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 April, 2007

Improving strongly

Posted by davidburbage on April 30, 2007

The Times reports that many Conservative Councils are promising (or are delivering) tax cuts – and it’s not being disowned by HQ. Opponents are claiming we’re making a mess – we say we’re not – what is interesting in that story though is the fact that amongst Councils rated by the audit commission as ‘improving strongly’ none are Liberal Democrat. Maybe it’s the small sample?

“Audit Commission assessments would appear to concur: of councils marked this year as improving strongly, 42 per cent are Tory, 33 per cent Labour, 17 per cent no overall control and none Lib Dem. “

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Last weekend of campaigning

Posted by davidburbage on April 28, 2007

Hot from the campaign trail. And it is hot out this afternoon – apparently it will be more rainy tomorrow. I spotted a few things today not seen before in this campaign – a Labour campaigner and a Labour poster. Word from one Libdem ward is that one of their candidates was spotted enjoying a cup of tea at home midway through the afternoon! I am sure it was a quick break.

I’ve been out in recent days to deliver a few letters in Eton Wick (which we won in a by-election in 2005). The Observer yesterday gave front page cover to the man from a fringe party and his biscuits and tea. We were mentioned in dispatches but neither of the other candidates were mentioned at all! I doubt it will have much effect but things should be totally equal so close to polling day.

Local residents to Eton Wick – Cows and Fish

Cows Fishes

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Letters

Posted by davidburbage on April 27, 2007

Mrs B Boobyer – Observer, Advertiser & Express – nice poem. It needs careful reading to catch every point.

Frank Dwyer – Express – correctly spots that the Libdems are still expecting residents to pay £3000 for alley gates etc. An early post in this very blog details this unfriendly policy.

H G Parker – Observer – Harry, Harry, Harry, most of the council offices (and officers) are in Maidenhead, so it’s obvious where the money has gone!

Michael Rowley – Observer and Express –  good letter in defence of the fire station

Peter Kingsford – Observer and Express – Fails to point out that the doorstep glass collection that has boosted the ‘weight’ of recycled goods was a Conservative plan from 2002. The Libdems plan was for a fortnightly garden waste collection which remains a request service.

Anton Cross and Judith Zachar – Express – both rightly make the point about Cllrs Fagence and Wood not turning up to the meeting that approved the humungous and ugly O2 mast on Clewer Hill Road. I happen to have a photo of it for your disapproval. I wonder if they (O2) could replace it with something just a little smaller and in keeping?

Borough Briefing by Mary Rose Gliksten – is almost valedictory in tone. Maybe their canvassing hasn’t been going quite so well as in 2003!? 🙂

That mast – it does need to be seen ‘live’ to be properly appreciated :

O2 Mast on Clewer Hill Road

Posted in Council, General, Libdem Failings, Maidenhead, Windsor | 1 Comment »

Postal votes

Posted by davidburbage on April 26, 2007

These are way late going out. One of the points about postal votes is that you get them well in advance of the election. As a result, it means that people who are going away may well have gone away by the time their postal vote arrives. Number of days to election = 7.

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Canal Cut

Posted by davidburbage on April 25, 2007

This is a photo not of a French canal or a quiet stretch of the River Avon, but taken from the Causeway bridge over The Cut which runs through Bray. It’s a good width and depth and would be one of the easier bits for the Maidenhead Waterways Group to use for their navigable restoration project.

The Cut

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Talking newspaper

Posted by davidburbage on April 24, 2007

The Advertiser run a talking newspaper for blind and visually impaired people and invited local political representatives along to make their points. I briefly met Mary Rose Gliksten (Libdem leader) who asked after one of our injured campaigners (John Stewart) who had met violent resistance to the Conservative struggle from an angry dog. The dog obviously had not read our literature.

Photo credit to Andrew Streat, reporter, who clearly has followed the wrong career! On the left is Martin Trepte the Editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser.

David Burbage at the Maidenhead Advertiser Talking Newspaper

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Methinks

Posted by davidburbage on April 23, 2007

I have an affection for old words. Not too much to become an ‘affectation’, I hope! A link to the past, a sense of place, that can engender a warm feeling when you hear them used.

NuLabour (there’s a new word!) doesn’t like anything like this, of course. They tried to abolish the Lord Chancellor, they renamed the Department for Trade and Industry the “Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry ”  but soon changed their minds.

They can’t resist meddling with what works, and break systems that have evolved over years just because they have a some spanking new idea (like doctor’s training, GP contract, dentists, consultants contract, the whole NHS IT programme, ID cards, CSA – you name it they’ll ruin it).

The point of this post is really to support what David Cameron has been saying about the de-civilising of our society. He’s banging the right nail on the head on about reversing the negative nanny state approach, bringing back civic pride and responsibility, good behaviour, mutual respect (not some Politically Correct “respect agenda”, but old-fashioned politeness and civility). He’s been lambasted for the ‘hug a hoody’ phrase but he’s talking about simple stuff like strengthening families and communities, building a stronger country.

This is what Cameron said in January 2006

Unveiling his ideas in a statement delivered during a visit to Coin Street Community Builders in London, Mr Cameron said: “Tony Blair said that we should be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime – and he was right. The trouble is, he’s been neither, and now it seems as if he’s given up any serious attempt to do tackle the underlying causes of social breakdown.”

I’ve strayed away from old words – but …

methinks that in a sennight or so there’ll be a leaving present for Mr Blair and his friends in the red team. For us, no more lollygagging.

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Village Hall Saved

Posted by davidburbage on April 21, 2007

Locals in Bray have been anxious about a licensing dispute surrounding the village hall. It appears that the issue has been resolved by the local magistrates and I think this should allay fears about closure. It’s an important part of the village and is well used by a number of different groups.

Village Hall

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Letters

Posted by davidburbage on April 20, 2007

Can you tell there’s an election coming? I’m sure there is. A warm welcome to Cllr Pratt if he does read my blog!

Express

Dave Nicholson : writes to say that my comment about “temperamental” machines is a “revelation”. Nothing more than the truth, unfortunately. They have remained just so during the last four years of Libdem administration, to be sure. He also remarks how they speak multiple languages. I too have noticed this on occasion. Very curious. I won’t comment on the more abusive bit at the end.

Express & Observer

Richard Pratt : Councillor, read the following : Registration number, time. Equipment needed : watch, pencil, notebook. Existing wardens, better enforcement. Get with the programme! Not free-for-all. No all-day parking. Ten pence does not pay for a regulated High Street. So many errors, could do better!

 Express

Antony Wood : “Proved too expensive” sums it up. His ‘nine’ from his own letter last week has now turned into ‘eight’ in just 7 days. Remarkable. He doesn’t comment on Maidenhead, where the most used car parks are still charged for in the evening by the Council in direct contravention of their promise last time round. “You can trust us” he says.

Observer

Denis Smith : He has it exactly right. The Borough knew in March 2006 that the police were withdrawing traffic wardens but the Council didn’t take a decision at Cabinet to change this until early in 2007 some ten months later. Why did it take so long? Who knows?!

We are planning to review the yellow lines to free up additional on-street spaces, and also seek additional offstreet parking to replace the 107 lost spaces from the recent development at King Edward VII Court.

You can read some of the other broken Libdem promises here .

Posted in Council, General, Libdem Failings, Maidenhead, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Campaigning with 2 weeks to go

Posted by davidburbage on April 20, 2007

Legs are starting to get tired, residents are starting to see the same faces again and again, polling day looms. “no more postal votes” “proxies are still ok” “did you see what the Liberals are claiming now” “did my letter get published?”

Most people are supremely uninterested by the forthcoming local elections and probably we’ll see a turnout of around 35% or less across the Borough…. but because half-hearted votes still count as much as angry/determined ones, we’ll be working until the end!

This is from Broom Farm estate where we were with Adam Afriyie talking about the Borough’s forces housing policy

Up the hill

and this one from a recent midweek canvassing session in Windsor

Windsor Team

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