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
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Archive for October, 2010

A perfect example of why the Standards Board has to go, and go quickly

Posted by davidburbage on October 30, 2010

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/planning/8098778/Planning-dispute-led-to-15-month-investigation-into-veteran-parish-councillor.html

Here, the Parish Councillor (who has no decision making power) is subjected to a 15 month investigation and production of a 146 page report.

What was his crime that took the Authorities over a year to resolve? Failing to declare a personal (note: not prejudicial!) interest in a planning application – which the Parish were merely commenting on.

Absolutely incredible. What nonsense this is.

I’m currently reading Andrew Rawnsley’s book on The End of the Party and this is the same lot where the Chancellor wouldn’t tell the Prime Minister what was in the Budget ! Compare and contrast the two.

On the one hand, the nation’s taxes and finances are being decided (and then some) without the Prime Minister even getting a look in. Does that enhance confidence in politicians? 

On the other, a Parish councillor is being hounded for over a year because of a bureacratic Code of Conduct that was invented in Whitehall – but not applicable to MPs (and we saw how well they behaved)!

It’s hideous. The ironic part – which we’ve experienced locally – is that the innocent Parish Councillors (who have done nothing wrong and may have been on holiday at the time) are subjected to another round of “training” because of the supposed failings of one of their colleagues.

Bonkers.

My FOI request asking for the time spent, and the cost of the investigation, has gone in to Wiltshire Council already. [update: Wiltshire say that they have “no information held” of this. What a surprise.]

Here’s an interesting tactic for those in dying quangoes – this is from the Standards Board Agenda for October –

Claim that closure is too expensive !!!

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Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

What other local authorities do with old fountains

Posted by davidburbage on October 25, 2010

Here in Tynemouth, they dig out a long-lost (and clearly popular) fountain only to … let it be covered up again. Apparently the “maintenance costs” are too high.

Curiously, that is what I was told when I asked why the beautiful Lutyens fountain in Windsor contained three flower beds.

Make it flow! I said. 

So we did, and now we have this very pleasant and enjoyable feature of Windsor doing what Lutyens wanted it to do.

Posted in Council, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

An evening with Harriet Harman, and Bill Gates

Posted by davidburbage on October 18, 2010

It isn’t every day you get to shake hands with the (currently) second richest man in the world.

[Note to self, next time, get a decent camera with the mobile phone]

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the London launch of Living Proof, which is a campaign to spread the good word about international aid and how much it is achieving – with no small thanks to the Gates Foundation, other donors, organisations such as Rotary International and numerous charities. The UK – Andrew Mitchell was also there and spoke afterwards – was thanked by Mr and Mrs Gates for the sensible and significant investment that we’ve made over the years, and specifically for the ongoing pledge to keep investment levels up. He got a specific namecheck for the good work of the Coalition Government.

Elimination of polio is on the horizon – only four countries left – and malaria is already much reduced. These are smart philanthopists. . . .

Also present was a friend and local Maidonian who was adept at getting a few words with those who mattered – so I got to chat with Melinda – and briefly Bill – at the reception afterward.

Great location for a function, the Science Museum. Just a pity they’re digging up Exhibition Road!

Update : here is the live webcast of the event. It gets going about 21 minutes in.

Posted in General, Government Success | Leave a Comment »

From Conservative Conference 2010

Posted by davidburbage on October 11, 2010

This is me on stage with Stephen Greenhalgh, Andrew Allum, Edward Lister and CLG Minister Bob Neill MP, at the fringe event trailled earlier. It was a good packed hall with around 100 people or so, followed by a great question and answer session.

 [photo credit : The Freedom Association ]

Posted in Conservative success, Council | Leave a Comment »

Don’t believe everything you read in the press

Posted by davidburbage on October 6, 2010

Especially the entry at number 59 :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/8037566/Top-100-most-influential-Right-wingers-75-51.html

It has to be said though, as Stephen Greenhalgh likes to point out, that whatever he does, I just have to go one better. He’s at number 71 

🙂

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

Conservative Conference

Posted by davidburbage on October 2, 2010

According to Guido the 10th most popular fringe event (have no idea if this has any weight at all) is one on cutting Council Tax

http://tory.fringelist.com/event/bb4dbe2583c69e9bf97c0d6ff1fa4070

 I better think of something to say!

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Tax | Leave a Comment »