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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, 2009

Stupid stupid

Posted by davidburbage on March 30, 2009

16 pixels of width invalidate million of pounds invested.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 states that images need to be 720×576 pixels – but the digital cameras broadcast images which are 704×576 pixels.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7971436.stm

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Posted in Labour failings | 2 Comments »

Surprise!

Posted by davidburbage on March 30, 2009

Radio Berkshire had me on talking about the Fire Service proposals – Andrew Peach rather bemused by the idea and suggested we’d be running our own green fire engines. No, I gently pointed out, it’s the funding control rather than changing the whole thing entirely.

Oh well, says Peach, “we’ll see what David Cameron has to say about this, we’ve got him on in 15 minutes

Surprise! So Peach had a little laugh at my expense, saying “I’ve got him worried now“!

As it turned out, it went just fine . . .

Posted in BBC, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

And so it goes

Posted by davidburbage on March 28, 2009

At the end of the month, we’re going to see the end of a number of Councils. Two County Councils are going completely (Bedfordshire and Cheshire) – others turn from being counties into unitary counties (Cornwall, Durham, Northumberland, Shropshire and Wiltshire).

The whole exercise seems a bit fraught, and looking at Bedfordshire’s website they seem to be ending with a fizzling out rather than with a ‘bang’.

It’s also an opportunity to exercise the endless jargon of empty words we have to endure in local government. In the LGA (First) magazine today, for example, we have the Chief Exec of Durham County Council saying they will have

“Major initiatives .. a developing new economic strategy .. partnership framework .. exciting community engagement model”.

I’m the Leader of a Unitary Council – and I don’t know what any of that really means. What is the difference between the old economic strategy and new one? Did the old one fail? If so, why? Are the good citizens of County Durham better off with less Government or more (that question is unlikely to be posed in the economic strategy)? Will it address that fundamental part of the economic problem there that 57% of expenditure in the North East is spent on unproductive Government and suggest reducing its own size . . . ?

What is an exciting community engagement model? Is it Miss North East 2009?

What is a partnership framework? A new way of holding lengthy meetings between well-paid public officials?

Is it, maybe, the same as this (a Framework for Partnership)? If you manage to read every word of that, and understand what will be different for Mrs Miggins at number 78, you’re doing better than me.

As someone (a fellow Conservative) said to me, if you sent the Government to buy you a loaf of bread at the corner shop, they’d take six months, and come back with a selection of other goods (which would be far better for you, naturally) – and charge you a hundred and fifty quid.

Posted in General, Labour failings | 1 Comment »

BBC in action, once again, apparently trying to split the Tories

Posted by davidburbage on March 21, 2009

John Redwood on the money again. What a curious collection of interviews cancelled…..

I should point out that Labour’s tax trap soon brought me a phone call from the BBC. Would I like to go on to condemn the 45p? If I said yes, that would make the story “Tory tax wars”, which they would love. Meanwhile yesterday an offer to appear on Newsnight to discuss the debt petered out without any explanation before I had the details of time and place, and an accepted offer to do the Today programme this morning on the same subject was cancelled. Was it something I said, or something I would not say?

Posted in BBC | Leave a Comment »

A senior politician on localism and on controlling the civil service

Posted by davidburbage on March 19, 2009

Fascinating stuff. I’m not brave enough to publish what bits of this I agree with, but Ken Livingstone has been there, done that.

As I told my Libdem friends at Cabinet last month, we’re not proud, we’ll take good ideas from anywhere.

Edit : Spooky. I had decided to go and buy the article that’s trailed by Iain Dale in the TotalPolitics magazine, but as I got home today there was one lying on my doormat addressed to me as Leader of the Council. Fantastic! Thanks Iain.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

Freeze the BBC licence fee?

Posted by davidburbage on March 17, 2009

I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split it? Channel 4 are struggling just a bit and they make great innovative television. A bit of competition would go a long way to bring good value to the telly taxpayer, without destroying all that is good about the BBC.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »