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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 May, 2010

The Mayor of Reading (including Fire, Police)

Posted by davidburbage on May 31, 2010

That’s Reading, Pennsylvania , rather than Reading, Berkshire.

Curiously, it is also the seat of “Berks County“, and has a population of around 80,000 . . .

What is taken as a natural reporting structure for state services in the US doesn’t appear to have convinced a number of people in the UK, notably the previous Government who wanted to centralise even more the fire and police services, removing accountability and control from local people.

In Mayor McMahon’s report of April 26th 2010, he tells his city Council

On April 21, we announced a significant development in crime reduction efforts. While overall crime was down in 2009, burglaries were actually up by 4% from the prior year.  Using extra patrols in burglary hot-spots, checking stores and pawn shops where stolen goods are often exchange for cash, officers and investigators arrested 43 adults and 13 juveniles for committing burglaries.  The number of burglaries dropped from 146 in December to 75 in March.  I commend Chief Heim and our dedicated officers for working hard and working smart to fight crime with fewer resources.

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European economics explained

Posted by davidburbage on May 23, 2010

This is hilarious.

My favourite part in the “Mastermind” is this response (from the “contestant”):

Contestant : “How can broke economies lend money to other broke economies who haven’t got any money, because they can’t pay back the money the broke economy lent to the other broke economy and shouldn’t have lent it to them in the first place ’cause the broke economy can’t pay it back?!

Question Master : “You’re wasting very valuable time Roger

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A New Hope

Posted by davidburbage on May 23, 2010

There’s such a lot of good stuff in the coalition programme. It is a New Hope – good riddance to the hated centralist state-knows-best Labour party.

Localisation and decentralisation are key themes which appeal to both Conservative and Liberal instincts – and though the future economic medicine is far from pleasant, an early and substantial dose can be tolerated as the country easily remembers who it was that got us into this mess in the first place.

Standards Board to go – hooray!

GOL to go – hooray! Please can we lose GOSE and the other Government Offices – an affront to elected representatives across the land. I often hear in meetings “but we’ll need to agree this with GOSE” or “GOSE don’t want us to do that”. Pah!

An end to housing targets – hooray!

I expect we will see a pull back from the extensive ring-fencing and bureaucracy that envelops local government. Knowing how tough it is to cut red tape and bureaucracy, the section in the Business section of the coalition agreement that says

We will cut red tape by introducing a ‘one-in, one-out’ rule whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulation being cut
by a greater amount.

is admirable. I look forward to the Secretary of State being tough in its execution!

A wry smile also greets the situation that Vince has to find £700m of savings in his own department (that he previously wanted to abolish). Should be easy then!

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

A sinking feeling in Ealing

Posted by davidburbage on May 9, 2010

Who says democracy isn’t alive and well in the UK ?

This Ealing Borough ward has elected 1 Conservative, 1 Labour and 1 LibDem under the First Past The Post system. . . . .

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General Election

Posted by davidburbage on May 9, 2010

On the result

Frustratingly close, for the want of a couple of dozen seats, the majority eludes us. One can blame the uneven seat sizes, the equal billing given to “I agree with” Nick Clegg, the votes for UKIP . . in truth, we had a vote bigger than Tony Blair’s in 2005 and gained more seats than in 1979. The silver lining to the ‘almost got there’ cloud is that Labour + LibDems doesn’t equal Majority, which reduces somewhat the options available to the Kingmaker. And, which is probably key, he really doesn’t like the old king at all.

As is often the case in UK Council elections, where the incumbent party loses their majority, it is often the “other two” that gang up to force the old administration out. I have no idea if DC will be PM by early next week, but it’s looking quite possible. We can then start saying “I agree with Nick” more often, and he can start saying “I agree with David”.

Irony of Electoral Reform

I laughed out loud yesterday as a LibDem-voting taxi driver said on the tv, without any hint of irony

“I’m worried about the uncertainty and this hung parliament. What this country really needs is electoral reform.”

On the local results

These were absolutely fantastic. Theresa May increased her majority to over 16,000 – and Adam Afriyie to over 19,000. In both cases the LibDem vote fell significantly; in Windsor by 5% and in Maidenhead the LibDem Tony Hill’s vote fell by 8% compared to 2005.

The other fantastic statistic about the local results is that by vote share, Adam Afriyie’s seat now has the 3rd highest Conservative vote in the country, and Theresa May’s 9th highest. (The 1st is William Hague, 2nd is Dominic Grieve).

Local LibDems looked pretty resigned all night.

At the count

Why is it that Sunderland can declare before Midnight, and we run until 4am or later? If we doubled the number of counting people, then presumably we’d get the result in half the time! Then we could all go to the bar/home and watch the election unfold . . . . !

Also, and in complete contrast to last time, when we had TV cameras at both the Windsor and Maidenhead 2005 counts (for the first black Tory MP, decapitation strategy against Theresa May) this year we had no TV, and next to no journalists either. The photographers outnumbered the journalists at one point. I guess that’s the price of success.

Our Maidenhead agent Keith Baker had to leave at 5am to catch a flight from Heathrow for a well-earned break. Now that’s timing.

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Election 2010

Posted by davidburbage on May 7, 2010

We lost seats, and so did the LibDems.

I’m talking about the emerging picture of the UK Council elections, where at the time of writing Labour have Gained 5 councils, and 150 seats, at the expense of Conservatives, LibDems, everybody else. We’ve lost control of 9 councils and the LibDems of 3 of theirs.

I am sure there is a reason for this, and given the momentous machinations happening in Westminster where we’ve won a tremendous number of new seats, it has not been mentioned on the coverage that I’ve seen.

My guess would be turnout causing an increase in the Labour vote compared to four years ago when these seats were last fought – but even so, not a pretty picture for either the blue or the yellow team!

I’d introduce a new tag of “Labour success” but I’m hoping , like the LibDem counting agent at last nights’ Maidenhead count, that things will get better in the future. . . . .

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