DREAMSAI Milton Keynes – Reinstate control to local team on this local community project.
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*** ONLY FOR MILTON KEYNES RESIDENTS ***
Growing need for an Indian temple & a community centre in Milton Keynes is much awaited dream for many in the community. A spiritual place, where we can transfer the Indian tradition and cultural values to the next generation all under one roof.
DREAMSAI MK team have put years of relentless efforts to realise this goal, impressive progress has been made, but now paused at an obstacle. We reach out to you seeking your invaluable support!
As you are aware, DREAMSAI project was launched by Milton Keynes residents in April 2015 with a sole aim to build Shirdi Saibaba Temple and a Community centre for the benefit of MK community. This received an overwhelming support from around 500 families in Milton Keynes validated with their wholehearted endorsements for the project. DREAMSAI MK team spent significant amount of time in organising and conducting many consultations with various MK communities, local authorities and respective stakeholders, in careful planning & execution of this project.
During the project execution stage, a London based charity (Shital) associated themselves with DREAMSAI project, since the local team was playing a lead role in running weekly services at Westcroft Centre for past 7 years on behalf of SHITAL. It was felt by local team that the relationship with SHITAL could compliment the project as our common goal is to have Temple for BABA in MK and hence SHITAL was inducted into the project.
An application was submitted to Milton Keynes Community Foundation(MKCF) for the allocation of land. The application contained reasonable clauses to ensure there is enough control vested with local community for governance & ring-fencing of funds to safeguard Milton Keynes community interest. Land was reserved conditionally.
Sadly, upon the reservation of land, the London based charity has backed out on the assurances initially agreed and unwilling to provide any control to the local DREAMSAI MK team. Year long wait by local team didn't show any positive results. The shift in their stance is evident based on the actions.
Why this is an issue?
The project was started by the local community for the local community. We have every right to demand the control to remain with the local community.
Without local team control, we are concerned this facility would become a national or regional controlled hub which will defeat the original intention.
Local control gives enough flexibility to meet the changing demographics & needs in the future
Local team wish to ring-fence the funds and facilities in Milton Keynes to ensure it remains insulated from any external financial difficulties.
DREAMSAI Milton Keynes team have approached MKCF (the decision makers on the land allotments) to intervene into the matter as the land was only reserved on a conditional basis. MKCF board will re-consider the land application in March 2018 after due diligence.
As SHITAL "U" turn has disappointed majority of the community members, local team has organised a meeting on 4th February 2018 in Milton Keynes to provide a comprehensive update on the happenings where the attendees unanimously echoed the need for local control by local community for this local project. Refer to summary of local community meeting
Our next steps based on local community recommendations in above meeting are:
1) Incorporate charity organisation for DREAMSAI Milton Keynes and appeal to MKCF to reconsider the conditional land reservation.
2) DREAMSAI Milton Keynes Team to undertake support signatures which reflects local aspirations and submit to MKCF.
3) DREAMSAI Milton Keynes put measures in place for funds and operational sustainability.
4) Organise periodic community meetings to update on the progress and solicit community help and engagement when appropriate.
Please sign the petition if you agree that Milton Keynes Community Foundation(MKCF) should transfer the land reservation to DREAMSAI Milton Keynes so the overall control of running of this facility stays with the local team on this very local community project! Thank you.
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