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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 September, 2008

George Osborne promises Council Tax freeze

Posted by davidburbage on September 29, 2008

Any Council that gets its Council Tax down to 2.5% will get Govt funding to bring it down another 2.5%

Good news, because it’s under this Conservative Administration at Windsor and Maidenhead, that Council Tax rose just 2.4% last year; if we had had the George Osborne rule, Council tax could have fallen in absolute terms (-0.1%) as well as it did anyway in real terms.

I’m also pleased he supports what I was saying yesterday about B&B Bailout.

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

Isn’t Bradford and Bingley a safe, ancient Building Society?

Posted by davidburbage on September 28, 2008

Of course it isn’t, it demutualised.

I remember voting against the Halifax demutualisation, thinking that the building society model was better for those involved as the savings and lendings were well integrated and balanced each other out. And although I didn’t mind being a shareholder of a bank rather than a member of the building society, there were, as the fat bloke on the Nationwide ads loves to talk about, requirements to make a profit etc that were not in the building society model.

Only about 10% voted against – so I got the shares (long since sold fortunately).

I also remember being told that to convert to a bank would mean greater access to capital markets, greater flexibility with respect of the ‘products’ that could be offered, greater freedom to use the bank’s capital assets for the benefit of the shareholders.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% capitalist – but if a borrowing system had worked for a hundred years or more, it must require a deal of proof in order to change it.

(I’m aware that some building societies are also in trouble as you can see here but as it also states

Britannia’s vulnerability to the credit squeeze is rare among mutuals )

What really bugs me is that the Government think I’m the best person to pay for the indebtedness of others, who can’t pay what they borrowed. Why should that be a taxpayer debt?

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Maidenhead’s Parking improves

Posted by davidburbage on September 26, 2008

Cabinet noted the changes we’ve put into Maidenhead’s Nicholsons multi storey yesterday, allowing up to 4 hours for £2 – a fantastic deal which makes it easy to pay, a long time to stay, and hopefully will fix a lot of the current complaints about “pay and display”.

Our friendly Libdems claimed that we should have done consultation before deciding on Pay and Display, conveniently ignoring the fact that they’d budgeted and ordered the machines (without consultation) prior to the May 2007 election. We’re now fixing the problem as best we can; given the proposed redevelopment on the Queen St/Broadway/KingSt triangle it may be that a new car park somewhere in that can fix the problem properly. A review will outline the possibilities for changes in the interim, for a number of car parks.

(Time is one of the problems that the Lead petitioner noted – unfortunately if you research and consult on a solution, it takes a while, whereas if you just react with quick solutions it may end up wrong and then you are accused of not asking people before you got it wrong!)

I must give credit to the Maidenhead Chamber who proposed the basis of the idea for the “shoppers rate”, through the Maidenhead Town Partnership.

Posted in Libdem Failings, Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

Who guards the guards?

Posted by davidburbage on September 24, 2008

Quoting Marx (that’s Gary, not Karl) from MIT

In the first century the Roman poet Juvenal asked “quis custodiet ipsos custodes” (“who guards the guards?”) There are few questions of greater practical or theoretical import. .. But the issue has special poignancy and symbolism when it involves organizations whose primary goal is creating, interpreting or enforcing law.

The Council has been keen to respond to the Policing Green Paper, and Cabinet tomorrow agrees a response. We’re backing – well the papers propose backing – the elected local policeman, whether a sheriff or other representative rather than endorse the remote police authority rep that the feeble Labour Govt are proposing. Quite apart from anything, electing one member of a > 30 member tri-county force authority is hardly localism in action or bringing police accountability to local people.

Coincidentally, familiar face Elizabeth Truss (from the Reform think tank) whom I met whilst campaigning in Wraysbury some years ago, writes on the subject last week in the Sunday Telegraph. She writes“The police should be made directly accountable through the abolition of national targets and controls and the election instead of local justice commissioners, responsible for policing, prosecution, legal aid and correctional services within a local authority area. These commissioners would be directly elected every four years, with operationally independent forces accountable to them.”

 

We think similarly (whatever the name of the position) – and having local police bosses embedded in the local democratic process, alongside the local authority, is the best place to have them to bring back confidence and control to the public that are being served.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Labour views portrayed as ‘website readers’ by BBC

Posted by davidburbage on September 24, 2008

http://atoryblog.blogspot.com/

talking about this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7631900.stm

The BBC say

Here a selection of BBC News website readers have been telling us what they thought of his speech and whether they were impressed by his performance.”

and amazingly, they are all Labour party supporters/members to one degree or other!!! Given that Labour have a little less than 1/3 of voters, at best, the chances of all Labour responses is something like 1 in 81 – and not politically balanced either.

curious also that the responses to ‘Have Your Say’ are 98% anti-Brown, yet the BBC ‘website readers’ love him. sheeeeeesh

Posted in BBC | Leave a Comment »

Answers on a postcard

Posted by davidburbage on September 18, 2008

There is the famous little saying that runs as follows (or similar)

“You owe the bank £50,000 and can’t pay. You’re in trouble”

“You owe the bank £5 million and can’t pay. The bank’s in trouble”

Now, we need to add

“The bank owes other banks £50 billion and can’t pay.”

Who’s in trouble?

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Vince calls which way the Fed will go on Lehman Bros

Posted by davidburbage on September 17, 2008

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7616000/7616089.stm

Stourton : They’re not going to be allowed to go bust, you say, but they have gone bust!

Vince : Well indeed but [ .. ] probably along the lines of Bear Stearns, the US Treasury will step in here.

I’m not sure this has happened … and Hank Paulson, who should know whether the US Treasury should/would/could act, rather has a different view to Vince

Paulson said the situation with Lehman was ‘very, very different’ from the one facing regulators earlier this year, when the Federal Reserve helped JP Morgan Chase (nyse: JPMnews people ) buy Bear Stearns.

and

Paulson said he ‘never once considered that it was appropriate to put taxpayer money on the line’ for Lehman.

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Calamity Clegg

Posted by davidburbage on September 17, 2008

Nick Clegg, a leading Libdem apparently, has no clue about one of the biggest items of Government expenditure….

Asked by a caller to a local news television programme whether he knew how much state pensioners received, he tried to dodge the question, before finally mumbling: “I think it’s about £30 quid now, isn’t it?”

Ninety. Not thirty.

Bye-bye pensioner votes!

edit: maybe this is how they will make tax cuts, by taking 2/3 off pensions 😉

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Business backs 3rd runway

Posted by davidburbage on September 15, 2008

At least according to this article on the BBC.

Improving the number of long haul flights available at Heathrow and removing some of the short haul flights is one way of maintaining viability. I remain amazed at the blind spot of modern business where such a lot more is done via email than ever before, that the ease of travel across the world is seen as a business winner / loser. Sure, people travel around the world on business, but so much more is done online nowadays which renders the ‘must have the biggest airport’ argument less significant.

Everyone I speak to prefers smaller airports; certainly, it’s easier and cheaper to park/walk/board at the smaller airports even if you don’t have some huge retail offering to accompany you as you get to the departure lounges!

It’s probably harder work as an airline to run multiple airports, and less profitable as an airport operator to run smaller airports, but they’re better.

We don’t have a Tesco in every town because it would be cheaper and better for the supermarket and their suppliers to operate one big one that can stock more products, in London …..

Posted in General, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Will he, won’t he

Posted by davidburbage on September 12, 2008

Sack his disloyal whip ?

He didn’t go for David Miliband (at least not yet) ; but he might feel able to shuffle at the lower ranks without too many repurcussions, but even then it would probably be after the Labour conference.

edit : he now has done! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7613086.stm

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »