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, 2011

More heritage restored in Windsor

Posted by davidburbage on January 28, 2011

 Today the Mayor (Cllr Catherine Bursnall, right) unveiled the “clock in the pavement” which historically stood in this exact spot, in Windsor High St.

Years ago, the clock was installed and many Windsorians remember it with affection. In the 70s or 80s, it broke and was removed. But I heard about this, and determined to restore the clock to Windsor’s pavement!

On the left is the daughter (Caroline Fox I believe) whose father was a Dyson that ran the shop (now a café that gave us refreshments!) next to the clock in the pavement.

I have no idea who the guy in the middle is . . . . but this installation, on the back of the restoration of the Lutyens fountain at the bottom of Castle Hill, with the soon-to-be-open Windsor Museum at the Guildhall is this Council’s delivery of heritage in the town of Windsor. The castle isn’t going anywhere – so we need to play our part in keeping the town’s heritage maintained.

The clock does just that.

Let’s hope it works and doesn’t lose minutes!

The BBC report is here : http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/berkshire/hi/people_and_places/arts_and_culture/newsid_9379000/9379754.stm

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

The growing power of the State

Posted by davidburbage on January 25, 2011

 My colleague Cllr Walters pointed out to me today, that in the 19th Century (he’s not that old, note) the only interaction that the ordinary citizen would have with the State would be if they used the post office.

 No police, no NHS, no income tax, no road tax, no VAT, no benefits, no European Directives, no petrol tax (no cars!), no landfill tax, no insurance tax, no national insurance, no state pension. . . . . the list goes on no doubt to include pretty much every modern day quango – and most taxes . . . .

I am told that the equivalent of the Ministry of Defence had an employ of 13 people that raised the army that fought the Napoleonic wars. Now, the  MOD employs 80,000, rivalling the size of the army itself.

 And yet, amazingly, with that dearth of interaction, tax and government between the citizen and their country, Britain had conquered a large part of the world.

I am not advocating a return to such a minimalist government, or an empire, but the point is that it is worth noting what UK plc achieved without big government.

We are proud to be a Big Society vanguard council because the principles that underpin the strength of communities are the same that built the strong Britain of old. The bureaucracy of modern government stifles innovation and independence to a significant degree, and the commitment to localism and the independence of communities is to be welcomed, and championed.

Posted in Big Society | 3 Comments »

Chums, the Localism Bill is just fine

Posted by davidburbage on January 19, 2011

My mate Eric presented the Localism Bill to the House of Commons this week. He was in good form, with excellent repartee.

A couple of examples

1 – here challenged by former junior Minister, Chris Leslie, now back in the House :

Christopher Leslie (Nottingham East, Labour)

The Secretary of State advocated the power of general competence as a means of increasing the freedoms of local authorities. However, clause 5(3) states:

"The Secretary of State may by order make provision preventing local authorities from doing, in exercise of the general power, anything
 which is specified, or is of a description specified, in the order."

Does that not completely negate the supposed freedoms?

to which Eric replied :

 I am surprised by the hon. Gentleman’s statement, because he and I have previous. When he was engaged in a respectable profession before returning to this House, I recall him advising me on these issues. His advice was that these things should not be absolute, and that the Secretary of State needs to retain residual powers just in case.

He should not castigate me for taking the advice that he gave all those years ago- nice try.

2 – and encouraged to comment on the great centraliser Mr Prescott by Paul Beresford :

Paul Beresford (Mole Valley, Conservative)

I hope that my right hon. Friend does not miss the opportunity to mention the great pilot of centralisation, John, now Lord, Prescott, who, in moving from the social status of waiter to that of a passenger on cruise ships, was so damaging to local government.

Eric Pickles (Secretary of State, Communities and Local Government; Brentwood and Ongar, Conservative)

I have to say that I have great affection for Lord Prescott, and I am particularly enjoying his current advocacy of insurance on television.

Anyone not seen it can see Lord John earning a few bob here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWpW_5X2EYE&feature=player_embedded

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Labour failings | 1 Comment »

Alan Johnson gaffes on basic tax question

Posted by davidburbage on January 9, 2011

What is bad about the gaffe that this cringeworthy politician who can’t admit he doesn’t know the answer, is not that he doesn’t know the answer – he should do of course – but that he makes it up on the hoof, hopes for the best by trying to mislead viewers that he knows the answer.

Entertainingly, the car crash question hangs over him as he waffles on about “going up by 1%” when you can tell that the Sky interviewer is just going to ask him again what the rate actually is when he finishes waffling.

Not a good position to be in.

Note to self : if you don’t know the answer, just admit it. Don’t make it up….. make honesty the best policy, Alan.

The “20 to 21 percent” he claimed was the increase was a confused basic rate of tax – or was that VAT? (but both were wrong) number that he thought might be in the right ballpark.

Now, how was that economic management of the economy whilst he was in the Cabinet?

Posted in Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Fantastic Park result!

Posted by davidburbage on January 7, 2011

At the Park ward by-election last night we scored a fantastic result – just 4 months before our all-out elections!

Park Ward – 6 January 2011

Laura Jane Binnie The Labour Party Candidate 149
Richard Anthony Fagence Liberal Democrats 156
Natasha Joy Lavender The Conservative Party Candidate 637
Derek John Prime Independent 47

 

The halving of the LibDem vote must be a real worry to the local party – as well as the rise and rise of the Labour vote. Both Labour and the LibDems worked hard at the by-election, but not as hard as us!

Natasha will be a great councillor, even though there’s only four months of office remaining.

I am reminded of the work involved in bringing in new blood! With luck, lots of that to come….

Posted in Conservative success, Libdem Failings, Windsor | Leave a Comment »