What is YourMK?
YourMK is a partnership between Milton Keynes Council and Mears Group. From 1st April 2016 YourMK took over responsibility for the repairs and maintenance of all Milton Keynes Council properties. From 1st April 2017 YourMK also took over responsibility for gas servicing and repairs.
In addition, YourMK is the lead for regeneration in Milton Keynes and is also building new council homes on sites in Milton Keynes.
YourMK aims to improve homes and neighbourhoods, provide better access to jobs and training and give genuine power and influence to local people. We want to make the best of Milton Keynes even better.
YourMK’s mission is to establish an outstanding reputation for support and service satisfaction, as well as develop a consistent standard of living for the people of Milton Keynes through:
- Maintaining council properties to the highest quality standards
- Building quality homes with respect for local environment and culture
- Supporting the involvement of local people and groups in their community
- Providing access to appropriate training, education and employment
- Using significant inward investment to deliver long-term value and benefits to current and future residents
Who is responsible for looking after Council homes?
YourMK looks after all council homes, meaning that most repairs that are needed will be carried out by YourMK. There are some things that YourMK is not responsible for. The list below details what tenants are responsible for fixing or replacing:
- Internal decoration and filling of minor cracks
- Lost keys
- Doors numbers, letterboxes (except fire rated doors in flats)
- Door knockers and bells
- Light bulbs
- Tenant-owned alarms
- Loose or broken toilet seats
- Bath/sink chains and plugs
- Washing machines and dishwashers
- Tenant-owned white goods, such as fridges and freezers
- Tenant-owned battery smoke alarm
- Additional security to garages, sheds, gates and entrance doors.
- Pest treatment (unless in communal areas)
If a tenant has carried out their own plumbing or electrical installations, we will not be responsible for them other than making safe if needed.
What number do I call to report a repair?
Call us on 0330 123 2522 to report any repair. This line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Given what happened at Grenfell Tower, how can we be sure that the new homes built by YourMK will be safe?
Milton Keynes Council (MKC) are responsible for the safety of all existing properties and have made a statement on their website at https://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/pressreleases/2017/jun/milton-keynes-council-s-response-to-the-fire-at-grenfell-tower-in-london. You can also read it if you click here. In summary MKC has no tall buildings with cladding systems.
YourMK have committed to ensuring that all refurbishment and new builds will be designed and built to the highest standards and most current building regulations.
Before the Grenfell Tower disaster we had already commenced a round of new Type 4 Fire Risk assessments that test to a higher standard than previously. For example, these assessments look at communal areas as well as individual flats. We started these assessments in Mellish Court, The Gables and parts of Serpentine Court; these are now complete. We will now prioritise fire testing in all sheltered accommodation before assessing all low rise general needs housing that is of non standard construction. Following this we will review the rest of the general needs stock.
If you or a friend or neighbour have any worries, please call the YourMK team on 01908 991570.
What does regeneration mean?
Some people think that regeneration is simply about building new homes where they’re needed and then removing the old worn-out ones. But there’s much more to it. Regeneration isn’t just about bricks and mortar. It’s about making positive and long lasting changes that will improve the lives of the people and families of Milton Keynes.
YourMK are doing this, not only by improving homes and neighbourhoods, but also by providing opportunities for people to get jobs and training through our job clubs, and by encouraging and supporting the involvement of local people and groups in their community.
YourMK are not responsible for delivering the majority of services or facilities within communities. However, regeneration offers a great opportunity for agencies to work together and make positive change to communities which will benefit all residents.
What are the priority neighbourhoods for YourMK and why have they been selected?
There are seven priority neighbourhoods. These are, in alphabetical order:
- Coffee Hall
- Fullers Slade
- Lakes Estate
- North Bradville
- Tinkers Bridge
They have been selected due to the high numbers of council owned properties in these areas and their current condition.
Our data also tells us some residents in these areas need support in finding a job, improving skills, and improving health. Life expectancy for people living in these seven neighbourhoods is up to 12 years less than elsewhere in the borough, and this is unacceptable.
Housing is also a key factor, with many residents on low incomes paying much more to keep their homes heated than those in more energy efficient houses. Between September 2016 and April 2017, we carried out a survey of 8,500 council houses to understand what improvements are needed in these neighbourhoods.
Is this regeneration going to be like so many others that I have read about?
Regeneration is happening across the country. Some programmes elsewhere have been ‘developer led’ as they are the result of the sale of housing from public to private sector. These are all individual programmes and YourMK is different. We will work with local residents to understand the current condition of homes, design improvements to homes, and lift the quality of neighbourhoods, working in partnership with local people. However, we cannot guarantee there will be no demolition.
What if my area is developing a Neighbourhood Plan?
The development of a Neighbourhood Plan is generally led by parish/town councils, not by YourMK. Although Neighbourhood Plans are not regeneration plans, they should contribute to the development of regeneration plans and, if agreed at referendum, will need to be considered in any regeneration plans.
If rebuilding takes place will there be a higher housing density?
Increased density is an enabler for regeneration, not an objective. If density increases we will have to comply with Milton Keynes Council’s requirements to provide increased infrastructure (roads, schools, community facilities) and will engage with teams in education, health and highways about requirements to be included in masterplans.
Will regeneration help tackle the homelessness problem in Milton Keynes?
No, not directly. However, YourMK will be building new council homes on behalf of Milton Keynes Council.
Will people who own businesses or work in the area be included in the consultation?
The views of residents, business owners and any other stakeholders living and working in the area will shape the development of the masterplan.
Which of the priority neighbourhoods will be first?
Engagement will start in Fullers Slade first, in July 2017.
How has this been chosen to be first?
The housing condition surveys that were carried out on 8,500 council properties between September 2016 and April 2017, have informed what work is needed where.
In Fullers Slade the council owned properties are in need of significant investment, refurbishment or replacement.
This is mainly due to the age of the properties and how they were built. The large number of houses on the estate that are in this poor condition, coupled with other important factors such as the funding available and the scale of the work necessary, mean that Fullers Slade is the right place for regeneration work to start.
Are the results of the stock condition survey available to see?
The analysis information will be available to see on our website once this work has been completed.
How long will it all take?
The regeneration programme in Milton Keynes is a 15 year programme.
We will start engagement work in Fullers Slade in July 2017.
Following this work, we will begin engagement in the rest of the areas, in the order set out below.
||Physical work starts
|Lakes; Serpentine Court
|Beanhill, Coffee Hall, Netherfield and Tinkers Bridge
How will regeneration be funded?
No two projects are alike, and while housing finance can seem complex, there are a range of possible options that we will be looking at. These are set out below. It should be noted that the eventual solution could be a blend of these. Other options may evolve as we progress. Ultimately we have to ensure that whichever option(s) are chosen that they represent value for money.
Housing Revenue Account
This is money controlled by the Council which has to be used for the benefit of tenants of Milton Keynes Council. This can include works to improve or replace social housing. While it might be helpful as part of the regeneration scheme it is subject to a number of legal restrictions and the funds available will not be sufficient to do everything that is needed.
In this option, YourMK could ask banks or other financial institutions to lend us the money to pay for a scheme. We would then pay them back in regular payments. The money loaned would be secured on the land being built on or the ongoing rental income that the new properties would provide. This would be similar to a landlord mortgage.
The council could borrow the money from the banks or other institutions and then lend it to us at a rate of interest that is beneficial to us but still ensures that they make a surplus. This would then be repaid to the Council over an agreed period of time.
These are large organisations who seek to invest money to generate an income. This is a good option for them at present as interest rates are low and investing in building schemes will give a greater financial return. It is also less risky than investing in the stock market. In effect they are investing to secure a long term income.
How will the community be involved with the selection of the appointment of an Independent Resident Advisor?
YourMK have selected 3 organisations that provide independent advice to residents during the regeneration process. These are First Call Housing, PPCR and PEP. In each area, residents will be given the opportunity to meet each of these organisations and choose their preferred company.
Will the carbon footprint and impact on air quality be a consideration of the programme?
We will follow any national guidelines/best practice and are in conversation with the appropriate team at Milton Keynes Council. We will publish all information on our website when it is available.
To find out about what is happening in your neighbourhood click here