Parish Council discussions with Milton Keynes Council re the Loughton Sports and Social Club premises and sports ground

Councillor Kirkman and I were at Saxon House this morning to meet with representatives from Milton Keynes Council leisure department to discuss the ownership of the Loughton Sports and Social Club premises and sports ground.

It seems that there have been discussions between the Parish and the unitary authority about the ownership of the premises being transfered to the Parish for over 10 years but for some reason nothing has actually happened.

The Council is now about to launch a large asset transfer pursuant to the Localism Act 2011. This transfer has been pencilled into “tranche 1″ which is after 5 pilot transfers and could be scheduled for as early as June 2012.

It appears that the Act has procedures which require the transfer to be offered onto the “market” although it is difficult to see who else but the Parish would be willing to take this on.

Another meeting has been fixed for 2 weeks to discuss the matter further. If this transfer does proceed, then the Parish will be able to manage the premises more effectively to ensure that it is kept in good repair and developed and kept up to date. Unfortunately under the ownership of Milton Keynes Council there has been a lack of investment in the facility, and the premises now needs development. Watch this space…

This Blog

Welcome to this new Blog on the website of Loughton Parish Council.

The Parish Council wants to engage with parishioners and keep them updated about its work. So this blog is an attempt to do this. It will discuss the activities of the parish and progress  on its projects and the challenges it faces.

If you’re interested in finding out more about what the Parish is doing in your local area, it might just be worth a read….

Quiz night at the Loughton Sports and Social Club

Saturday 28th January was quiz night at the Loughton Sports and Social Club. Many of you may be aware the club is seeking new members and in these days of austerity, running a sports and social club takes up a huge amount of time.

The Club held an annual general meeting in December when insufficient numbers of people volunteered to fill the officer positions of the club and the committee. So the club organised an emergency general meeting in January to talk about whether it should be wound up.

At the January EGM, the club was packed and there was a strong support for the club continuing. All the positions were filled and the committee was to meet to get the club more active again. The quiz night on 28th was one of the first of such activities.

Wow! what a turnout. I couldn’t count the number of people who attended but it must have been well over 100 people. There was hardly enough room for everyone to sit down; and the bar was busy all evening.

Overall it was an excellent night and the turnout was amazing. It just shows what support there is in the local community in Loughton for the social club and I hope it used the opportunity to sign up as many members as it can.

I understand the quiz is now intended to be a monthly event on the 4th or final saturday evening of the month. I recommend it to anyone who fancies a good night out

New parish website goes live

Thanks mainly to the genius of former Parish Councillor Mike Jones, Loughton Parish Council now has a new website.

Mike has built this one using WordPress, a web format popular amongst bloggers, but also gradually finding favour with many organisations as a platform for a website.

The advantages of WordPress (apart from being free!) are that there can be many contributors, that posting is pretty straightforward, and uploading resources such as documents is also pretty straightforward.

Visit to the MacIntyre Centre

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9am Monday morning finds me meeting Hilary, Joyce & Peter for a meeting with the Operations Manager for the MacIntyre Centre in Great Holm.

MacIntyre is a charity that has been delivering services to people with learning disabilities in Milton Keynes since 1988.

MacIntyre’s Head Office is in Central Milton Keynes, and the organisation employs around 250 staff locally. They support over 150 people with learning disabilities in the city, and this number is growing.

Their site at Great Holm is their main base in Milton Keynes, as it includes accommodation for 40 people, a centre offering educational and therapeutic activities and a coffee shop.

Over 100 people with a learning disability attend the Great Holm center every week, but the building is in need of updating to make it more accessible and provide some more space and better facilities. This will allow MacIntyre to continue offering a diverse range of activities, from literacy and numeracy to horticulture and music. They also want to open the building up to the community more, so that people can use their facilities and share their activities.

In the future they want to get out and about more in the community themselves.

To find out more about MacIntyre and get a flavour of what they do, why not visitwww.macintyremiltonkeynes.org or drop in for lunch to one of their coffee shops or bakeries

Great Holm Coffee Shop and Bakery, 54 Haddon, Great Holm, MK8 9HP
Tel: 01908 265943
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9-3

This iconic building was built in the 1980s. It adjoins the MacIntyre Housing Association properties and enables the Centre to support those residents living in the community.

Next week, MacIntyre are holding public consultation events on their plans to modernise, improve and expand their operations. The hope to apply for planning permission in April 2012 and intend to close the centre for about a year from October 2012 to enable their redevelopment and expansion of facilities.

We viewed the plans and the site for the development. The need for the redevelopment is very apparent. 30 years on from opening, parts of the building need to be modernized. The controversial part of the plans relates to the size and location of the new development. Our group had concerns that the size of the building and its location at the entrance to Great Holm is unwelcome.

We encourage others to attend the public consultation meetings next week and to feed back comments on the proposals before they are finalized and lodged for planning permission. We would also welcome comments form parishioners on what they think of these proposals as we consider our response to the planning application.

We certainly had an interesting tour and it was lovely to see so many residents taking part in activities in such a happy and supportive environment. MacIntyre do excellent work and deserve recognition for it.

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