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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Posted by davidburbage on November 23, 2007

Busy week this week.

I chaired a long Cabinet meeting yesterday at the Thames Valley Athletic Centre which finished at ten to midnight; main cause of the long meeting was the Windsor Park and Ride issue. 200 people turned up to hear the proposals and we took public representations from the floor for 45 minutes.

The business case basically didn’t stack up however it was configured, both the revenue and capital projections were costly/unaffordable and the benefits of a few percentage points on lower traffic levels were nowhere near balancing the impact of a huge car park, in the flood plain, by the Thames significantly affecting the neighbourhood of nearby residents. So we were being asked to Say No To Park And Ride, and we did.

Parking in Windsor is reaching capacity levels, one of the reasons being that off street spaces had been lost (around 100) under the previous Libdem administration either through lack of planning or an anti-car bias. Either way, this is a problem to solve and we instructed officers to come up with proposals for the short, medium and long term – using grant money if possible.

We then turned to the Customer Service Centre which during September and October was losing over 20% of calls (around 4000 a month) – people giving up because phones were not being answered. The Scrutiny Panel reported up to us that the project had been botched due to a number of factors, including unclear decision making, a lack of transparency, political constraints and staffing issues. We have taken on the CSC and using best practice from elsewhere, are determined to make it work for residents.

Thirdly (we were way past 10pm at this point) we took Fees and Charges and had a little bit of fun with parking charges, but we’ve made a good set of changes to early papers and come up with a more sustainable position. The Libdems said that we were crazy to consider reviewing Pay and Display next year after just introducing the machines, where as the Chamber of Commerce don’t want Pay and Display at all and say that all the towns that are booming around us have Pay On Foot rather than Pay and Display. Which only goes to show that you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

One comment from an observer at yesterday’s meeting on having the job of a Councillor – “Its a bloody **** job and I really do sympathise.”


One Response to “Roundup”

  1. Geoff Low said

    Good to see that attention to detail, diligence and proper analysis triumphs over headlines and dogma. Long may it continue.

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