risks are real; statistics from the Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) show that in the last 10 years over 20 people have died after falling through ice, with young children and males of any age most at risk. Furthermore, over 50 per cent of ice related drownings involved an attempted rescue of another person or a dog. Flooded areas are also..

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02nd Jan 2017

College Learners in the Driving Seat with Vauxhall

Motor Vehicle students from Milton Keynes College are set to benefit from a very special donation from Vauxhall Motors in partnership with the Business in the Community organisation. The donation sees the College’s Motor Vehicles department receive a full working Vauxhall Vivaro van from the motor production giant, which is based nearby in Luton. The Vivaro, which will be located at the College’s workshop environment at Bletchley campus, is one of a number of vehicles that the company uses for testing purposes. Once those tests had been completed, the vehicle then became available for donation for educational purposes via Business in the Community, a charity organisation which manages a number of programmes aimed at tackling issues in business and society. By receiving the Vivaro, students on the College’s Motor Vehicle study programmes will be able to practice the skills learned in their lessons on a brand new, fully-working vehicle, providing..

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02nd Jan 2017

Winkelman: Rewarded for doing it our way

After a thorough and structured search for a new MK Dons manager, chairman Pete Winkelman finally has his man in the form of 36-year-old Robbie Neilson. Winkelman and his board spent just under six weeks whittling through the hundreds of applications, searching for the man to take the reins at Stadium MK and then, last Friday, it was Heart of Midlothian boss Neilson that was unveiled as the man take the Club forward, alongside his assistant Stevie Crawford. The chairman couldn’t be happier. “We aren’t just any old Football Club and I’m pleased we did it the way we did - the Milton Keynes way." Winkelman told MK Dons PlayerHD. "It has been a roller coaster time and we have taken our time at a very difficult time in the season but we made sure we’ve got the right person for the job. “We really thought about it and looked..

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30th Dec 2016

The MacIntyre Community Memory Café

Established in 1966 by Kenneth Newton Wright, the parent of a disabled child, MacIntyre has grown to become a leading national charity, highly respected and committed to setting standards and increasing choice. MacIntyre provides learning, support and care for more than 1,200 children, young people and adults with learning disabilities, at more than 150 MacIntyre services across England and Wales. Its diverse range of services includes registered care homes, supported living, outreach, accredited training schemes and lifelong learning services, as well as a residential special school and further education provision. The MacIntyre Community Memory Café ran its first session in February 2016, and was initially set up after it became clear that there is a limited amount of services that are available to support a person with dementia in Milton Keynes. MacIntyre established the Community Memory Café so that anyone, whether they are living with dementia or not, can come..

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