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 April, 2011

7 Days Remaining

Posted by davidburbage on April 28, 2011

Out with the old, and in with the new. The Royal Borough goes to the polls on May 5th – all of our seats are up for election.

We’ve been working tremendously hard across the Borough to spread our positive message, and maximise our vote. I had a letter published today in the Advertiser encouraging people to vote next week – with the troubles in the Middle East we need to have democracy supported here in the UK!

News to follow after polling day.

We are running a private book regarding the result, and I’m hopeful I’m going to win!

Posted in Council, General | Leave a Comment »

Liverpool LibDems – you couldn’t make it up. But . . . maybe they do !

Posted by davidburbage on April 18, 2011

I wonder whether this is an opportunity for Richard Kemp (blogs passim) to regain the crown in Liverpool?

Mind you, it will be interesting to see how many seats they retain given their less than stellar national standing.

This story claims that the LibDem opposition leader’s son in Liverpool was one of their nominations – but . . . .

from the BBC, all is not as it seems in Liverpool’s political hotbed

In an interview with the Liverpool Daily Post, Daniel Bradley said: “I went in to see who signed for me. I did not put my name down. But I was told it was too late [to withdraw]. I went to have a look at the nomination paper and it was not my signature. I am not political at all.”

 I feel it’s almost worth creating a blog category for Liverpool’s LibDems!

Posted in Libdem Failings | Leave a Comment »

Council Mileage Perk exposed by TPA

Posted by davidburbage on April 14, 2011

Windsor and Maidenhead are one of the minority 80 Councils in the country that follow HMRC mileage rates.

Some others pay up to 87p per mile – a big taxable perk for their officers.

Now, with the price of petrol rocketing and increasing almost daily, the timing by the TPA probably isn’t great, as anyone on the HMRC rates who drives in their own vehicle on behalf of the community will know (including councillors at RBWM); but certainly over the last few years the excuse of paying over the HMRC rate has not been a particularly tenable one.

Yet, (though without factoring in the cost of wear and tear), the £6 gallon at a 35 mpg rate still works out at just 17p per mile cost. Stealing from an internet forum  – and I know everything on the internet can’t be trusted, but this sounded reasonable and better than nothing – I find

I kept my last car, a 98 Mondeo 1.8 Estate for near on exactly 3 years, it was 10 year old with 122k when I bought it and was sold on at 166k still running brilliantly.

 I keep a spreadsheet with all costs and petrol usuage, and my costs worked out to be 7p/mile for everything excluding petrol costs (purchase cost, all servicing, repairs, tyres, consumables, tax, insurance and this was then offset by the final resale value). The fuel cost over this time was 11.6p/mile at a typical mid to high 30’s MPG throughout this time. Therefore my total running cost over 3 yrs/45k miles was just under 19p/mile.

 Hopefully this information will be of some use as a ballpark reference point for people driving cars of similar age/size/mileage.

The typical council 65p rate – which many councils are on – is something that the Local Government Employers have negotiated – clearly getting a better deal for local government staff than available in much of the private sector, all at taxpayers’ expense. I suppose that’s part of the problem with the LGA – it does tend to look after the interests of the local authorities themselves, rather than those of the residents who elect them (and have to pay the bills).

Posted in Council, General | 4 Comments »

Irrefutable Evidence that Labour incompetence lost millions on costly school buildings

Posted by davidburbage on April 9, 2011

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13012596

This is an independent analysis of the BSF programme – where horrendously complicated and costly processes needed to be gone through to create bespoke building projects, for the most part on individual schools (rather than tackling the biggest problems in a sensible way).

It just shows what balderdash can be achieved by civil servants and quangoes designing procurement and spending programmes centrally, rather than get people that know what they’re doing to get on with it locally.

Reminds me of a conversation I had with a chap from the Housing Corporation (or the Homes and Communities Agency or whatever it was renamed to) who wanted to hold a “single conversation” with the six Berkshire authorities about the pattern of their investment in affordable housing projects and associated infrastructure. “We need to invest the money” he was saying.

“Just give us our cheque and we’ll spend it on housing” I said. Couldn’t do that, of course . . . we had to go through a complicated process of negotiation first involving producing large documents analysing need, consulting widely, centralising it, asking for approval blah blah blah.

I don’t think we have had any investments since that day, but I could be wrong . . . . . .

Posted in Education, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Conservative Leader Disarms Gunman!

Posted by davidburbage on April 9, 2011

Although a horrendous loss of life, the actions of Cllr Royston Smith are simply awesome. I am sure he deserves a medal or more – and probably saved a bunch of lives yesterday.

Posted in Conservative success, General | Leave a Comment »

The Only Party to field a Full Slate

Posted by davidburbage on April 6, 2011

The Conservatives are the only party to field a full slate of candidates for the Royal Borough.

Labour have come close to putting up as many names as the Liberal Democrats, who not only have neglected over 15,000 people in the Windsor area, but appear to have put up a number of partners in the less winnable seats to fill out the numbers in the Maidenhead area.

A good job too, as Labour have an almost full slate in Maidenhead for the first time I can remember.

Posted in Conservative success, Council | 2 Comments »

Manifesto Launch Season

Posted by davidburbage on April 5, 2011

 We launched our manifesto to the press today.

 Full details on the http://www.rbwmconservatives.com website , but apparently neither the LibDems nor the Labour party have actually announced if they are going to have a local manifesto. . . . we wait and see.

Posted in Conservative success, Labour failings, Libdem Failings | 1 Comment »

ConservativeHome Conference Announced

Posted by davidburbage on April 2, 2011

 

 Have been invited to speak at a Conservative Home event featuring Eric Pickles and Greg Clark on innovation in local authorities :  see http://www.amiando.com/localgov.html?page=501650

It’s on May 17th, after our elections. So there’s another incentive to win !

Posted in Conservative success, Council | Leave a Comment »