Mears Group and Milton Keynes Council have agreed changes to their joint venture, YourMK, to enable faster and better decision-making for the benefit of residents.
The partnership between Mears and Milton Keynes Council was set up in 2016 for three distinct but related reasons:
• Firstly, to shape, plan and deliver regenerations of the council’s ‘priority’ estates
• Secondly, to develop and deliver a pipeline of housing schemes on council land outside of the regeneration areas
• And thirdly, to manage the repairs and maintenance contract between the council and Mears.
One of the changes is for management of the repairs and maintenance contract to be managed by the council, with Mears continuing to provide a full service.
Another change is for the council to take back responsibility for community engagement in respect of regeneration, to allow more direct communication and closer relations between the council and both residents and Mears.
In all other respects, YourMK’s responsibilities – on regeneration and housebuilding – remain the same.
In summary, this entails: planning and developing schemes; securing planning and other permissions; negotiating and settling with existing owners; commercially developing schemes, and ultimately delivering schemes on the ground. YourMK also remains responsible for developing financial solutions and securing funding.
Duncan Sharkey, Corporate Director for Place at Milton Keynes Council, said that the partnership between the council and Mears remains strong and is delivering tangible outcomes.
The council is very pleased with the performance of this partnering contract, and Mears and the council are continuing to develop the new opportunities as part of this. The indicators within the contract are positive and we are very pleased with the improved service tenants are receiving at reduced cost.
David Miles, Chief Executive of Mears, said:
We are very supportive of the decisions made by Milton Keynes Council in conjunction with ourselves, to refocus the work being done by the partnership in order to improve housing for residents. We believe this will enable faster and better decision-making going forward, and we are very excited about the opportunities this brings.