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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 November, 2009

Salt Barn

Posted by davidburbage on November 26, 2009

I have a photo or two of the huge salt barn in Priors Way that was featured in today’s Advertiser. The planning inspector would not want to be living opposite this – but that’s OK, he’s based in Bristol.

Posted in Council, Maidenhead | 1 Comment »

What Blair Said

Posted by davidburbage on November 22, 2009

Anthony Jay, co-creator of Yes Minister writes in the Guardian that “Yes Minister is as true as ever”.

Pointedly, he says of politicians that :

There are two answers: the expressed, publicly acceptable motivation, and the real motivation. The minister’s declared motivation is to serve the voters, to satisfy their hopes and aspirations, at whatever personal sacrifice. His real motivation is to get promoted, to get re-elected, to burnish his own and the government’s image.

Of civil servants he says :

The civil servant’s declared motivation is to carry out the wishes of the government efficiently, economically and impartially, working conscientiously and tirelessly to turn ministers’ policies into just, beneficial and workable laws. Their real motivation is to raise their personal status, to enhance the importance of their department, to avoid blame, to gain credit, to minimise work, to resist change, and to retire with an index-linked pension, a knighthood and the chairmanship of a couple of quangos and a seat on the board of a blue-chip company.

What’s this got to do with Blair?

Well, in his final Commons appearance, he said

Some may belittle politics but we know it is where people stand tall. [..] It may sometimes be a place of low skullduggery but it is more often a place for more noble causes.

And that is the analogy. It gives me great pleasure to sort things out, get wrongs righted and change things for the better. But all too often one is frustrated by vested interests, a lack of ambition or drive, the desire for a quiet life. And all of the Yes Minister traps! And although there are plenty of civil servants who carry out the wishes of politicians with enthusiasm and zeal, it’s by no means a universal given.

I have no magic answer to this – just to be consistent and fair, and yes, putting residents first because it’s the right thing to do, not just because it sounds good.

Posted in General | Leave a Comment »

Royal Borough Lose (part 2)

Posted by davidburbage on November 20, 2009

According to this from the “LGA” it says that

“Giving councils more choice over spending and more responsibility for their own affairs could save another £1.15bn, it added.”

But when given the option of giving councils more responsibility, the LGA themselves decided that bigger government is better.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Royal Borough Lose

Posted by davidburbage on November 20, 2009

The LGA (supposedly in favour of “Local” Government) today threw out our application under the Sustainable Communities Act to run the local fire service, for the nonsensical reason of viability – there are fire authorities that are FAR smaller that do everything that fire authorities have to do, there are fire authorities of similar sizes that do everything that fire authorities have to do – but the LGA appear to believe in BIG Government, which is the antithesis of the Sustainable Communities Act, rather than smaller more local government. One of the comments was that Fire Services were moving towards a “bigger than county” arrangement becuase of the “difficulty of recruiting retained firefighters”. I couldn’t follow that non-sequiteur, nor why that was a barrier to a viable and clear proposal to achieve the opposite.

I believe the LGA have really done themselves a disservice as an organisation.

They didn’t appear to me to have a clear understanding as to why they should be selecting proposals, or on what basis.

Meanwhile, back at the (big) ranch, the public are having their say on the election of police commissioners.

Unsurprisingly, ordinary people think it’s a good idea, and the incumbents (police) think it’s a bad idea.

Just like our proposals for the Royal Borough’s fire service ……

Here are the two most popular comments on the BBC Have Your Say


Added: Friday, 20 November, 2009, 16:40 GMT 16:40 UK

Any move that would make the police more accountable to the public is a good move.

S. Potter

Added: Friday, 20 November, 2009, 16:43 GMT 16:43 UK

It works in the United States.
A Police Chief who has one eye on the voters is an asset to the community.


Recommended by 57 people

Posted in Council, Police, Windsor | 1 Comment »

Our rep

Posted by davidburbage on November 19, 2009

So Baroness Ashton, former CND activist, who has never stood for public office in the UK, is EUROPE’s foreign affairs representative. I can’t tell you how undemocratic this is. . . . no doubt the press will do so.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Winchester Aliens

Posted by davidburbage on November 18, 2009

How could I have missed this? This Hampshire LibDem councillor tells all about the curious organisation called “Majestic”. And I thought they were wine merchants ….



Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

What many have suspected . . .

Posted by davidburbage on November 14, 2009

can now become reality. The Speakers’ wife Mrs Bercow is coming out to help Gordon and the Red Team, and standing for public office.


How will the voters of Buckingham react I wonder?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Bringing down Council Tax

Posted by davidburbage on November 14, 2009

We must get Council Tax down to reasonable levels , says Caroline Spelman.

Couldn’t agree more !

Posted in Council | Leave a Comment »

Nick Clegg helps out

Posted by davidburbage on November 13, 2009

One week Cameron, the next it’s Clegg . . . he came along to the Airplot in Sipson Village, forming part of the huge campaign against the 3rd runway at Heathrow. There were lots of NOTRAG posters and rather unkind words about BAA around the village. I am standing behind Nick with Peter Thompson, Hounslow Leader.

We all planted trees in the rain in Sipson village, apparently this small plot of land is owned by around 60,000 people across the world.

I don’t know if we were shown on TV, but at one point it was Nick Clegg and Susan Kramer planting the LibDem tree, John McDonnell planting the Labour tree and me planting the Conservative tree !

It was extremely well organised by the Woodland Trust and Greenpeace, supported by not only politicians from all parties but celebrities such as Richard Briers and Carol Anne Duffy.


Airplot is here . . . .

A few more photos :

Posted in Council | 1 Comment »

Fire Authority Lose

Posted by davidburbage on November 12, 2009

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service lost today in the High Court against the LGA and ourselves, in a pre-emptive strike against our bid to allow the Royal Borough to run its own fire service.

According to the judge, so I am told, the Royal Borough would be far more harmed than the Fire Authority by any interruption of due process by expediting a hearing regarding the legality of our submission (and the consideration of it by the LGA).

Something may well now happen in January (in court terms) although by that stage it is likely a bid will be with the Secretary of State (if we are fortunate that our proposal is to be shortlisted by the LGA later this month).

In political terms I saw their action as a spoiler – after all, their livelihood as a bureaucracy is at stake, and the chance that their entire organisation may be dissolved as a result of our bid is not an impossible one. That shouldn’t give them carte blanche to splash public money around willy nilly  …. the fact they underspent in the last year by a million pounds clearly has given them enough money to spend on hiring a full Queens Counsel – (though not, of course, to provide a 24/7 fire service out of Windsor Fire Station).

I am told we were awarded costs for today’s hearing, against the Fire Authority.

Posted in Conservative success, Windsor | 1 Comment »