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 the ‘General’ Category

Success!

Posted by davidburbage on January 15, 2016

Success, as they say, has many fathers. And failure is a lonely orphan!

But when a plan comes together, it’s worth noting. In July last year (in an exchange of letters regarding the safeguarding inspection from Ofsted) I wrote to the Minister :

Secondly, Ministers need to act to ensure proper safeguarding practice across agencies becomes a legal requirement. It has been like pulling teeth to get the Thames Valley Police to place even a part time officer in our Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub. This is totally unacceptable. Together, you need to sort this out through proper inspection and oversight rather than having one inspection regime for the wicket keeper and another for the bowler – the current framework across Whitehall departments is inadequate.

Yesterday, this news story came out :

Watchdogs to unite for children’s service inspections

Excellent!

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

Maidenhead Town Council in 1960

Posted by davidburbage on July 8, 2015

In charge of public health (which means trusting the food that is being sold!), housing, libraries, but not able to put up traffic lights without permission from the DfT ! Also great scenes from the town centre, including the old town hall and library.

Where is the bus at 3:58 ?

Where is Hill St? Is that Castle Hill ?

At 4:55 “We must increase the staff” !

At 9:55 “Council members are not permitted to vote on matters connected with their private business”. Oh how sensible and simple the rules were then. . . .

Mention of Standle Road and Parsons Lane – neither of which I am familiar with. Or the Meadow Lane Council Housing Estate.

And to finalise, the construction of the new Town Hall.

See it at BFI : http://player.bfi.org.uk/film/watch-i-am-a-mayor-1961/

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General, Maidenhead | Leave a Comment »

General Election 2015

Posted by davidburbage on May 8, 2015

What a fantastic result! A straw poll on the election afternoon had us hoping to get up to 300 – but nobody was predicting a majority. We can now implement all the good things promised and get on with governing the country for all.

I’m delighted for both local MPs – Theresa May and Adam Afriyie, increasing their majorities and pushing the Liberal Democrats down into third place in Maidenhead and fourth place in Windsor.

Particular congratulations due in other seats are for my pal Paul Scully in Sutton & Cheam, to Royston Smith in Southampton Itchen, to Nicola Blackwood in Oxford West and Abingdon, to Brandon Lewis in Great Yarmouth, to Chloe Smith in Norwich North, to all the other Berkshire Conservative MPs re-elected and to Kevin Foster in Torbay. All great MPs.

Our local election count starts in about an hour. I’ll blog in some detail about our campaign and results afterwards!

Posted in Conservative success, General, Government Success | Leave a Comment »

When elections go really bad – Tower Hamlets

Posted by davidburbage on April 30, 2015

One comment to this story caught my eye as a really good point. It was this one :

Big deal. It took four private individuals, including one Ukiper, to risk bankruptcy in order to obtain justice.
Where were the electoral commission, the police, and Eric ? Truly we live in a Banana Republic.

Where indeed were the agencies of the electoral commission and the police? I am not sure the Secretary of State (Eric) has any particular role to play in law enforcement of elections, but if he doesn’t, who does?

The judgement of the Tower Hamlets case is a really good read. The police were certainly there on the day, and saw some of the petitioners’ complaints first hand. The sequence of events at Labour’s NEC meeting as reported in the judgement were fascinating.

The conduct of the Mayor and his team of supporters was atrocious. The false addresses, false residents, the interception of postal votes and the common form of “X” and differing writing of the date of birth to the signature on election paperwork all pointed to fraud.

The large grants to supportive organisations, the intimidation to ordinary voters at the polling station, the rotten campaign against the Labour candidate – all undemocratic.

And the tales in court of various witnesses that proved to be wholly fictitious …

Getting 101 spiritual leaders to write is also not permitted (I wonder if 1 local vicar would be OK ?)

But back to the main point.

It will be very interesting to hear from my colleague Cllr Peter Golds, the local Conservative leader and a stalwart in this case, exactly what representations were made to various agencies prior to the actual petition from the four individuals.

And who should have acted? They do need to explain themselves and collectively we need to ensure how it will get better in future.

Posted in General, Labour failings | Leave a Comment »

Election fever in Windsor aka “WWRA Photo-Gate”

Posted by davidburbage on April 25, 2015

A number of people – including the press – have remarked about the strangeness of the “team photo” being banded about by the self styled independents – all affiliated or endorsed by the public-office-holding-folks from WWRA.

whiteway-tweet

Here it is, as publicly available on the WWRA website :

wwra-photogate

It turns out – according to newly affiliated Jon Davey (he’s the guy on the right) – that he indeed was not present when the photo was taken. He says (in answer to my query) it was a chance meeting with Wisdom

“after the original picture had been taken, that introduced me formally to WWRA.”

So somebody – maybe WWRA will be transparent and honest about this – added Jon Davey (according to his pal Franco de Luca – “not his best side”!) to the photograph, making it appear that he was there, when in fact he wasn’t.

In the interests of transparency, integrity, authenticity and honesty … (Cllr Da Costa says he values such things ) –

maybe we can find out from WWRA

1)  Who actually was there?

2) When was it taken?

3) Has anyone else has been “added in”? Or even airbrushed out ?!

Wouldn’t it have been more straightforward to use the original photo?

Stop Press : I see Wisdom has ‘fessed up

ownsup

Which appears to contradict what Jon Davey has said, because he said he wasn’t actually formally introduced to WWRA until after the photo was taken rather than “not being available”. Is Wisdom telling us everything ?

Wisdom’s excuse is also rather different from Davey’s, who says “Obviously WWRA can’t afford to waste money on professional shoots”

But the bigger question now is can voters believe anything published by WWRA if, as appears to be the case, they are content to be putting out photos which they themselves admit aren’t real original photos.

Catch yourself on, WWRA !

PS Going back in time, photo editing – for political presentational purposes – has a very bad history, and is not something we would choose to do when seeking public office.

 

Posted in General, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

What we said in 2011 in our manifesto appendix

Posted by davidburbage on February 22, 2015

howtoruncouncil

This has been a challenge throughout to implement consistently! There have been a few occasions when we’ve had to ask that ward councillors be consulted, that budgets be made the right size (rather than the historic size) and whether plans are plans for the council or for residents….. I think there’s plenty more to do at the Royal Borough.

But I think we’re in good shape compared to other authorities!

Posted in Council, General | Leave a Comment »

Devolution calls continue

Posted by davidburbage on November 30, 2014

I must admit I was rather busy on Friday morning and missed the email asking for signatures to a call for more devolution; certainly would have signed it (note to Gary – add me please!) as the increasing powers to Scotland further highlight the woefully inequitable arrangements within the UK for English citizens.

The Scots will now be able to set my income tax, and their own, but I can’t vote on their taxes (or health or education or transport or loads of other things) – but they can continue to do that on ours.

Why? A proper piece of devolution from Westminster to local authorities would go some way to address this discrimination against English voters, and allow us more of a say in our own local matters…… am sure English MPs will consider this when they sort out English Votes for English Laws!

 

 

Posted in Council, General, Tax | Leave a Comment »

The way we were

Posted by davidburbage on August 23, 2014

Anyone wanting to predict the result of the 2015 election might like to take a look at this poll from April 30th 2010, just a week before the national poll.

How times change! This is taken from the excellent Political Betting Blog, a great site, well worth a visit run by Mike Smithson for many years.

election-history

A week later, the country voted 37% (Con), 30% (Lab) and 23.5% (LD).

Posted in Conservative success, General | Leave a Comment »

Reshuffle

Posted by davidburbage on July 15, 2014

Very pleased to see Liz Truss promoted, but sad to see Owen depart to make space!

 

The reshuffle will invigorate the team more as we go into the election, and I am sure this strengthens our chances of winning outright.

Good also to see Brandon promoted at DCLG, and Eric continues in post as I predicted he would in 2010 (contrary to Labour’s Cllr Dave Wilcox in Cllr magazine, who predicted an early demise for my chum)

Posted in Conservative success, General | Leave a Comment »

Residents to be over £1000 better off under Tories with latest council tax cut

Posted by davidburbage on January 21, 2014

For the fifth year running, the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Conservatives are proposing to cut council tax for residents, this year by a further 2%.

The latest cut means that the average household will be over £1000 better off than if the Liberal Democrats still controlled the council.

Cllr Simon Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside), Lead Member for Finance, said: “When the Liberal Democrats were last in control, council tax rose by a staggering 24.3%. This is in stark contrast to the 25.6% real terms cut delivered by the Conservatives over the last five years – proving that only the Conservatives can be trusted to be responsible with residents’ money.”

The average Band D rate for unitary authorities in England last year was £1486 making RBWM residents over a third better off than residents living in other unitary councils across the country.

Cllr David Burbage MBE (Con, Bray), Leader of the Council, said: “We know that people are still worried about the cost of living and rising bills. By cutting council tax again we can help to ease a bit of their tax burden. Residents should feel confident that we will continue to deliver the first-rate services our residents quite rightly expect.”

This fifth consecutive cut will bring council tax back to the level it was 10 years ago and place RBWM as the lead authority for the most years of consecutive council tax cuts.

Rt. Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “My congratulations go to the councillors and officers at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead for cutting council tax for five years in a row. Local households will welcome a 2% reduction in their council tax bills. The Royal Borough has once again demonstrated that by repeatedly cutting waste and combating inefficiency, it is possible to keep on delivering improved frontline services at the same time as cutting council tax. This shows how Conservative councils do more for less”

Following this week’s budget announcement that RBWM Conservatives have proposed to cut council tax for a fifth consecutive year, Prime Minister David Cameron was quick to congratulate the Conservative run council on twitter.

In addition to David Cameron’s comments, Windsor MP Adam Afriyie also applauded the Conservative Group’s efforts to produce yet another budget that enables a further cut to council tax without any reduction in front line services.

Home Secretary and MP for Maidenhead Theresa May also welcomed the news for local residents saying:

“I am delighted that the council has once again been able to announce a significant cut in Council Tax. This is excellent news for people in Maidenhead and the Royal Borough. This Conservative council is proving that you can get more for less by working with local residents to develop more efficient services.”

Posted in Conservative success, Council, General, Libdem Failings, Maidenhead, Tax, Windsor | Leave a Comment »