David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

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

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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.

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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 »

Days in Chichester

Posted by davidburbage on November 18, 2013

burbage-goldsmith-westsussex

 

Last week was a very pleasant visit to Chichester and West Sussex County Council. A very well organised peer review from the LGA saw myself and some colleagues looking at the challeges for the county over the coming months and years; we were able to give some external perspectives on what we thought from a number of other council folk from across the country.

I know the Leader Louise Goldsmith from my South East Strategic Leaders meetings and we were able to cover a great deal of ground in the relatively short time available.

Posted in Conservative success, Council | Leave a Comment »

Signing for Superfast Broadband

Posted by davidburbage on October 5, 2013

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Under the watchful eye of Ed Vaizey, the DCMS culture minister, on behalf of the six Berkshire Unitaries I posed for the signing of the contract between our authorities and BT.

This was all done at Shaw House, near Newbury because West Berkshire have been leading on the project. We hope that the rollout will go smoothly – and by mid 2015 an extra provision (reaching 91% of Berkshire’s population) of high speed broadband will be available.

Don’t forget to register interest if you live far away from an exchange!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Off to conference

Posted by davidburbage on September 28, 2013

I’m off to Manchester to Conservative Party Conference, am doing two fringe events (one with the LGIU, another with the TPA)

 

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With apologies

Posted by davidburbage on September 25, 2013

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. .  for the hiatus in blogging. Nothing to worry about, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!

 

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