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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 February, 2008

Setting a low Council Tax

Posted by davidburbage on February 28, 2008

I’ve had quite a nasty bug over the last week and haven’t been firing on all cylinders. However, I did attend the Council Meeting on Tuesday to see through the 2.4% Council Tax increase which is the lowest in the Borough’s unitary history.

The Libdems couldn’t work out whether it was too low (surely there must be needy people / staff / projects that need taxpayer’s money) or too high (by viture of the wrong kind of inflation) and as a result all abstained en masse. Nobody therefore opposed our proposals, or moved any amendment to them, and the job was done.

David Lunn’s departure reaches its conclusion tomorrow on Leap Day, and in quite fine timing too ( as the following week’s newspapers will show). Mayor Leo Walters moved (and I seconded) that DCL receive the Freedom of the Borough at the Council meeting – he’ll take his place on the board right next to Sir Clive Woodward which I’m sure will give him great pleasure (even as England keel around in a somewhat different fashion from Sir Clive’s glory days). I remember, I seconded that Freedom as well, must be habit forming…

Back to Lemsip and – now I’m off the antibiotics – maybe a wee hot toddy.

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

Snowdrops

Posted by davidburbage on February 17, 2008

We have a good collection of snowdrops in our garden. February brings a great display.

snowdrops.jpg

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

Advertiser and letters

Posted by davidburbage on February 14, 2008

The debate moves on – I spent some time preparing my words for the Advertiser and will put a copy on the letters page here for reference.

 A good crop of letters on the letters pages; on the subjects that we’re concerned with on the Council too.

Tricia Cook on Post Offices – a lot of people across the country, entertainingly including Labour MPs, are protesting about the loss of post offices. Yet the closures continue. Why won’t the Government give something directly to help local communities rather than waste all their  our money funding ID cards and paying millions in fines to the EU for late payment of the farmers?

St Marks – the town badly needs to have a Minor Injuries Unit. Local availability of health services is so much better than forcing people to drive miles and miles…

Bob Eagle and M Gill  both write on the allowances – Bob uses a CPI comparison rather than the RPI we’ve used for Council Tax. We chose RPI because it is that which is used to uprate pensioners’ pensions, and it is they who are most affected by Council Tax rises. That isn’t to say by the time the bills land that our proposed 2.4% increase won’t in fact be below the CPI for April, but we had to put a stake in the ground somewhere and September RPI seemed the best guide. Our allowances are taxed and subject to NI, yes, Bob. M Gill’s comment that the town will not improve because we’ll get a lower class of people standing who won’t deliver for the town doesn’t bear analysis – Bracknell pay the highest in Berkshire and as last weeks’ Advertiser proclaimed, they’ve got a £750 million town centre investment going ahead…! [edit: they also were just judged a four star excellent council, and the best in Berkshire] You might also note the very low historically levels at the Royal Borough and ask why Maidenhead is in the state reported by the Advertiser last week, too …

Tim Atkinson wants great shops. Name And Address Supplied notes the Grenfell Island redevelopment (!) and wants a John Lewis. So do many people, and that would be a coup if we could find a place and they were interested.

Alex Robertson wants the Council to do deals on lower business rates – but we don’t have the power to do that, neither do we get the revenue from business rates either.

Peter Wilton is happy we have a low-rise town, and John Davidson thinks that the Sainsbury’s development could be a whole lot better.

Finally, Richard Hogg writes to note that the Conservative Council have finally fixed the issue with Murrin Road’s alley gates. Yes we have!

Posted in Council, Maidenhead | 2 Comments »

Maidenhead Advertiser today

Posted by davidburbage on February 7, 2008

One thing that everyone agrees with is that there is need for regeneration of Maidenhead, and that we can’t sit idly by whilst other towns work on generating investment and upgrading their town centres.

This is an urgent problem which the Council is deeply committed to solving. The suggestion that we don’t care, are complacent and are not doing anything about it is extremely insulting.

Both Bob Dulson and I have spoken with the paper to explain exactly what is going on, on a resourced and cross party basis, to move the town foward. That is what is needed and pretending that nobody is running with the ball is simply untrue.

It is a priority for me and the members of the Partnership for the Regeneration of Maidenhead – and I know there is real enthusiasm about what can be achieved.  We will just have to defeat negativity with success!

Posted in Council, Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

Late arrivals

Posted by davidburbage on February 6, 2008

As is often the case, we are late buying a calendar for 2008 (one you can write all the meetings/outings/birthdays in). So, full of hope of finding a large number of bargains I set off to purchase said calendar.

I think I left it too late. My effective choice was between Robbie Williams, Winnie the Pooh, Boxer Dogs or German Shepherds.

So we’ve got the German Shepherds – they all look very furry and friendly.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Allowances

Posted by davidburbage on February 1, 2008

Predictable bashing about uprating the council’s allowances to be basically average and in line with other similar Councils, accepting the recommendations of an independent panel.

Our Libdems seem to believe that all the other councils are out of line, apart from us …. whereas the independent panel, to whom we’re supposed to listen, had written “The RBWM is a unitary authority and allowances should be commensurate.” – so they proposed commensurate allowances, and we accepted their proposals.

Interesting, also, that the two complainants in the letters pages were both unsuccessful Libdem candidates at the recent elections.

Posted in Council | 1 Comment »