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
  • Meta

Archive for January, 2009

Lowest Borough Council Tax

Posted by davidburbage on January 30, 2009

We announced the lowest Council Tax increase in the history of the Royal Borough today – 2009/10 council tax will increase by just 1.9% – a massive 3.1% below the September RPI benchmark uplift for pensions and benefits.

We brought the local press in to brief them this morning – Council votes on the proposals later in February.

Maidenhead Advertiser

Observer

Advertisements

Posted in Conservative success, Council | 1 Comment »

Conservatives winning here

Posted by davidburbage on January 25, 2009

Just found a classic Richard Coe publication (he’s just a volunteer, not employed by the Libdems apparently) .

It’s another fake accusation which reads “The Conservatives [sic] Council have recently asked the government [sic] for powers to charge residents for rubbish collection.”

Forgiving English and style errors, this allegation is completely false and has no basis in fact. This was put out at the beginning of the 2007 consultation that the Labour Government did to ask whether Councils wanted the power to charge. We didn’t, and said so!

What is worse, it is the Liberal Democrats who support taxing / fining / charging (call it what you will) residents for throwing away “too much”, whereas the Conservatives don’t support this punitive approach.

Still, like their support for congestion charging nationally – party policy it never stopped local members taking a completely different line on behalf of the party before.

Posted in Libdem Failings, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Jargon busting 2

Posted by davidburbage on January 23, 2009

oh some classics I must share

Capacity building: activities designed to
increase the staff, budget and remit of
government departments and quangos.

Consultation (always wide-ranging): invitation
from Government to comments on policy
proposals before embarking on their original plan.

Debate (call for a): used to imply that talking about
a problem is the same as solving a problem

The full document can be found here .

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Interesting local govt salary information

Posted by davidburbage on January 23, 2009

The Taxpayers Alliance has published information about middle management salaries at Town Hall rocketing. The headline is undoubtedly true and reflects the amount of money that NuLabour have put into the public sector – which can’t be easily argued to contribute to a vibrant and growing economy.

As such, it’s an entirely valid exercise to carry out. It is a shame that they colour the research with prejudice such as

“with many local authorities keen to ensure that data is continually presented in different ways,”

 

It’s inevitable that hundreds of different organisations will structure themselves differently. It’s not an excuse to hide information, though, but it definitely falls on the cockup side of the cockup/conspiracy test.

They also say

“Ideally, local authority remuneration data should be published on a central website accessible to all members of the public, thereby allowing straightforward comparisons to be made.”

So, hmm, let me think, who would pay for operation and maintenance of such a website? The taxpayer … ? But isn’t that what TPA is doing on behalf of taxpayers already (thus achieving the same goal at no cost to the taxpayer!). Yes, let’s have common standards, and yes, let’s make it easier for local authorities to be held accountable for their salaried expenditure, but risking the state bureaucracy and maintenance costs of setting up somebody to run a centralised database – which would have to be “secure”- let’s be careful for what we wish for!

 

Posted in Tax | Leave a Comment »

What Mr Byers said about the need for more flights . . . according to Friends of the Earth

Posted by davidburbage on January 15, 2009

In November 2001, having sat on the Inspector Vandermeer’s report for almost a year, the Government announces its decision on T5 and releases the inspector’s report. The inspector says that a third runway could have “unacceptable environmental consequences”. He recommends a cap on the number of flights at 480,000 a year in order to prevent the need for a third runway.

The then minister, Stephen Byers, MP, accepts the cap on flights but refuses to rule out a third runway: ” … the third runway will be considered in the context of both the SE of England study and the Aviation White Paper which we shall publish next year.”

So now, Mr Byers says the cap of flights is acceptable.

Friends of the Earth points out that these two stances are inconsistent. If the cap of 480,000 flights a year is to remain, a third runway is not needed. FOE therefore concludes that the Government is already planning to renege on this cap – one of very few meaningful conditions set when granting permission for T5.

And so it was, that the cap on flights became unacceptable. And, the emissions targets too.

Posted in Labour failings, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Why is it so hard .. . . .

Posted by davidburbage on January 15, 2009

Last week I could transfer files from my Blackberry just by plugging it in.

Now, it doesn’t work. So I download (115Meg) of huge installation software which doesn’t have the functionality I want. Why do they make it so hard? It’s only taken half an hour so far to get nowhere fast.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Lexicon of Government

Posted by davidburbage on January 8, 2009

The CPS have posted the annual lexicon of jargon.

I’ll post a few more choice ones later but this one caught my eye as particularly pertinent to Local Government :

Multi-agency

: policy areas where no one is responsible

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Quantitative easing

Posted by davidburbage on January 8, 2009

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/2009/01/08/the-mpc-and-the-bbc/

John Redwood calls it right again. Given all the increases in public spending not actually supported by increases in productivity or GDP, I have been shouting at the TV/Radio that they have to stop “printing money”. Now it turns out that the BBC think it is a ‘new’ policy as if increases in Government spending, and all that credit, had not turned into money somewhere?

Posted in BBC, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Happy New Year to Darling and Brown

Posted by davidburbage on January 3, 2009

Yet another complete shambolic Labour Government. The pound is becoming worth less every day, the economy is in freeze frame, and Labour’s solution is to pretend that spending more money will solve the problem !

Saturday’s papers look like they are reporting that there will need to be another bank bailout.

And that agency nurses are earning £250,000 a year….. whilst nurses we trained work overseas.

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »