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Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

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    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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Budget Council

Posted by davidburbage on March 1, 2007

We had the Budget Council on Tuesday. This is the meeting that sets the Council Tax for April 2007 – March 2008.

Once again the Libdems had a tax increase in mind, once again we spoke against , but they were not listening. They had a rabbit in the hat in the form of LPSA money (this is ‘reward’ money that the Government ‘give’ to the Council as a result of hitting certain targets agreed years ago). It’s apparently half a million next year and another half million the year after. I don’t know when exactly the Council were told by the Government but as usual Conservatives were kept in the dark until it was ‘announced’ during the budget debate. Actually I don’t believe we’ve been given any information at all – a verbal announcement during a meeting and now a press release. We often learn information from the press before we hear it from ‘proper’ channels, because they get told before we do.

We pointed out that the Council have in fact received far more money from the Government – £7 million more in total – than the 200k that they’ve been whinging about. A lot of that extra money is in specific grants which are ring-fenced in some way, but extra real money is also coming in from all the extra flats and houses that have been built, car park revenues due to increase and last, but not least, the Council Tax increase which raises about £2 million.

The most telling remark I heard came from one Liberal Democrat who proudly announced that they “putting their money where their mouths are”. Winding up for the Opposition, I had to make the point that they are putting other people’s money where their mouths are. Check out Milton Friedman’s assessment of that!

So what is in the budget? Well, it’s more of the same really. No new ideas, no new policies – an extension of last year. Our Libdem administration has clearly run out of steam, ideas and energy. A couple of them tried hard to get positive about their proposals but their heart was not in it.

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One Response to “Budget Council”

  1. j said

    Hi David

    I couldnt agree more with regards to the transparency of the finances particularly when it concerns the breakdown instead of an overall pictorial breakdown it would be better to see local authority staff and the services that are commissioned reported on.

    To be perfectly honest I do not see an improvement although the council tax rises. I do not see an improvement in young peoples services, instead there are a greater number of young people smoking cannabis and hanging around in kidwells park and throwing items as people go by.
    On several occassions I have noted people being harrassed outside tesco to take small telephone cards by touts.

    There is no improvement on green spaces instead each time you walk from the train station through town you see litter and half eaten food from the night before scattered outside shops. several shops are closed and as you walk towards waitrose several others are.

    Personally I had to ring the local authority to ask them to remove my rubbish which was left because supposedly it was too heavy for one of the men to lift and yet as someone who is a little over 5ft I was able to move it.

    Transparency needs to occur not only with spending but I want to see how many issues have been raised by local people and actually how many have been dealt with. As someone who has had to deal with staff from the local authority I assure you that your often left chasing them and one issue took me almost 3 years!

    and unfortunately I do support the conservatives

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