Citigate takes on MK lobbying job

Milton Keynes Council has appointed Citigate Public Affairs as its first lobbying consultancy as it makes the case to the Government for sustainable housing development in the region.

The Government is reviewing funding rules for local authorities. The council wants to ensure it receives adequate funding and infrastructure to support the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's ambitious housebuilding programme for the Milton Keynes and South Midlands region.

The ODPM has called for the construction of 211,000 homes by 2021 across Milton Keynes, Northampton, Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough.

Citigate is also briefed with ensuring the Government takes into account that the area has already seen 10,000 new homes in the past four years, and that its population growth estimates are based on the 2001 census.

Designated in 1967, Milton Keynes was one of the later generation of so-called 'new towns', and was intended to cater for overspill from London and relieve pressure on the Buckinghamshire countryside. It has become the butt of jokes for its concrete cows and ubiquitous roundabouts.

Citigate won the account after a three-way pitch last month. 'This is a very important time for Milton Keynes and it is crucial we do everything we can to engage with external stakeholders,' said council chief executive John Best. 'We need to build understanding of our vision for Milton Keynes.'

The account is led by director Rex Osborn.

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