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  • New cities, which one are you happy about?
  • icic
    Free Member

    Finally Milton Keynes has become a city.

    We can all legitimately go to the “City” or City Centre” 😊

    New cities

    You may find this strange but I love Milton Keynes, it is a very misunderstood place.

    People say concrete cows and roundabouts. The reality is so many green places, ancient woodlands and wildlife.

    One of the best parts are the redway cycle paths.

    donks
    Free Member

    Thing is we are still a laughing stock to the rest of the country.
    The other week we were in the peaks and went into a pub for some food and drink and the landlady had asked if we had come far….without checking myself I said Milton Keynes and half the pub spontaneously burst out laughing!!
    I don’t mind the place but have to say that the estates and shopping centre are bloody awful. I’ve made a point in living in one of the old towns for the last 40 years as I find the estates quite souless and some can be quite isolated from any shops or facilities.
    We do have 2 climbing walls though which is great and Woburn has some decent riding, never been out of work in the “city” which is well known for an abundance of jobs.

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    All tub thumping distraction in my opinion, we have more serious things to address, but this is modern Britain so why worry about the big stuff when the council can spend thousands in new letterheads and signage because it has the privilege to be called a city.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Can we downgrade some cities to towns? My vote would go to Wakefield.

    Mister-P
    Free Member

    I think I’ll go to The Point this evening to celebrate.

    Mister-P
    Free Member

    We can all legitimately go to the “City” or City Centre”

    “Go up city” as my colleagues would say.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Thing is we are still a laughing stock to the rest of the country.

    The other week we were in the peaks 

    Hint, it’s nothing to do with where you live 😉

    Jamz
    Free Member

    The problem with Milton Keynes, and the reason why it’s so crap, is that it’s just one hideous great big shopping centre (all chains no independants) surrounded by retail parks/offices and then housing estates/developments. It just represents mindless, faceless consumerism and expansion. The trees and green spaces are wonderful because they help you forget that you’re actually in Milton Keynes, and all the culturally interesting bits were already there before the ‘city’ was built.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    The reality is so many green places, ancient woodlands and wildlife.

    I have great memories of all the bits that don’t constitute a city.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    I never really understood the need / desire to be a ‘City’, doesn’t come with any new funding and doesn’t actually change anything as far as I can tell….

    Plus as we create new Cities faster than we build new towns, eventually every town will become a City…

    Mind you City of Hope has a good ring to it…

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Hope should be so lucky… more likely to be Castlecity down the road.

    creakingdoor
    Free Member

    Having worked with the ‘yoot’ of MK for several years I can honestly say that there is a certain demographic that possesses a kind of nihilistic hopelessness about life. Some of the estates have extreme poverty and deprivation, I don’t know how it compares to the national average but it imbues a level of despondency that is culturally ingrained. Yes, there are areas that are very affluent, the job market for young professionals is very buoyant, the leisure facilities for the middle classes are exceptional etc etc. But that doesn’t include everyone. That feeling of endemic isolation leads to young people forming their own identities and kicking against a system that they feel is inherently designed to exclude them. And so they fall into gangs. And then they start carrying knives, because, you know, that’s what their mates do, and they want to fit in. And we all know how that ends.
    On the flip side, the road network is very good and allows multiple ways to transit the city without getting bogged down in traffic. It’s a clear example of the benefits of infrastructure and housing being explicitly planned rather than just evolving, as per the concentric rings model of most other large cities. It also means that you can drive through the city on the dual carriageways at 60-70 mph and never see the problem areas that are hidden away from the public.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Saw it on TV this morning. Couldn’t understand why I was supposed to give a shit tbh

    convert
    Full Member

    Couldn’t understand why I was supposed to give a shit tbh

    This. Why would one care either way? I’m bemused.

    Caher
    Full Member

    Reading misses out again. At least it can still call itself the largest town in Britain.

    jeffl
    Full Member

    Only ever driven through MK when heading south to see family and friends. The road network is awesome. Do they have much of a problem with chavs using it as a race track? Must admit it is fun to get up to 70 go round a roundabout then boot it back up to 70 again.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    footflaps

    I never really understood the need / desire to be a ‘City’, doesn’t come with any new funding and doesn’t actually change anything as far as I can tell….

    Plus as we create new Cities faster than we build new towns, eventually every town will become a City…

    ^^^^ THIS ^^^^

    doesn’t come with any new funding and doesn’t actually change anything as far as I can tell

    Ah… but it gives a different take and more big projects for councillors and non elected officials to skim off.

    Being on a council is very much like if Richard Gere had said to Julia Roberts .. here use my credit card and you can keep any cashback or free gifts… essentially they are spending other people’s money but any kickbacks go to them and the more and bigger they spend the bigger their percentage and the bigger the gifts are.

    Pretty much anything financial can be placed in a Section 2 claiming it’s commercially sensitive which means no public or press and any councillor leaking would be subject to disciplinary measures so anything can be hidden for at least a year until they have to publish accounts.

    easily
    Free Member

    I’m from Brighton – I don’t think anyone who lived there gave a shit when it became a city except for Simon Fanshawe.

    I now live in Milton Keynes. It must be a rubbish place for teenagers, but for everyone else there are benefits and drawbacks.
    The main drawback for me is the chains – I don’t mind shops so much, but it can be hard to find non-chain restaurants.
    There are a few main benefits:
    – The cycle network. It’s far from perfect (unnecessary elevations and diversions, blind 90 degree turns at the bottom of hills, some very questionable surfacing) but I cycle to work every day and I’m on the road for less than 200m of an 8km ride. The route takes me along canals paths, through a wood, past loads of flowers and greenery … and this is the most direct route, not one chosen for prettiness. I take a longer route home where I can have bit of fun on the way, but again I never touch the roads.
    – You see a lot of sky wherever you are in MK. I miss it when I live in other places.
    – Trees, grass, rivers, parks, woods, lakes, etc everywhere. It would never be built like this today, the developers wouldn’t allow so much ‘wasted’ space.

    I’ve lived in Brighton; Oxford; London; Nottingham; Bangkok; Koh Phangan; George Town, Malaysia; NSW; yet I seem to have settled here. Must be the food delivery robots.

    Mister-P
    Free Member

    Do they have much of a problem with chavs using it as a race track? Must admit it is fun to get up to 70 go round a roundabout then boot it back up to 70 again

    Nah, it’s more likely to be middle aged men in BMWs, Audis or Teslas.

    csb
    Full Member

    Ah… but it gives a different take and more big projects for councillors and non elected officials to skim off.

    I don’t think it changes anything administratively does it? Does the Town Council become the City Council as a new Unitary Authority, and it seperates from the District and County it sat within, assuming it wasn’t a Unitary Authority already?

    So what I’m saying @stevextc is there isn’t new scope for financial scams.

    binners
    Full Member

    If we keep going that this rate, everywhere in the UK will be a City by 2041

    Bread and Circuses

    dc1988
    Full Member

    I did used to get a bit of a heavy right foot driving through MK, you can get into roundabout racing a little bit.

    My dad grew up in Bletchley and hates MK because he knew what was destroyed to build it.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    I have no idea what the point of this is. Does anyone beyond a few councillors actually care whether its a village, town or city

    martymac
    Full Member

    @chrismac
    No, not in the slightest.
    Dunfermline is in the same boat.
    I could travel through to an actual city, Glasgow for example, and tell someone there that (insert town name here) is now a city and guarantee the response would be “is it, aye?”
    Nobody gives a ssit.

    kimbers
    Full Member

    Mister-P
    Free Member
    I think I’ll go to The Point this evening to celebrate.

    do it while you can!
    https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/people/could-iconic-milton-keynes-building-the-point-be-saved-at-the-last-minute-3604082

    randomly Ive just submitted a preservation order to English Heritage to get it saved

    Anyway, Ive only lived here for 6 years but really like it (grew up in nearby dunstable!!!)

    easily the greenest city Ive been to; lakes, parks & woods everywhere, agree it would never be built like this now, the newer estates have far less space and well thought out houses.

    redway cycle network is surely unique in the country too

    The grid system has plusses & minuses and yes the estates often lack shops/ cafes

    There are a few really bad estates where poverty is a a very serious issue, which does throw into contrast the shiny marble shopping centre and snowdome

    great article here

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/may/03/struggle-for-the-soul-of-milton-keynes

    dissonance
    Full Member

    Despite not giving a toss about the actual relics Colchester has had an ongoing hissy fit about being a town rather than city. Some great passive aggressive signs “Colchester Britains 1st City”.

    alric
    Free Member

    Never thought Id end up in Milton Keynes,but I did.
    Loved the greenways, just for ease of riding around, though too easy to get lost, and green spaces, and Woburn Bike park
    Supposedly built on the Leylines

    My biggest regrets there were the cost of renting, but mostly not having a supermoto to get aroundabout
    Never had problems there, despite delivering to all estates late at night

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    dander
    Full Member

    The Scottish applicants included South Ayrshire??!

    stevextc
    Free Member

    csb

    I don’t think it changes anything administratively does it? Does the Town Council become the City Council as a new Unitary Authority, and it seperates from the District and County it sat within, assuming it wasn’t a Unitary Authority already?

    So what I’m saying @stevextc is there isn’t new scope for financial scams.

    It’s not even going to become a Unitary Auth by necessity (doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to that) BUT if it did then that’s a whole new set of elected and non elected at the trough. I know we had a “threat” (or whatever) of being bunged into one a couple of years ago that somehow evaporated.

    What I meant changes is “cities” have skyscrapers and big infrastructure projects rather than “estates and shops”. Especially when it’s a “new town” with no specific historic preservation … it affect planning. Try it on yourself … what do you envision as a “city centre” vs a “town centre”. (what images do the two conjour up)

    It’s the sheer size and profitability of these projects gives better kickback opportunities than for example lots of house conversions or individual houses with perhaps the odd new street or two.

    csb
    Full Member

    It’s not even going to become a Unitary Auth by necessity (doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to that) BUT if it did then that’s a whole new set of elected and non elected at the trough

    Not quite true, unitary status does what it says for that place – it replaces 2 sets of councillors (District and County) with one set (e.g. City) so is arguably more efficient.

    Pyro
    Full Member

    @Caher

    Reading misses out again. At least it can still call itself the largest town in Britain.

    Except it isn’t. According to THIS it’s smaller than Northampton, which is still a town

    tuboflard
    Full Member

    I’ll never hear the end of it from colleagues in Doncaster (with me based in Sheffield, a proper city).

    And does everywhere who’ve gained city status need to quickly chuck up a cathedral too now?

    benpinnick
    Full Member

    Except it isn’t. According to THIS it’s smaller than Northampton, which is still a town

    I think they got a 2 on the start of the Reading number where it needs a 3. reading is nearly 350k

    dissonance
    Full Member

    And does everywhere who’ve gained city status need to quickly chuck up a cathedral too now?

    Nope.
    You can have cities without cathedrals and towns with cathedrals (24 of the latter although think at least one will becoming a city now).
    Under Henry VIII those towns with Anglian cathedrals automatically became cities since then its been more patchy and the link got abandoned altogether towards the end of Victorian times.

    stevextc
    Free Member

    csb

    Not quite true, unitary status does what it says for that place – it replaces 2 sets of councillors (District and County) with one set (e.g. City) so is arguably more efficient.

    That’s not what I meant … I realise it replaces the 2 sets (which are more than 2 as most are merging multiple conglomerations) and that may be “more efficient”.

    What I meant is there is no rule I know of that connects that with being a city.
    e.g Rutland (pop 40k) is a unitary authority vs Birmingham 1.1M a met borough.

    midlifecrashes
    Full Member

    Yesterday I lived in one of Britain’s 25 most deprived towns, today I have been promoted to living in one of Britain’s top 10 deprived cities. Ain’t that marvellous.

    achaney
    Full Member

    Despite living in MK for best part 20 years still struggle to think of it as a city. . . As outlined above many positives but still the town/city centre can be somewhat soulless. Ironically the constant expansion and now lax planning regs seem to be destroyed the original ethos which is a shame, and traffic volumes are massive vs 20 years ago. Best part for me is quick commute, facilities for kids and having Woburn/ Aspley woods on the doorstep

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    Donny?!! Blimey they were stuck for choices then.

    ransos
    Free Member

    Except it isn’t. According to THIS it’s smaller than Northampton, which is still a town

    It reckons Bristol is bigger than Manchester, which it clearly isn’t.

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