David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Reshuffle

Posted by davidburbage on July 15, 2014

Very pleased to see Liz Truss promoted, but sad to see Owen depart to make space!

 

The reshuffle will invigorate the team more as we go into the election, and I am sure this strengthens our chances of winning outright.

Good also to see Brandon promoted at DCLG, and Eric continues in post as I predicted he would in 2010 (contrary to Labour’s Cllr Dave Wilcox in Cllr magazine, who predicted an early demise for my chum)

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Poor BBC electoral production – worse ahead?

Posted by davidburbage on May 21, 2014

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27502569

Here, Jeremy Vine shows (briefly) the supposed result of the 2009 Euro elections, with the Conservatives holding virtually all of England and Wales.

Presumably they can’t manage the PR de Hondt system of regional results? They then even break down the voting into constituency level (as if that matters!) rather than offer us a prediction based on the current polls in terms of the MEP results. Will UKIP get 3 or 4 seats in the South East? How will Labour do in the South West? Which region will the LibDems likely hold onto a seat? These would have been interesting questions…..

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Desperate LibDem literature

Posted by davidburbage on May 17, 2014

It really is bad.

Desperate LibDems have sent through a “fake handwriting” font letter in which they claim that we would put loads of jobs under threat because they “depend” on Europe. It’s almost claiming that by not voting LibDem (who used to want a referendum on Europe, remember?), immediately, nobody can trade with the UK ! Worse than that, they don’t use the 3 million figure (widely discredited and publicly so by Farage vs Clegg) they use the “in our area” number of 420,000. Their standards are dropping, even by their standards.

It would be better if fear-uncertainty-doubt arguments had any basis in reality, but sadly picking a worthless argument and pursuing it to the point of no return is all too true to form (see Free School Meals pledge for a LibDem-gimmick comparison)…

.libdems-ineurope-inwork

Note to LibDems : Norway has 3.4% unemployment, Switzerland has 3.2% unemployment, but in the “heart of Europe” in France, it is 10.2% !

Tell “The reality is that being IN Europe means being IN work” to the Spanish (shocking 26% unemployment), Greeks (shocking 27%), Italians (12.5%) ….

Isn’t Mrs Clegg telling Nick about this stuff :) ?

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Investiture

Posted by davidburbage on April 19, 2014

I was thrilled to attend Windsor Castle on Tuesday for my investiture – receiving the MBE from the Queen in person. We didn’t know that it would be the Queen for sure, but someone pointed out that the Royal Standard was flying and therefore surely Her Majesty was at home!

It was clearly a well rehearsed occasion – from the confiscation of all mobile phones and cameras at the entrance, then being split from the guests, and finally (after chatting to other recipients) lining up in a relatively silent queue prior to entering the chamber. I worried (too much) about what I would say to the Queen, and then it was all over bar the photographs! There was a small opportunity to visit the state chambers, through which I had queued, and then outside into a gloriously sunny April day.

Image

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Labour’s advanced policy for public service improvement

Posted by davidburbage on April 7, 2014

Labour plan to ‘bust open’ Whitehall to ‘working class’

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26919780

Nice ambition, but it would be more reassuring if they had a plan to run the country better than they did last time !

Dealing with “inputs” neglects “outputs”, just as spending more of other people’s money doesn’t necessarily produce better outcomes for them….

 

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Learning lessons from China

Posted by davidburbage on March 6, 2014

Excellent inspirational piece from Liz Truss in the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/10673512/Britains-schools-need-a-Chinese-lesson.html

 

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Flooding returns

Posted by davidburbage on February 9, 2014

Image

This was Hurley High Street in the last recent floods in January, and more water is coming from Oxfordshire and other rivers into the Thames.

The Borough has restarted the Causeway restricted opening, and is helping folks across the Borough, especially in Wraysbury, to do what can be done with rising water levels.

Posted in Council | Leave a Comment »

Residents to be over £1000 better off under Tories with latest council tax cut

Posted by davidburbage on January 21, 2014

For the fifth year running, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Conservatives are proposing to cut council tax for residents, this year by a further 2%.

The latest cut means that the average household will be over £1000 better off than if the Liberal Democrats still controlled the council.

Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside), Lead Member for Finance, said: “When the Liberal Democrats were last in control, council tax rose by a staggering 24.3%. This is in stark contrast to the 25.6% real terms cut delivered by the Conservatives over the last five years – proving that only the Conservatives can be trusted to be responsible with residents’ money.”

The average Band D rate for unitary authorities in England last year was £1486 making RBWM residents over a third better off than residents living in other unitary councils across the country.

Cllr David Burbage MBE (Con, Bray), Leader of the Council, said: “We know that people are still worried about the cost of living and rising bills. By cutting council tax again we can help to ease a bit of their tax burden. Residents should feel confident that we will continue to deliver the first-rate services our residents quite rightly expect.”

This fifth consecutive cut will bring council tax back to the level it was 10 years ago and place RBWM as the lead authority for the most years of consecutive council tax cuts.

Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “My congratulations go to the councillors and officers at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for cutting council tax for five years in a row. Local households will welcome a 2% reduction in their council tax bills. The Royal Borough has once again demonstrated that by repeatedly cutting waste and combating inefficiency, it is possible to keep on delivering improved frontline services at the same time as cutting council tax. This shows how Conservative councils do more for less”

Following this week’s budget announcement that RBWM Conservatives have proposed to cut council tax for a fifth consecutive year, Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to congratulate the Conservative run council on twitter.

In addition to David Cameron’s comments, Windsor MP Adam Afriyie also applauded the Conservative Group’s efforts to produce yet another budget that enables a further cut to council tax without any reduction in front line services.

Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead Theresa May also welcomed the news for local residents saying:

“I am delighted that the council has once again been able to announce a significant cut in Council Tax. This is excellent news for people in Maidenhead and the Royal Borough. This Conservative council is proving that you can get more for less by working with local residents to develop more efficient services.”

Posted in Conservative success, Council, General, Libdem Failings, Maidenhead, Tax, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

2014 New Year’s Honours

Posted by davidburbage on December 31, 2013

Very honoured to be awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours – for services to Local Government!

Nice to see Paul Carter in Kent and Paul Swaddle in Wokingham also getting gongs, and Emma Pidding too.

Worthy winners all…..

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Maidenhead, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Education results worldwide

Posted by davidburbage on December 5, 2013

One of the biggest challenges for Government is the improvement of education. Here is an example of why we have such an important role to play, from a comment on this site

I followed the link from the BBC new story and did the test. Question 6 was:

“Helen rode her bike from home to the river, which is 4 km away. It took her 9 minutes. She rode home using a shorter route of 3 km. This only took her 6 minutes.

What was Helen’s average speed, in km/h, for the trip to the river and back?”

You only need to know that speed is distance divided by time to answer this question. So the answer is 7 kilometres divided by a quarter of an hour which is 28km/h.

According to the OECD website only 3% of British 15 year olds achieved level 6 compared to 31% from Shanghai.

I’ve got to say that after over 10 years of compulsory schooling I find it shocking that only 3% can answer this trivially simple question.

Have I misunderstood something about the test?

Posted in Education | Leave a Comment »

 
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