Guest Blog: Fullers Slade Residents Association

June 20, 2017

Regeneration is now a reality (at least as a consultation process) for the residents of Fullers Slade no matter whether Council Tenant, Private Owner resident, Private Owner rented resident, HMO Resident, Lodger or Housing Association resident. An intensive programme of consultation will commence at the beginning of July between YourMK, their Architectural Master Planners – SEH, and all residents who reside in Fullers Slade. The results of these consultations, which will take one year to complete, will determine what happens on a ‘Regenerated’ Fullers Slade and will have a life changing effect on all residents and their families. There will only be one chance for Fullers Slade residents, get it wrong and the adverse effects will be felt for the rest of the time they reside on Fullers Slade, get it right and they are promised a whole new life and community. Apathy is not an option, it is essential that all residents engage in this consultation, collectively and individually.

And, as YourMK emphasise, this is not just about improvements to the properties. It is about creating employment, training residents so they can obtain financially more gainful employment, reducing anti-social behaviour, providing a community ‘heart’ (we actually believe we already have a community heart) and focus, and reducing benefit dependency. But of course residents will  all have  own views on what ‘deprivation ‘ actually is and the vision YourMK  seek to deliver through regeneration. And indeed if it is the vision that residents wish to live in. Hence the survey that FSRA-RG recently delivered to every resident of Fullers Slade3, Hilltop and Sidlaw Court. The personal views of all residents will all be collated providing a very useful ‘starter template’ of residents wishes.

The Fullers Slade Residents Association (FSRA) and the Regeneration Group keep all residents informed on Regeneration matters….not just for Fullers Slade but by co-operation and liaison with the other six regeneration estates. It seeks out professional views on ‘regeneration’, density values and considerations such as the Campaign to Protect Rural England article which endorses the international ‘terrace’ model for effective land use of ‘green’ land…they endorse a 42 target figure of  dwellings per hectare…but in a manner that maintains and sustains green areas. Plot density is only one metric, residents will be seeking to achieve far more than this in a regenerated Fullers Slade.

FSRA and FSRA-RG will encourage all residents to engage with the forthcoming consultations…..we will always try and offer a neutral ‘reporting’ and ‘checking’ role…but of course as all committee members are also residents, will also have and communicate to the consultation workshops their own personal views.

What is being expressed by the Fullers Slade Community is exasperation that once again a new dawn is being offered to residents and they point their fingers to the ‘Regeneration 2004’ and the ‘Cavendish Regeneration’ of 2008 that now sit on the shelves or in the archives of MKC undelivered. They want to get on with their lives, point their fingers at MKC for the dilapidation of the council housing stock and so-called deprivation. Yes, we have anti-social behaviour and some irresponsible residents….but not more so than the posher parts of Milton Keynes.  Fullers Slade is a very close knit community, just walk about it and see the little pockets of neighbours chatting and having tea/coffee in their front drives or visit Georges Fish and Chip shop any evening of the week or Saturday to see this community spirit. It has great strength, resilience and satisfaction, this must be protected in Fullers Slade at all costs

So let’s get on with the consultations and workshops…with a view that at the end there will be an agreement with the residents of what a regenerated Fullers Slade should actually be…no more false dawns please, they cause more unrest than the so called deprivation we supposedly live with

Barrie Wilde, Chair of Fullers Slade Residents Association (FSRA)