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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 March, 2008

The cost of crime

Posted by davidburbage on March 29, 2008

This nice story about how the NHS pays for the costs of crime is a salutory tale. The ‘sic’ from our BBC is especially intriguing.

Posted in BBC, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Boris steals our policies – Plant More Trees!

Posted by davidburbage on March 28, 2008

Good for him.

 Our own, earlier, policy commitment on trees can be found here .

We’ve already started on this and there will be more!

Posted in Council, General | Leave a Comment »

Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime?

Posted by davidburbage on March 28, 2008

Famous Tony Blair phrase.

The ’causes of crime’ – from the liberal left – are social deprivation, lack of education, opportunity yada yada.

The ’causes of crime’ – from a common sense position – are criminals.

Here is a story to warm the cockles of how British magistrates are becoming not only tough on crime, but tough on the causes of crime.

 One More Chance for Addict with 175 crimes (Daily Telegraph)

Posted in General, Labour failings, Police | Leave a Comment »

LibDems exposed

Posted by davidburbage on March 26, 2008

This article published in the Yorkshire Post is from a former Libdem councillor in Hull, who defected to the Tories. He says

Sadly, the Liberal Democrat Party possesses no common belief, idea or value system to bring them together. There is no sense of principle. There is no common philosophy that drives it. It stands for nothing but the re-election of its own representatives.

Hat-tip: Conservative Home

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Civic Strength

Posted by davidburbage on March 22, 2008

This is at the base of the Maidenhead Clock Tower by the station. A well-known name here.

dsc00044.jpg

I wonder if we still can have a High Steward? A bit of online research suggests it’s a pretty ancient position. I also wonder what “Subscribed for by the public” exactly means…

Posted in Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

Better regulation

Posted by davidburbage on March 20, 2008

Yeah yeah, better regulations, u avin a larf mate.

Actually it’s a Government Office quango that produces glossy consultation documents. I’m not joking

better-reg.jpg

Not to be confused with (as I just did) the Better Regulation Executive which is part of the DTI (sorry the Bus Error department) – http://www.berr.gov.uk/bre/

[A bus error is a serious problem in the world of software. A computing system I am familiar with used to bus error with the message “BERR0042” or similar. This is what I associate with the new DTI ]

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Advertiser Letters

Posted by davidburbage on March 20, 2008

An interesting crop of letters this week.

Gordon Marr’s letter on the right to roam demonstrates the difficulty of pleasing all of the people all of the time. I am informed that the “condition” is not quite as black and white as is described in his letter, because there is no right of way along the specific path at all – it’s only there by kind permission etc. However, the condition exists and as such it’s worth looking at to see what our options are.

NAAS (name and address supplied) writes about the possible loss of the care facility at St Marks. I raised this issue with the Mental Health Trust when they came to visit the Council last week, because some people think it’s better to centralise it all. Nope!

NAAS (a teacher) writes at length. Conclusion – criticise teachers at your own risk! But there’s some good points in this long letter. The questions contained therein provide opportunities for answers (from my personal point of view only)

Should I drop breakfast club? No

Should I drop the sports clubs? No

Should I drop the after school club? No

Should I drop long and involved meetings with parents? Probably no, but do take care not to become more social worker than educator.

Should I stop having planning meetings with colleagues/training on myriad of Govt initiatives/legistlation? Well, some of these can probably be slimmed down because Govt priorities are rarely school priorities.

Should I stop try trying to communicate with colleagues about red tape? Yes, if at all possible!

Should I drop the required individualised learning plans, report writing, target setting … [there followed a long list of more red tapish stuff]? Yes, in an ideal world, we could cut this lot right back and let you do more teaching.

Should I drop the countless year meetings, subject meetings, staff meetings? Quite possibly, if they really are countless and this isn’t just an exaggeration….

Do parents no longer have any responsibilities? Well, yes. This is the key question in the letter. The problem is that in this modern world we’re so concerned about rights – and the media go on about this, educating everyone (including naughty children) so that they feel they are ‘untouchable’ – (and the fear of legal action/ complaint / racist / sexist / you-name-it-ist allegations) it appears that the semblance of individual responsibility that used to exist has disappeared from the radar. Thanks, liberals of the world, great job.

That all said, one of our manifesto commitments is to improve school discipline. We have a paper coming forward to Cabinet in May to see what can be done – there are real concerns from residents in this area.

Alex Goodlet writes somewhat sceptically about the Waterways restoration. One correction – he finishes “we [ratepayers] look set to be the people paying for it”. Wrong. The MWRG is a charity and whilst the Council is an enabler, a facilitator and a strong supporter, we are not Santa Claus and the MWRG remains a charity in its own right.

Peter Smith writes noting our achievements to date. Too right!

Derek Fry writes bemoaning the threatened loss of Shoppenhangers Manor. Yes, it’s a valid point and one shared by many.

Posted in Council, General, Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

For the sake of completeness …

Posted by davidburbage on March 18, 2008

Although I’m not happy that inflation is creeping up and prices are rising, I cast a wry smile at the news that February’s CPI (the Bank of England measure) hit 2.5%, which is higher than our February (for April 08-Mar 09) Council Tax increase of 2.4% !

Our benchmark is, and remains, the September RPI inflation figure which is linked to pensions uplift, but the fact that we’re also emerging to be under February CPI as well is a nice bonus.

Posted in Council, General, Tax | Leave a Comment »

Modern policing

Posted by davidburbage on March 16, 2008

I was lucky to sit next to a serving police officer last night at a dinner I attended. Curious about how the state breaks good things with their targets du jour, their à la carte bureacracy and de rigeur political correctness, I probed for evidence. Yes, all those were true (and painful and harmful and annoying and counter-productive and demoralising) but also there was more.

Apparently the sheer weight of legislation that has been brought in by Acts of Parliament by the current Government, with their innumerable Criminal Justice Acts and regulations to go with them, it means that the police no longer have a chance of knowing the law of the land, because there is too much legislation. Worse, it has meant that the complexity of the legislation has led to mistakes being made such that due process or details of the legal structure don’t get followed (because of complexity and sheer weight of traffic new laws) – it means that the system becomes less effective and begins to fail more frequently. Add to that the targets, the bureaucracy and the political correctness of the modern Labour state apparatus and you let down the people who should be being served (and, who are paying for the service).

[Government not doing what they should, or what people want, reminds me of the popular poll for a new piece of legislation that Stephen Pound MP said  he would introduce through an edition of the Today programme. The winner was “Homeowners should be able to use any means to defend their home from intruders.” Can’t get much simpler than that! His famous riposte, and refusing to keep his promise “The people have spoken – the bastards”. ]

Posted in General, Labour failings, Police | Leave a Comment »

The Welfare State we’re in – don’t want a 25k job, sorry

Posted by davidburbage on March 11, 2008

There is a good book – which I’d highly recommend – of this title.  You can buy it here – the website is here .

 What led me to blog about this today was this story here – The £7-per-hour jobs locals don’t want in which our great young hard working British youth say :

“No mate I’d prefer to sign-on than do that.”

“I don’t want to work in like no cornfield.”

Did you spot in the second quote the modern vernacular – “like”. Nice bit of journalistic accuracy … I wonder if the Government are happy that taxpayers’ money is dished out to anyone – who doesn’t want to work in like no cornfield.

Posted in General, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »