David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Fantastic work at Cotswold District Council

Posted by davidburbage on February 26, 2015

Great news for residents in the Cotswolds – a 5% cut in their council tax – here is what their Conservative Leader Lynden Stowe says about their record :

I have always maintained that it is not our job to take more money than we need to deliver our services to residents, and I am very pleased that we have been able to leave as much as possible in the taxpayer’s pocket. In fact, the real-terms reduction of 30% over five years means that some £4.8m has remained in the local economy to stimulate prosperity. Residents across the Cotswolds can be assured that we are obtaining the best value for money possible, thanks to our cost saving measures.

Read more: http://www.gloucestershireecho.co.uk/Cotswold-District-Council-announces-5-cent/story-26077002-detail/story.html#ixzz3SpzqjI00

Posted in Conservative success, Council | Leave a Comment »

What we said in 2011 in our manifesto appendix

Posted by davidburbage on February 22, 2015

howtoruncouncil

This has been a challenge throughout to implement consistently! There have been a few occasions when we’ve had to ask that ward councillors be consulted, that budgets be made the right size (rather than the historic size) and whether plans are plans for the council or for residents….. I think there’s plenty more to do at the Royal Borough.

But I think we’re in good shape compared to other authorities!

Posted in Council, General | Leave a Comment »

The burden of Council Tax for the bottom 30%

Posted by davidburbage on December 23, 2014

This TPA graphic shows how Council Tax forms a bigger bill than income tax, and second only to VAT, from the bills sent to residents at the lower end of the income spectrum. It’s pretty expensive – even in the cheapest Borough for council tax in the UK outside a few London Boroughs.

In the bottom decile, Council Tax typically* takes 7.2% of income away – for every £20, that’s £1.44 gone! In the next, 4.6%, and in the next, 4.0% – just a bit more than people pay in income tax at 3.9%….

tax-distro

Council tax is a pretty regressive tax, linked to property size rather than income levels, so keeping it as low as possible really does make a difference for those on lower wages or fixed incomes such as pensioners – whilst delivering excellent services, that remains our aim for 2015!

Hat tip to the TPA for this piece of research!

* somewhat lower in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Posted in Council, Tax | 2 Comments »

Winning in Cox Green

Posted by davidburbage on December 14, 2014

IMG_3651

Cllr Ross McWilliams

Ross McWilliams (pictured) won the Cox Green by-election on Thursday 11th December by a good margin. The result was very convincing – we polled over half the votes in a four way contest.

Names of Candidates Description Votes Recorded (E): Elected
Carter, Lance Graham UK Independence Party (UKIP) 278
Horner, Robert Labour Party Candidate 124
Jones, Gareth Peter Liberal Democrats 315
McWilliams, Ross Charles Conservative Party 738 E
Spoilt papers 2

We chose not to use this head shot because I said it looked a bit “cheeky” but given his win, I thought it would be worth showing now!

The LibDems tried really hard, put out surveys and at two pieces of literature, tried to make campaign issues of the Highfield Lane bridge, the leisure centres and other points but Ross was across all of these. Having been born and brought up in Cox Green, his local knowledge and the number of people who knew him really helped ensure his success, and will make representing the community much easier.

Well done Ross!

 

 

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

Devolution calls continue

Posted by davidburbage on November 30, 2014

I must admit I was rather busy on Friday morning and missed the email asking for signatures to a call for more devolution; certainly would have signed it (note to Gary – add me please!) as the increasing powers to Scotland further highlight the woefully inequitable arrangements within the UK for English citizens.

The Scots will now be able to set my income tax, and their own, but I can’t vote on their taxes (or health or education or transport or loads of other things) – but they can continue to do that on ours.

Why? A proper piece of devolution from Westminster to local authorities would go some way to address this discrimination against English voters, and allow us more of a say in our own local matters…… am sure English MPs will consider this when they sort out English Votes for English Laws!

 

 

Posted in Council, General, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Royal Borough’s Grammar investigation highlighted on TV

Posted by davidburbage on November 8, 2014

ffbbclondonbicknell

Thanks to the highlighting of the options we’re considering for secondary school expansion, which has been picked up by Theresa May, we made the BBC London News. The best comment on the news clip came from a resident, who said “we’re allowed to apply for grammar schools from the county, so why can’t we have one in the county and save all the travel problems”.

Quite.

Posted in Conservative success, Education | Leave a Comment »

Happy Birthday Sir Nicholas Winton, 105, honoured today

Posted by davidburbage on October 28, 2014

I was on the train from Paddington to Maidenhead just last week, and I overheard a lady nearby say to her fellow passenger “where is the statue at Maidenhead station”? She knew there was a statue, but she didn’t know where it was, or of whom the statue was.

I briefly explained – and hopefully now the lady not only knows where the statue is, but will understand why the statue is there.

With credit to Cllr Derek Wilson, who made it happen.

derek-nickwinton

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We’re in the top 20 Councils in the country!

Posted by davidburbage on October 13, 2014

Nice to be picked out of the crowd!

 

Britain’s best councils

The Telegraph’s Max Davidson highlights 20 councils which he says deserve a pat on the back for good local services. The list includes Norfolk County Council – because of its “Get into Summer campaign, Uttlesford DC – which is recommended because of its planning policy, Fylde DC – due to it winning Britain in Bloom, Kensington and Chelsea – thanks to its parking and waste services, and Wiltshire Council – because it has not increased council tax for the past four years, but kept leisure centres and libraries open. The other councils referenced are: South Tyneside; Waverley; Cheshire West and Chester; Sandwell; Newport; Sheffield; Windsor and Maidenhead; Staffordshire; Somerset; Hammersmith and Fulham; Runnymeade; Oxfordshire; Richmond-upon-Thames; Wandsworth; and Westminster.

The Daily Telegraph, Property, Page: 1-3

Posted in Conservative success, Council | Leave a Comment »

Our local policy remains true and unchanged – Against the 3rd runway!

Posted by davidburbage on September 26, 2014

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Conservative Group

MEDIA INFORMATION

Date: 24 September 2014

Release: For Immediate Release

Conservatives call on MPs and residents to keep saying no to 3rd runway

 

Following a council motion earlier this year to support expansion at Gatwick, Leader of the Council Cllr David Burbage has written to the local MPs to gather their support.

 

Cllr George Bathurst said: “Heathrow already causes unacceptable disturbance for many residents of the Royal Borough, particularly at night; as Heathrow’s uncooperative nature has highlighted, it is clear that Heathrow’s expansion would make this situation dramatically worse, blighting the lives of thousands more residents yet with no room for the new housing to support the supposed economic growth.  We continue to campaign against this at every possible level.”

 

Cllr David Burbage (Con, Bray) added: “Our MPs have already been supportive of our position on Heathrow, it is just as important, though, that we actively support the alternative option at Gatwick.

 

“At every stage we will continue to campaign on behalf of our residents – but it is important that residents also continue to make their voices heard loud and clear. I urge those affected to continue to help us keep the pressure up on Heathrow.”

 

ENDS

Posted in Conservative success, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Scottish Referendum and all that follows

Posted by davidburbage on September 20, 2014

David Cameron played a blinder at 7am yesterday – finally grasping the West Lothian nettle (thistle?) and declaring that English voters must have parity with Scottish voters. After all, we should end the Barnett formula and allow devolution to take up the slack if the folks up north (or round here) want to spend more of their voters money for them.

The Labour party are going to have to tackle the issue head on – I predicted they would want to long-grass the issue which they have done, but basic common sense dictates that English votes for English laws must be implemented now that Scotland’s MSPs will get even more powers, and can already decide their own policies on health, education and so on.

Where we could do with some constitutional change is to decentralise some more from Whitehall to councils, communities and individuals. That’s where Labour is looking to make the running but we should overtake them by rolling out effective devolution on the back of the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday.

At Labour and Conservative conferences, South East Strategic Leaders with Localis are promoting a South East manifesto, drawn up in conjunction with the South East England Councils, to ask for devolution to South East authorities, but the principle applies everywhere in England. Time for change.

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