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 ‘Government Success’ 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!

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

Baroness Thatcher passes away

Posted by davidburbage on April 8, 2013

I attended two functions with Mrs T ; didn’t get to speak to her at either one! But I did get tickets to see her live at PMQs (I went as a student in London with a friend) before it was regularly televised, a commanding performance.

She had just got back from USSR doing business with Gorbachev, and Kinnock had come back from USA, where Reagan had mistaken Healey for the UK Ambassador and gave Labour only 20 minutes. . . . .

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

Tax Transparency Can Pay Great Dividends

Posted by davidburbage on March 20, 2012

This : http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2012/03/statements-osborne-chancellor

As the Royal Borough were the first local authority to publish expenditure over £500, a motion I proposed, it is a logical extension to inform taxpayers how much they are spending on each area of Government departments….

After all, Councils already have to publish their breakdown of figures. It is open to misinterpretation of course if people don’t do the right research !

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

Commendation from the Taxpayers Alliance

Posted by davidburbage on February 23, 2012

 The Taxpayers Alliance have given me the “Pinup of the Month” award for February 2012. Awesome!

I did wonder if those authorities that are increasing by just-under-the-referendum-limit were given the money to hold a referendum, whether they would do so? Unlikely, methinks.

Every local government person I’ve ever spoken to is very much against democratic accountability for big tax rises.

It’s a curious comparison to Greece, where the threat of a referendum on the earlier bailout was also greeted with abject horror from the Eurocratopoly.

I’m just pleased that the implementation of tax cutting is starting to spread across the UK – something begun by Hammersmith and Fulham, and then ourselves but only very occasionally elsewhere  . . . but now happening in Brentwood, Wirral, South Oxfordshire . . and hard pressed local people are the winners, those on fixed incomes or low salaries the ones who benefit directly from a reduction in one of the largest household bills.

Given the huge amount that Council Tax has increased over the last decade, there must be more to follow.

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Government Success, Labour failings, Libdem Failings, Tax | 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 »

Transparency

Posted by davidburbage on August 15, 2010

The Audit Commission has been / is to be abolished ! Well done Eric, another bit of bureaucracy swept away. According to media reports, they had resisted the sunlight of openness being shone towards their innards.

Even Labour MPs are now  welcoming quarterly publication of expenditure over £500 – this is some going for a simple Cllr Burbage council motion – I set the pace in February 2009 :

RESOLVED: That this Council, believing in accountability to the taxpayer,

notes the recent campaign by the Taxpayers Alliance and George Osborne MP to ensure greater disclosure of public finances:

further notes that they want to see revenue and capital items of expenditure £25,000 published.

This Council resolves to exceed this ambition by publishing as much data of spending over £500 as is legally possible quarterly in arrears;

requests the Leader and Cabinet ensure that the information is published in a timely fashion.

[From Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council Minutes 24th February 2009]

 Where will it end ?!

Posted in Conservative success, Council, Government Success | 1 Comment »