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 June, 2007

Planning

Posted by davidburbage on June 28, 2007

Our planning meeting lasted for ages last night – until 11pm or thereabouts. The lengthy agenda, the number of speakers together with vocal Members certainly contributed to the long meeting. A welcome change, however, was with the Libdems, who suddenly have found their love for accountability, calling for a named vote (bizarrely) on a barns application for a farm out near Drift Road. My view was that the openness of the Greenbelt would be enhanced by moving the barns, whereas a number of members took the view that it wouldn’t. The ward councillors and myself all agreed that greenbelt openness would be improved overall by the moving of the barns, on balance – but Cllr Richards declared that by building barns (for agricultural use) on a farm, this would leave us open to applications to build 50 houses in the fields or something like that! I must ask him what he was getting at because it wasn’t at all obvious to me. As it turned out, the application was refused 9-6 (from memory) so there were a number of differing views!

Other applications involved the removal of the Mallards Reach toilets (currently closed), finally sorting out the entrance gates down in Temple, lighting of the Grasslands offices development in Hurley – lots to chew on.

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Blair -> Brown

Posted by davidburbage on June 27, 2007

For all the bad Government that he has presided over, Blair has been the consummate politician. Mr Brown has a very hard act to follow.

Oh yes, and Gord is going to devolve power away from the centre. Riiight.

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Whipsnade

Posted by davidburbage on June 24, 2007

We went to the zoo last week. Very nicely laid out and would recommend!

whipsnade.jpg whipsnade2.jpg

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Advertiser Letters

Posted by davidburbage on June 21, 2007

Is it just me or are more and more people ‘name and address withheld’.

Actually before I get to the Letters, a comment on the rains on Tuesday – they produced the greatest amount of short term water at the front of our house that I’ve ever seen. Normally we get big puddles that slowly drain away, but on this occasion the puddles reached the house wall and were about 2cm deep whilst the streams of water cascaded down hill (fortunately we’re on a hill) draining away. Lots of rain.

Keith Richardson – as he himself suggests, you can’t please all of the people all of the time – and the enforcement regime is pretty feeble.

Former Teacher – a long narrative on employment issues. I sat in an Employment Tribunal most of yesterday and boy can they drag on. These issues can take months and years to resolve.

KL Holliday / John Allison – contraversial issues, to a politician, have relatively few upsides and plenty of downsides. Plain speaking is unfortunately not tolerated any more by many in politics or the media. It is probably a pity that we don’t have a ‘freedom of speech’ protection as clear as it is in the US Constitution.

This article is worth a read. Fortune does not favour the brave, as former soldier Patrick Mercer found out with some of his own army recollections.

Isn’t it be better to be offended rather than prevent somebody else’s freedom of speech? Yet isn’t that the situation we have created?

St Marks parking letter – yup, absolutely.

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“Love All First Service”

Posted by davidburbage on June 8, 2007

Someone left this cryptic phrase at the end of their voicemail message to me earlier today.

I gather it means the ball is in my court. Thinking a level beyond rhyming slang it seems!

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Letters

Posted by davidburbage on June 1, 2007

Colin Chamberlain – Advertiser – he continues the end-of-election spat on weekly waste collection, rightly setting Mrs Brar on the track of examining their own campaign messages.

Derek Done – Advertiser – Lovely letter. I think I am learning something here!

Paul Etherington – Advertiser – similar to Colin Chamberlain’s, but also points out extra things we may want to do.

M A Lewington – Advertiser – one of my local residents, who doesn’t like the Waterways plans. I’m not sure he’s with the majority.

Diana Coad – Observer – on grammar schools. Diana lays out the party line. The Sunday Telegraph rang me up about this too seeking my views on this. Always seeking to be helpful, I told them ‘no comment’.

Firefighter – Express – clearly articulates the high level of interest in this subject. I was amused by the criticism of the ‘name and address supplied’ in the letter only to see at the end ‘name and address supplied’. I guess this is for legitimate employment reasons but it is still pretty ironic. I’m in contact with colleagues across Berkshire as the new Fire Authority is formed to see what the recent consultation has produced and what our options are – we still remain committed to support the current service levels.

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Busy Week

Posted by davidburbage on June 1, 2007

Now I know I’m going to have busy weeks but this one really starts to take the mickey. After the half-term holiday (lots of rain) Tuesday was spent catching up with hundreds of emails, a meeting at 5pm which lasted the best part of 2 hours and then home. Wednesday was Maidenhead planning which, without recounting the whole thing, was “interesting” but lasted until nearly 11pm. Yesterday I had 4 meetings prior to the actual Cabinet meeting at 7.30pm, and the public Cabinet went pretty well. Of course the Libdems were complaining that we hadn’t done this or that (!) but the reality is that we’d only actually been in post for 9 days and were presenting reports that were prepared under their administration!

In future (as highlighted in the Observer today) we will be taking most Cabinet stuff through Overview & Scrutiny first, which will give far more members an input into what the Cabinet decides, and hopefully improve decision making. Cabinet didn’t finish until 9.15pm either, and after a debrief (beer) it was another late night.

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