Milton Keynes City Council
City of Milton Keynes
Arms of Milton Keynes Council
Council logo
Founded1 April 1974
Mick Legg,
since 17 May 2023
Peter Marland,
since 26 May 2014[1]
Michael Bracey
since 26 October 2018
Seats57 councillors
Political groups
Administration (30)
  Labour (30)
Opposition (27)
  Liberal Democrats (18)
  Conservative (9)
Last election
2 May 2024
Next election
7 May 2026
Meeting place
Civic Offices, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes, MK9 3EJ

Milton Keynes City Council is the local authority of the City of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It has both borough status and city status. The borough, which extend beyond the ONS-defined Milton Keynes urban area[2] and encompasses a substantial rural component, is divided into 19 wards, electing 57 councillors.


See also: History of Milton Keynes

The 'Milton Keynes District' was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, by the merger of Bletchley Urban District, Newport Pagnell Urban District, Wolverton Urban District, Newport Pagnell Rural District and that part of Winslow Rural District within the designated New Town area. The council was formed under the same act as the Milton Keynes District Council, subsidiary to Buckinghamshire County Council. The council was first elected in 1973, a year before formally coming into its powers on 1 April 1974, on which day the new district was also given borough status, entitling the council to be known as Milton Keynes Borough Council and to appoint a (ceremonial) Mayor of Milton Keynes.[3][4]

It was envisaged through the Local Government Act 1972 that Milton Keynes as a non-metropolitan district council would share power with the then Buckinghamshire County Council (since replaced by Buckinghamshire Council, another unitary authority). This arrangement lasted until 1997 when the district council gained responsibility for services that had previously been provided for Milton Keynes by the county council. On 1 April 1997, following a recommendation of the Local Government Commission for England, the Borough became a self-governing Unitary Authority,[5] and the council renamed itself Milton Keynes Council.

The borough gained city status on 15 August 2022. Milton Keynes Council therefore changed its name to Milton Keynes City Council, and amended its logo to emphasise the new status.

Powers and functions

The local council derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Milton Keynes is within a non-metropolitan area of England. In its capacity as a district council it is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. In its capacity as a county council it is a local education authority and is responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal. The council also appoints members to Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority and the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, both of which serve the borough.

Political control

Further information: Milton Keynes City Council elections

The first election to the district council was held in 1973, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until it came into its powers on 1 April 1974. Political control of the council since 1974 has been as follows:[6][7]

Non-metropolitan district

Party in control Years
Labour 1974–1976
Conservative 1976–1982
No overall control 1982–1990
Labour 1990–1992
No overall control 1992–1996
Labour 1996–1997

Unitary authority

Party in control Years
Labour 1997–2000
No overall control 2000–2002
Liberal Democrats 2002–2006
No overall control 2006–2024
Labour 2024–present

The council was under no overall control from 2006 to 2024. From May 2014 to May 2021, the Labour Party held office as a minority administration. From May 2021 to May 2024, the administration was a Labour Party and Liberal Democrat "progressive alliance".[8] Since May 2024 the Labour Party has had a majority on the council.


The role of mayor is largely ceremonial in Milton Keynes. Political leadership is instead provided by the leader of the council. The leaders since 2000 have been:[9]

Councillor Party From To
Norman Miles Labour 23 May 2000 22 May 2002
Isobel Wilson (called Isobel McCall after 2005) Liberal Democrats 22 May 2002 19 May 2009
Sam Crooks Liberal Democrats 19 May 2009 25 May 2010
Cec Tallack Liberal Democrats 25 May 2010 24 May 2011
Andrew Geary Conservative 24 May 2011 11 Jun 2014
Peter Marland Labour 11 Jun 2014


Following the 2024 election,[10] the composition of the council was:

Party Councillors
Labour 30
Liberal Democrats 18
Conservative 9
Total 57

Proposed revision of ward boundaries

The next local elections are due to be held in 2026. The Electoral Commission has invited comments on a proposal to revise the ward boundaries and increase the number of councillors to 60.[11] If approved, all council seats will be up for election.

Technology facilitation

In recent years, the council has promoted the city as a test-bed for experimental urban technologies. The most well-known of these is the Starship Technologies' (largely) autonomous delivery robots: Milton Keynes provided its world-first urban deployment of these units. By November 2020, said Starship, Milton Keynes had the 'world's largest autonomous robot fleet'[12] Other projects include the LUTZ Pathfinder pod, an autonomous (self-driving) vehicle built by the Transport Systems Catapult. Trials took place in Milton Keynes in 2016.[13][14]


Milton Keynes City Council has had two logos:

The first logo was the oak leaf which was used since the 1990s.

The second logo is more colourful than the previous version, and consists of the two letters M and K, representing Milton Keynes. The 'M' is coloured in azure and 'K' is coloured in green: this is the logo that is currently in use, with a recent revision to change the font and text accompanying it to mark Milton Keynes' city status.


A wide angle view of the Civic offices building and flagpole in July 2020

The headquarters of the council, including the council chamber, is the Civic Offices building at 1 Saxon Gate East in Central Milton Keynes. The building dates from 1979 and was designed by architects Faulkner Brown.[15] The building is sited very close to the moot mound (meeting place) of the Anglo-Saxon Sigelai (or Secklow) Hundred.[16]


Blakelands Warehouse

In May 2017, the City Council approved plans to build an 18m (59ft)-high warehouse in Blakelands, with the warehouse (which was constructed in 2018) being criticised by local residents as "oppressive", and there were concerns about planning malpractice, including the lack of a noise barrier and the retention of trees and hedges.[17] In February 2019, the Council commissioned external planning expert Marc Dorfman to review the decision, although the report was not complete due to Dorfman's resignation later that year. Following this, the Council appointed independent barrister Tim Straker to carry out an independent report, with the report (published in 2021) finding that while planning conditions were missed as a result of "human error", there was "no untoward conduct."[18]


  1. ^ "CMIS > Councillors".
  2. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Milton Keynes Built-up area (E34005056)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  3. ^ "District Councils and Boroughs". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 28 March 1974. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  4. ^ "Table III(a)". Local Government in England and Wales. a Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. pp. 15–109. ISBN 0117508470.
  5. ^ "The Buckinghamshire (Borough of Milton Keynes) (Structural Change) Order 1995". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 15 July 2020. (2) A new county shall be constituted comprising the area of Milton Keynes and shall be named the county of Milton Keynes.
  6. ^ "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 26 April 2023.
  7. ^ "Milton Keynes". BBC News. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  8. ^ Norford, Olga (19 November 2021). "Progressive Alliance in Milton Keynes celebrates six months of putting people before politics" (Press release) – via Milton Keynes Citizen.
  9. ^ "Council minutes". Milton Keynes Council. Retrieved 26 May 2022.
  10. ^ "Milton Keynes result - Local Elections 2024". BBC News. Retrieved 4 May 2024.
  11. ^ "Electoral boundaries and maps | Milton Keynes City Council". Milton Keynes Council. Retrieved 12 May 2024.
  12. ^ "Milton Keynes now has 'world's largest autonomous robot fleet' as Starship expand further". Starship Technologies (Press release). Retrieved 6 November 2020 – via MKFM.
  13. ^ Burn-Callander, Rebecca (11 February 2015). "This is the Lutz pod, the UK's first driverless car". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 11 February 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  14. ^ Davies, Rob (11 October 2016). "Self-driving car tested for first time in UK in Milton Keynes". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Civic Offices Milton Keynes Council". Race Cottam Associates. 2018.
  16. ^ Historic England. ""Secklow Hundred mound: a moot at the junction of North Row and North Ninth Street" (1007940)". National Heritage List for England.
  17. ^ "Milton Keynes warehouse planning decision 'bona fide'". BBC News. 17 November 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2023.
  18. ^ "Milton Keynes warehouse: Blakelands planning conditions were missed as a result of "human error"". BBC News. 2 December 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2023.