Milton Keynes’ economy is struggling to bounce back with figures showing that the city centre and high streets are in the bottom 10 for footfall recovery in the country, casting doubt over the reliability of the Labour-Liberal Democrat Council’s economic recovery plan.
The data released by Centre4Cities indicates MK is lagging behind its neighbouring towns and cities in its economic recovery and states that shoppers in MK are amongst the lowest 20 locations in the country for spending output.
Businesses are now facing a twofold blow where shoppers are returning in fewer numbers and spending less.
This comes as the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition in control of MK Council are set to confirm £1.5 million for economic projects as part of their Economic Recovery Plan at a meeting of MK Council’s Cabinet on July 13.
But with the new statistics laying bare the problem facing businesses in MK, questions are being asked about whether MK Council are going far enough to support businesses and create jobs.
The Conservatives are calling for more action from the coalition and called for the implementation of free parking at CMK – they added “more must be done to save MK’s high streets and city centre so that we can create jobs and boost business.”
The Conservatives say that the Government has played its part with over £200m of funding to support MK’s economy but now the council must deliver a more ambitious programme that champions local businesses and takes advantage of MK’s reputation as an outward looking and innovative city.
Cllr Alex Walker, Leader of the Conservative Council Group, said:
“Milton Keynes is home to much loved high streets and city centre – it is essential that the businesses that underpin them are provided the support and the environment by MK Council to succeed and flourish now and when restrictions end.
It is not good enough that we are in the bottom 10 for footfall recovery in the country and that failure lands right at the doorstep of the Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition who are neglecting to take the ambitious actions required to support our businesses on the road to recovery.”