David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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Archive for March, 2007

Windsor Parking

Posted by davidburbage on March 29, 2007

We announced our first election policy this week. Actually, that’s already not the whole story because we pledged to pay for alley gating gates last week.

So, let’s call it the first major pledge. Short term on-street parking in Windsor will be free for Advantage Card Holders. There’s not much more to say than that, but the basic idea is that you put your Advantage Card on the dashboard and, for short term parking at least, you will not need to pay.

We don’t know why this hasn’t already been done considering the immensely fiddly and awkward task of asking residents to 1) find their card 2) take it to the machine 3) put it in the machine, hoping it works 4) pay 10p 5) get the ticket 6) take everything back to the car and put the ticket on display

That isn’t worth 10p of a resident’s time, and this inconveniance can be removed.

It is worth noting that the car parks (off street) themselves would be unaffected by this change – they still remain the main income source from all parking.

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Hokey Libdem literature

Posted by davidburbage on March 27, 2007

I have been sent a copy of one of the latest bits of Libdem Literature in which they promise to expand CCTV.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what they promised last time, and despite having 4 years to do it, didn’t deliver. They are reduced to claiming that they were “the first to introduce CCTV” which is presumably a reference to something they did around 15 years ago.

They also claim that they are experts in using Section 106 monies for the community. That expertise hasn’t been very apparent locally – when faced with a petition to spend a trivial amount of money on changing a speed limit, they seemed to forget that there might be some Section 106 money available to fund it. When challenged, the reply was “you should have told us you were going to ask us that question”. Expertise, hmmm.

For the record, it was the Conservatives that got Section 106 contributions going from a standing start in 2001/2 , and the Conservatives that expanded CCTV coverage into new areas.

And, they also claim they ‘pioneered’ the use of Community Wardens. Wardens were well established in neighbouring Wokingham long before they arrived in 2004 – and it was a Conservative budget, my budget in 2003 actually, that funded them for 2003/4. Unfortunately the Libdems then took almost a year to get the thing started, wasting a good amount of that year’s budget and failing to give residents the service they were paying for in their Council Tax.

Posted in Council, General | Leave a Comment »

Sidebar update

Posted by davidburbage on March 26, 2007

I have included a better navigation, and an “imprint” which must accompany anything electoral in nature during election periods. It means you know who to go after if there’s anything you don’t like….

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Marvellous Bray

Posted by davidburbage on March 26, 2007

From the entrance to Jesus Hospital. Why don’t they build stuff like this any more?

“Fovnded in the year 1627 of the sole fovndacon of William Goddard Esq wherein he hath provided for the poore people for ever and lefte it to the sole care and goverment of the right wor. company of Fishmongers of the Citty of London of which company he was a free Brother”

Jesus Hospital, Bray

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Getting Elected to a Borough Council

Posted by davidburbage on March 26, 2007

First, you need to find 10 people who will nominate you to stand as a candidate. Fortunately, I know lots more than this in Bray, enough of whom are willing to run me again! The trouble comes when they’re not at home when you visit.

Or, as with one of my colleagues, is at home when you drive past his door but half an hour later when you turn up,  he’s gone away again.

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New East Berks College opens

Posted by davidburbage on March 23, 2007

Good news for Windsor, as the Queen opened the new East Berks College building yesterday.

I spotted the Chief Executive in the press coverage today – I wonder if he delivered a letter to the Chair of Governors, Cllr Martin Pritchett (LibDem, Castle Without) to report the Council’s views on the closure of the Maidenhead campus from the Council Meeting of 27th February?

MOTION BY CLLR WILSON
This Council […]
 – strongly urges the Management Board to review its policy, due to the impact that this closure  will have on the residents that live in Maidenhead
 – deplores this action as detrimental to the education facilities in Maidenhead
 – requests that the Chief Executive write to the Chair of Governors of East Berkshire College to  inform him of this resolution

Posted in General, Maidenhead, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Final Libdem Cabinet (and Libdem Failings #4)

Posted by davidburbage on March 23, 2007

“Final” was the word that Mary-Rose Gliksten used to announce the meeting yesterday. The agenda was not particularly long or enthralling but there was one item which I will expand upon.

At the end of the meeting I passed on my farewell to the Liberal Democrat Cabinet, “I’ll see you on the ‘other side’ ” meaning the election and then “at least one or two of you, anway!”

The item of note was the “Alleygating” policy. First up, the Libdems appear to have “borrowed” the logo and substantial parts of the actual policy document from the Avon & Somerset Constabulary

alleygating

All credit for saving local taxpayer’s money on snazzy design, but did we ask permission?

Anyway, the policy itself aims to help residents gate up alleys that are used for various negative reasons like burglary, anti social behaviour, littering, drug taking or whatever. The trouble is, because it is complicated and involves a good deal of consultation, legal red tape and actual work, things take time. The Libdems didn’t promise to pay for any of this themselves, in fact the Guide states that “You will need to find your own funding for the Alley Gating Scheme”.

We don’t think this is very helpful in combatting crime, putting further obstacles and delays in sorting out the problems with alleys. That’s why we’ve promised to pay for the gates, and nominate a specific Borough officer who will deal with residents and local ward Councillors or Parish Councils, who want an alley gate installed.

Finally, this is all too little too late. The main legislation which makes this easier is the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act in 2005. The Bristol document behind the logo above was dated 2005. Powers were enabled in April 2006.

So why has it taken the Borough a whole year to get its act together?

Posted in Council, Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Budget Blues for an unGreen Brown

Posted by davidburbage on March 22, 2007

What a terrible budget. Tax cut – hooray, in theory, but in practice Gord is hitting the poorer earners whilst taking slightly less from medium earners. For a Labour chancellors, taxing the poor more seems perverse, but if it increases the dependency culture (where those who depend on the State will not vote for any diminished support) it might explain it.

There are plenty of other places where the budget is dissected here here and here.

Posted in General, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Lyons Inquiry published

Posted by davidburbage on March 21, 2007

The full document http://www.lyonsinquiry.org.uk/docs/final-03.pdf 

published this morning makes interesting reading. Well, it does if you’re sad enough to be knowledgeable about local government finance.

He makes some points about the absurdity of some of Government’s Council Tax capping as follows :

Nottingham City Council was subject to capping in 2004–05. The implications of that year’s threshold for them could not have been known before the tax was set. However, the council was capped even though the cost of issuing new council tax bills was larger than the tax savings of £2.48 per band D household.

Also encouraging was that local councillors are more ‘trusted’ than newspaper journalists, MPs (in general) or top civil servants! We aren’t as trusted as ‘your local MP’, television journalists or judges, however. Work to do!

Posted in Council, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Elections afoot

Posted by davidburbage on March 21, 2007

Nomination packs are being distributed, briefings are being held and the number of days until the election diminish. Daily…

 A turning point will be when the clocks go forward because it enables canvassers to plod the streets in the early evening, which is this weekend. Moreover, the Council having cancelled many of its April meetings, even more reason to expect to see political activity on the Borough’s streets.

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