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?
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Posted by davidburbage on November 18, 2013
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.
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Posted by davidburbage on October 5, 2013
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!
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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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Posted by davidburbage on September 25, 2013
. . for the hiatus in blogging. Nothing to worry about, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!
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Posted by davidburbage on April 28, 2013
It’s not often you get 2 Cabinet ministers canvassing next door to each other – here with Theresa May is local Weybridge MP Philip Hammond !
Theresa May with Surrey CC Leader David Hodge.
. . . and me admiring David’s hair without his hat on. . . . .
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Posted by davidburbage on April 8, 2013
I attended two functions with Mrs T ; didn’t get to speak to her at either one! But I did get tickets to see her live at PMQs (I went as a student in London with a friend) before it was regularly televised, a commanding performance.
She had just got back from USSR doing business with Gorbachev, and Kinnock had come back from USA, where Reagan had mistaken Healey for the UK Ambassador and gave Labour only 20 minutes. . . . .
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Posted by davidburbage on March 1, 2013
The last by-election candidate I had a photo taken with went on to win, and hold the seat at the General election (Chloe Smith)…
So good luck to Maria tonight, there’s a number of different results possible!
Update: Unfortunately, despite a 14% drop in the LibDem vote, they managed to hang on
Posted in General | 2 Comments »
Posted by davidburbage on February 13, 2013
We have announced a further reduction (-3%) in Council Tax for 2013/4. This has been achieved by hard work in finding savings that do not remove services from the front line, and often, improve services by doing better for less. Other Berkshire Authorities are either raising Council Tax or freezing. We will be clearly the best value for money in the county, and we remain the lowest Council Tax outside Central London. Our reserves are also at new higher levels thanks to in-year savings in 2012/3.
Since 2007 we will have reduced Council Tax in real terms by over 20% and put £16 million back into the Borough’s economy versus the position had we simply frozen Council Tax in the last four years.
Posted in Conservative success, Tax | Leave a Comment »
Posted by davidburbage on January 23, 2013
I am pleased that the Prime Minister has lanced the boil of uncertainty and given proper focus to this issue. Local authorities often find European directives and legislation restrict their ability to act effectively in the public interest, creating a lot of avoidable red tape and bureaucracy as a result of all the regulations issued from Brussels. In turn, these can end up being gold plated in the UK, making the problem even worse.
These are tough times; Britain needs a fresh settlement to allow it and Europe to succeed in this increasingly competitive world.
Posted in Conservative success | 2 Comments »