MKBLP: In Conversation with... Councillor Peter Marland

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The Covid 19 pandemic could leave Milton Keynes Council with a £55 million shortfall.

Speaking to MKBLP Chair, Nicholas Mann, as part of the business partnership’s ‘In Conversation with….’ series of interviews, Cllr Peter Marland highlights both the plight, and the strength of the council while stressing; “we can’t go through another 10 years of austerity.”

While the £40 million injection from the Government ensured there was never a shortage of PPE within the hospital and care provisions, the expected deficit comes in the wake of business rate holidays, decreasing numbers of Council Tax collections and a reduction in revenue stream from the city.

While admitting that Government grants, “won’t replace Debenhams and those businesses whose doors are permanently closed,” Cllr Marland stresses the inimitable position of Milton Keynes.

Sitting in front of a sign aptly quoting ‘Milton Keynes, Britain’s Most Successful business city,’ he focuses on the fact that investment needs to continue within a city which helps pay dividends to the Treasury. “We are unique in our location and our capacity for growth. We are in a far stronger position than those in the North.”

Calling for business leaders to keep up the confidence in Milton Keynes and instil flexibility within their organisations, he lauded the support of local companies throughout the pandemic, while inspiring them to become ambassadors for the city to drive investment and bring the 2050 vision to fruition.

Cllr Marland also frankly discuss the city’s response to the pandemic.

From how Milton Keynes’ green spaces have helped keep infection rates relatively low in comparison to neighbouring towns, the overwhelming number of citizens who abided by measures and pulled together to support the wider community. And the 100 homeless people who were taken off the streets and now have a far greater level of engagement with support networks.