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Thursday Scratch Nights

The Future City Debate

Growth, Change and Governance

Cover of AD Magazine (detail), 1974

Cover of AD Magazine (detail), 1974

Cover of AD Magazine (detail), 1974


The Future City Debate: Growth, Change and Governance

Presented by the Fred Roche Foundation

Thursday 12 June / 7pm / Doors 6.30pm / Free

Pre-booking essential via Eventbrite


Building on the success of last December’s talks that accompanied the

Future City exhibition, MK Gallery collaborates with The Fred Roche Foundation to host several more in the coming months, aiming to stimulate creative discussion and debate around subjects that are vital to the growth and vitality of Milton Keynes


This talk will focus on shaping the city we want and defining the governance structures to deliver it - working together through partnership and strong leadership. 



  • Chair - Ian Revell - Chief Executive. Milton Keynes YMCA. 
  • Dr Georgina Blakeley - Senior Lecturer in Politics. Polis. Faculty of Social Sciences. The Open University.
  • Jeff Austin, Mrtpi, Fimc Cmc, Mapm, Sps, Ariba - Director. JVM. Consultants. Independent expert on government policy & strategy. 








    Dr Georgina Blakeley

    Dr Georgina Blakeley joined The Open University in 2006 from the University of Huddersfield where she was Head of Politics from 2000. Her teaching has concentrated in recent years on producing and then presenting the Level 1 Introduction to the social sciences foundation module, Introducing the Social Sciences.


    Dr Blakeley's research is concentrated in two key areas. The first area covers issues of democracy and democratization in Spanish politics. The second area covers issues of citizen participation and urban governance drawing on case studies in Spain (e.g. in Local governance and local democracy: the Barcelona model, Local Government Studies, vol. 31, no. 2, 2005) and in the UK (e.g. in Governing ourselves: citizen participation and governance in Barcelona and Manchester, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 34(1), 2010).


    One of her most recent research publications looks at The Regeneration of East Manchester, and while the book focuses on a single project, it has wider relevance to national and international regeneration initiatives. The book has a political focus and challenges many assumptions underpinning three major current academic debates: governance, participatory democracy and ideology. Find out more.



    Jeff Austin

    Jeff Austin brings a breadth of experience that embraces central government and work on policy, strategy andmodernising government agendas through to turnaround strategies for leaders of failing metropolitan authorities.


    Jeff has influenced regeneration policy and is active in work with disadvantaged groups. He has covered aspects from the frontline service to high-level restructuring and governance matters. He acted as Director of Environment and Leisure for Westminster City Council in 1999-2000.


    He has particular expertise in regeneration, leadership and organisational development; activities in this area include health impact assessments and Carbon Baseline work. He facilitated the Urban Renaissance Programme and provided project support to Yorkshire Forward. He was a member of the Steering Group and International Panel. He has wide experience of New Deal for Communities projects in London through his workfor the Government Office. He has developed regeneration strategies and advisedon urban renewal initiatives and wrote the Neighbourhood Renewal Assessment PolicyGuidance and Circulars and implemented twelve NRA projects. He is experienced in working in complex and political environments, and particularly effective in building multi-agency teams / partnerships involving public, voluntary, private and community sectors. Find out more.

    June 2014



    The Fred Roche Foundation celebrates the life of Fred Roche (1931-1992), who led the team in the 1970s who built the new city of Milton Keynes.  The Foundation endeavors to keep his spirit of creative exploration, innovation and vision alive in Milton Keynes.  


    He believed in the power – or rather the duty – of architecture to improve society.  If Milton Keynes is one person’s creation, it was Fred Roche’s”.  (Stephen Bayley, The Guardian)