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 October, 2007

Government Gobbledegook

Posted by davidburbage on October 31, 2007

I tried to copy-paste this from the Home Office document, but it didn’t work – came out as all little square characters. I have a degree in computing but was unable to solve this.

It is almost as if they are using another language.

Plain English

Spot some civil service favourites – “cross-cutting” “multi-agency” “framework” (twice) and the famous “holistic”.

Oh, and can anyone tell me what it actually means in practice for residents?

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Bulbs (2)

Posted by davidburbage on October 29, 2007

A thank-you note from the MRWG

David and Derek,

Many thanks to you both for turning up and joining in so enthusiastically yesterday.   

It was a very successful morning, despite the weather, with over 40 volunteers planting the bulbs.  We actually managed to plant over 2,000 daffs/narcissi, crocuses and hyacinths after running out twice and having to send out for more supplies…!  Considering our target was only 1,000 that is quite an achievement.  I look forward to seeing the fruits of our labour results in the spring.



Posted in Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

Bulb Planting

Posted by davidburbage on October 28, 2007

In an effort to improve the environment down by York Stream, the Maidenhead Waterways Restoration Group arranged a bulb-planting session which took place this morning in the rain. This did make the soil soft enough to dig and plant, however. About 30-40 people turned up altogether I reckon.

Crocus and Daffodil

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Beautiful housing?

Posted by davidburbage on October 28, 2007

My colleague Derek Wilson allegedly referred to the proposed design of these new dwellings in Oldfield Road as like “Stalingrad”.

Could he be more wrong? Or did he get it about right? Urban design is very important now that we are being ‘encouraged’ to increase densities of development. To be fair, this is the back of the housing, and I couldn’t get to see the front properly. I update when the place properly opens up.

The development is being built by Miller Homes and is called “Kings Quarter”.

Kings Quarter

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From May 3rd

Posted by davidburbage on October 27, 2007

I hadn’t read some of the live online coverage from May 3rd’s election until just now. I laughed out loud (LOL) when I read this from the Bray result

Leo Walter said: “I am elated with the results,  the Lib Dems haven’t got any seats yet.
“Bray has been loyal to the Tories and it is an extremely good result. I am sure people are fed up with left-wing politics.”

Leo has got it right, but the disappointing thing is that there are still too many people that don’t realise how damaging those left wing politics actually have been.

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Fire Station Judicial Review

Posted by davidburbage on October 26, 2007

We’ve taken the Berkshire Fire Authority’s July decision to reduce the 24 hour cover at Windsor to the High Court.

I spoke with Richard Skinner on BBC Berkshire yesterday, and he basically asked me why we were doing this – I outlined the reasons that have been consistent and plain throughout, the special risks of Windsor’s night clubs, the Castle, the Guildhall, the barracks / army accommodation.

The hotel fire in Newquay shows what can happen when crews are merely retained or even absent overnight, when a few extra minutes can be key. The model used to assess risk by the Fire Authority takes none of this into account, as far as I am aware.

One of the restrictions in this is that the Government won’t let public authorities like the Fire Authority fund the services residents want because of the capping regime, and because Windsor & Maidenhead are part of the wider Berkshire Fire Authority we as a Council are not in control of our own fire services. Localism would sort that out, too.

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Posted by davidburbage on October 23, 2007

Spent yesterday morning in London – or more precisely, spent about an hour and a half at a seminar with Dan Hannan MEP , Theresa Villiers MP and Tim Montgomerie from ConservativeHome. Very interesting and I was able to note a few key initiatives that we could try here to improve the community. More use of the referendum was a key point; as Dan points out in his blog there have been something like 26 in the UK since Labour came to power on regional assemblies, local government / mayoral elections and devolution. But on the new EU Treaty? Nope!

Hannan as ever spoke with clarity and determination, gave solid examples of why taking decisions as ‘low’ as possible is a good idea and demonstrated an abmirable and advanced understanding of public policy. I hope his enthusiasm is reflected in the commitments that will be forthcoming in a future manifesto. Tim obviously had his camera phone or something similar because this would have been the view from where he was sitting (photo credit : Tim!)

Localism Seminar

I also met Keith Mitchell who is about to be abolished – to explain, he’s the Chairman of SEERA the South East Regional Assembly. Even more undemocratic measures from the Labour Govt mean that the limited regional powers that SEERA has are going to be sent on to SEEDA Mk 2 (the development agency) which will have even less accountability to those of us who pay the bills.

I have long supported more localism, which in a very small way we have put into place with our Alley Gating Panel. This committee to consider blocking up alleys will be a public meeting with representation from those affected, and ward councillors. It hasn’t met yet, but most people appear to believe it’s a good thing.

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Ming falls on sword

Posted by davidburbage on October 16, 2007

So, farewell Ming Campbell. I think that it was inevitable given the lousy poll ratings for the Liberal Democrats over the last few months that he was going to be under huge threat.

One Libdem I spoke to today seemed a bit relieved – having said that, I’m not really sure what the attraction of either of the two front runners would be that isn’t available in other parties. Clegg might find himself battling with his own party (to their general detriment) if he steers to the right, and Huhne is not known for being the most charismatic man in England.

I wonder if a dark horse would get anywhere? I suppose this will mean a period of increased meeja coverage for the party, which I will find particularly annoying.

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Advertiser letters

Posted by davidburbage on October 11, 2007

Sorry for the hiatus in updates, this week has been a tad busy.

We won the Datchet by-election, congrats to Cllr Gary Muir who worked really hard. Our Libdem friends put a lot of effort in but came nowhere. Next time they will probably be back to running a full slate of candidates who don’t live in the village…

James Gladwyn writes about Next and their excess packaging. The irony here is that the business probably does not recycle everything, and that the pollution caused by their rep coming to pick up the packaging probably exceeds the benefit of having it (potentially) recycled. The underlying point he makes about reducing packaging is sound, though and one that retailers should note.

FJS Robotham writes about the market and the retail offerings of Maidenhead. Surely something can be done! Well yes, and we’re doing it. Also Graham Headington – Watch this space.

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