Real progress on plans for B&MK Waterway but “tricky issues” ahead

Paul Vann, secretary of the B&MK Waterway Consortium and Economic Development Manager (Growth), Bedford Borough Council
Paul Vann, secretary of the B&MK Waterway Consortium and Economic Development Manager (Growth), Bedford Borough Council

A close-up view of the “A to Z” plan for the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway is pointing up real progress over the past year - and some tricky issues ahead. “Everyone is working really hard on it and we are making progress. Another year has passed and next year there will be more progress.”

This was the assessment of Paul Vann, secretary of the B&MK Waterway Consortium, at last evening’s B&MK Trust annual general meeting in Newport Pagnell. The eight-member Consortium, which includes the local authorities of Bedford Borough Council, Milton Keynes Council and Central Bedfordshire, is driving forward plans for the 26km of waterway between the Grand Union Canal at Milton Keynes and the River Great Ouse at Bedford.

Trust Chairman Graham Mabbutt applauds as Milton Keynes Mayor, Cllr Brian White, makes a presentation to Claire Gathard, B&MK Project Officer
Trust Chairman Graham Mabbutt applauds as Milton Keynes Mayor, Cllr Brian White, makes a presentation to Claire Gathard, B&MK Project Officer

Councillor Brian White, newly-appointed Mayor of Milton Keynes, praised the enthusiasm of Trust members – “people who have kept the project alive through all the difficult times.”

He spoke of the effort that had gone into the Trust gathering information and supporting his colleagues to make the case for getting the project into planning documents and core strategy. However, there had been a request to modify part of the route in Milton Keynes and this had resulted in a delay to the Council’s core strategy.

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