Tinkers Bridge - Milton Keynes

A great place to live!

Regeneration

Milton Keynes Council approved, in TBC, a regeneration program for the seven priority estates in Milton Keynes which had the worst indexes of national depravity. Tinkers Bridge, along with three other Woughton estates was included. Your:MK, a 50:50 partnership between MKC and Mears, was formed in April 2016 to implement regeneration, and to maintain the council houses. TBRA do not regard this regeneration as being resident led, and have been actively fighting to make the voice of residents known.

Regeneration Status

This is a personal view only, limited to information available to me, and last updated on 2 June 2018.

Fullers Slade: The residents association have created a very good plan to rival the four poor plans/outlines originally put forward in November 2017 by YourMK. However, no feedback on the R.A. plan is yet available, although it was submitted on 15 Feb 2018. There is ongoing bad communication between the RA and the RSG, and recent door- door surveys have been influencing results by telling residents that all their neighbours favour demolition.

Serpentine Court or Lakes Estate: The plan here appears to be broadly accepted. There is a separation between the RSG and the RA.

New Bradville: The RA represents all of Bradville

Woughton Estates (Coffee Hall, Beanhill, Netherfield, and Tinkers Bridge): Are in a period of uncertainty, with consultation no due until 2020, and currently no input from YourMK. This can help run down these estates, making demolition more likely

Condition survey of council houses

YourMk, via a 3rd party (Pennington Choices), is surveying most council houses in Milton Keynes to determine the best way ahead. Tinkers Bridge condition survey would be in phase 2 due to take place after Christmas. Council tenants will get a letter before 4th January giving details. The inspection takes about 40 minutes per house. Tinkers Bridge will be surveyed between 9 and 22nd January 2017.

Regeneration Information Sources

The prime source of public information on Regeneration is YourMK, which is the joint venture partnership between MK council and Mears, a private company. As they need the goodwill of the public on their side, YourMK does a lot of publicity, with Anne Bircham and Charlie Davies being the main public figures, supporting their facebook page. Some of their output may be regarded as propaganda!

TBRA does regularly attend MK council meetings which may affect regeneration, to ensure we know what is discussed at those gatherings, and to make the council aware that we are actively watching them and campaigning for Tinkers Bridge. We need more people from the estate to join in this activity


The advice of "follow the money" may be useful. It is not clear how Mears, as a commercial company, expect to get a return on their £500,000 investment in YourMK as MK council say it will not make a profit. Where has the £12,000,000 or so a year on "Capital transfers" from the housing revenue account gone? We need someone with the right skills to dig into these items.

Some say that Tinkers Bridge and Netherfield were only built as temporary buildings. No documentary evidence has been seen to support such a claim - if you have any, please let info@tinkersbridge.org.uk know.


Many tradesmen doing work on or in Tinkers Bridge houses appear to have expressed the view that the estate will be demolished. It is not clear if they have inside information, or if they are just speculating.

Trial design layouts

There are no plans, but there are "Layouts" for Bradville, Netherfield, and Fullers Slade, as detailed in the Urban Capacity Study on Feb 2017. These have been obtained by a FOI request and local copies are at http://tinkersbridge.org.uk/tbra/download/FirstSteps/MK_trial_layouts.pdf
Andrew Minzey, the MKC Planning Enquiry/Validation Officer says " I was provided the information in hard copy by a colleague. I have subsequently digitised the copies and attach for your reference.
I have been informed that there were no revisions made to these plans as they were produced for the purposes of theoretical layouts to support a procurement exercise to secure a partner for the Regeneration:MK programme."
David Gleeson of YourMK on 17 June 2017 said that these layouts would never be seriously considered for being built.

Regeneration Update

Fullers Slade have PPCR as their residents consultant. They have a lot of experience and were very pro-active. They had brought 3 members of staff and they were capturing residents' comments on a huge role of wallpaper linining (already listening!). When I asked the co-founder Ron Houston why we should choose them one of his answers was: they work to redress the imbalance of power. As well as handouts of past/current projects as examples for people to take away, they had a doublesided A4 leaflet with some thoughts on how they would support people in Fullers Slade

Areas to be investigated

Finance Has the HRA money been correctly administered over the years, or should there be money available from it for enhancing properties
Property life expectancy Emma Weingart at a drop-in on 26 April 2017 in conversation to David Lee referred to the buildings as "Temporary". When pushed, she could offer no support for this, but it sows an expectation that the houses should not be retained. If there is any evidence of "temporary", then purchasers of these properties may have claims due to mis-selling
Estates Survey The response found from questionnaires can be due to the way in which questions are asked, and YourMK reported results may suffer from this. A Regeneration Watch survey needs to be well designed to be free of such challenges. Possible useful questions could be "how concerned are you about the below average life expectancy on your estate?" (similar for other deprivation indexes), "what do you see as the best option for improving your estate?", and "how should improvements be funded?"
Thermal Insulation Assessment of current thermal performance, and how much can existing stock can easily be improved. Michelle Calnan has thermal image scan of Fullers Slade property.
Skills Register A list of skills held by estate residents and available to the group will be compiled. FS have surveyor(SC) and chartered engineer (BW). TB have carpenter(JO) and chartered engineer (DL)

Independent Tenant Advice

Residents have been promised independent advice, and a search on the internet reveals a number of firms offering this, such as
PPCR - part of a large organisation
Tpas - not-for-profit from Manchester
Priority Estates Project - not-for-profit from Dudley
Tenderlake - public tenders
AWICS - consultancy in Cumbria
First Call Housing - Trust from London
Source Partnership - Consultants in London
The above links have only been briefly checked, and there is no knowledge of any of these organisations.

Regeneration best practice links from YourMK
YourMK; Page retrived on , 2018-04-28

Labour leaders in row over Walthamstow regeneration Housing
Ben Quinn; The Guardian, 2018-02-16