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 ‘Windsor’ Category

Local election success in 2015

Posted by davidburbage on May 9, 2015


What a great result – 54 out of 57 seats and returning all of our sitting councillors who were re-standing, with the fantastic addition of new blood – and in new seats!

In Maidenhead we distributed our “A3” literature everywhere, featuring photographs and action shots of councillors working in their wards, and with candidates where appropriate. We also had professional calling cards, supporting “A4” literature in target wards, and plenty of polling day material.

Belmont, Boyn Hill and Furze Platt are all safely Conservative after being battleground seats for many years. Many hours of campaigning delivered us success there. In Bray, Cookham, Hurley, Cox Green, Riverside and Oldfield we consolidated our majorities – and saw no sustained opposition (but a bit of Cookham Parish action).

Which leaves Pinkneys Green. We saw early on that the LibDems had circled their wagons around their existing ward seats – importing Clive Baskerville to stand, despite his track record in Belmont. The campaign was hard fought and we continued to get our voters out until way past 9pm in the evening. However, sitting councillor Simon Werner topped the poll a few ahead of Charles Hollingsworth, who won last time, and fellow Conservative Marius Gilmore who had also walked the streets near continuously during the campaign was rewarded with third place. A tie for fourth place but neither Bond, Baskerville or Shez Courtenay-Smith were elected. A great pity for Shez who had worked so hard and dedicatedly throughout since being selected to stand. I hope we will be able to work together in the future.

In Windsor, such a challenge! 13 wards, all different, independent challenges of all sorts, and a mix of defectors, new candidates, folks standing down and changes were afoot!

Both Eton seats were highly contested. Windsor resident (and former Deputy Leader of East Herts District) Malcolm Alexander just pipped Miss Fussey at the post by 43 in Eton and Castle; George Fussey had previously won by just 22 on a lower turnout, so on a straight fight, it was a tight finish.

In Eton Wick our enthusiastic Samantha Rayner worked so hard to spread the word and was returned with just over 50% of the vote.

Datchet, Sunningdale, Ascot and Cheapside were all safe seats consolidated. Sunninghill had had an interesting contest – but returned a fully blue team. Horton and Wraysbury saw a very solid victory for our sitting Lenton and Rayner team.

In Windsor itself, the WWRA sponsored “independent” expansion programme collapsed very spectacularly. [I wonder if we’ll ever see the original WWRA photo? It’s one for the album]

In their heartland of Clewer North, a total of 5 independents stood and showed that when the Conservatives fight hard, and together, anything is possible. Our 2014 by-election candidate John Collins, with Nicola Pryer and Hashim Bhatti worked tirelessly to deliver a far better result than we could have hoped for and will be able to represent the interests of the local residents extremely effectively.

Park saw 10 candidates vie for 2 seats – and with 57% of the vote Conservative, it was hard for anyone else to make an impact.

Our Castle Without team was all new and returned a clean sweep with almost 58% of the vote – here, the opposition was limited but vocal but didn’t try anywhere near as hard as our team.

In Clewer East new candidate John Bowden topped the poll, joining Dee Quick and again, over half the vote saw the opposition votes split.

Clewer South was a late declaration and our local team of Mike Airey and Ed Wilson triumphed.

Old Windsor, however, proved a bridge too far. Watch out Malcolm and Lynne, we’re coming to get you!

Another campaign over, but now the work begins on delivering our 2015 manifesto, and keeping all our pledges – and continuing to run the Royal Borough in the interests of residents, who do, after all, pay for the local public services.


Posted in Conservative success, Council, Maidenhead, Windsor | 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.


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


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


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 »

Delivering our 2011 Manifesto (Windsor)

Posted by davidburbage on April 13, 2015


Continue the fight to keep our 24/7 Fire service in Windsor

In 2009 David Cameron visited Windsor Fire Station, to join our campaign to keep the 24/7 service for Windsor. In 2015, the new fire station at Tinkers Lane opened – and it wasn’t an easy ride! But we did what we said we would do.

Campaign to make Windsor Police station open to the public for greater period of time

Working with Thames Valley Police, we’re in close discussion for a jointly operated resident facility

Pilot the pedestrianisation of Lower Peascod Street

Done – and made permanent

Pursue options to ensure that the night time economy is safe and does not harm residential amenity through any form of ASB or crime

More test purchases, drugs operations, licensing and planning protocol introduced and community wardens to assist on the ground

Continue to support taxi marshalling scheme through key partners


Fight against aggressive clamping operators across Windsor

Done and clamping now abolished

Support the Windsor Legacy Bridge campaign

Resident funding has begun, and the campaign continues

Work to deliver new rowing facilities alongside the Thames

CanRow team working on a Jubilee River facility in partnership with the council and other sports bodies


And That’s It.


We promised 104 items, delivered 104 items; sometimes overdelivered, sometimes in a slightly different way than was envisaged at the time of writing, but outcomes always being achieved.

Doing what we said we would do.


Posted in Conservative success, Council, Manifesto 2011, Windsor | 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 »

2014 New Year’s Honours

Posted by davidburbage on December 31, 2013

Very honoured to be awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours – for services to Local Government!

Nice to see Paul Carter in Kent and Paul Swaddle in Wokingham also getting gongs, and Emma Pidding too.

Worthy winners all…..

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


Posted by davidburbage on August 22, 2012

Our former Chief Exec was horrified to learn that he’d made the front page of Private Eye – pictured in the background to a Prince Philip and Prince Charles exchange when Philip became 90.

Now I’m appearing on Guido  (Second row, second pic).

No conference with Ashcroft, Afriyie and Montgomerie is going to be that rebellious, but it should be a good day’s outing.

A whole new conference fringe… !?

Posted in Conservative success, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

The Queen’s Walkabout In Windsor

Posted by davidburbage on May 1, 2012

 Pictured is the visitor’s book for the Guildhall – signed as you can see by both the Queen and Prince Philip. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Queen as she entered the Guildhall chamber, and met members of the local community.

The Windsor Express covers the event fully here :


I’m on in the second half of this video.  . . . . . you might get used to the band’s music by the end of the film!

Posted in Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Berkshire Fire Authority helps Windsor retain 24/7 service with a full sized fire engine

Posted by davidburbage on February 16, 2012

At the meeting of the Berkshire Fire Authority last night, the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) was approved. It contained a good deal of standard stuff around the fire service, but the important thing for the Borough is the service provision in Windsor. We now have a full sized pump on the run, 24/7, and it will be crewed pretty much all of the time by at least 4 crew. This is some way forward from the position 5 years ago when the Fire Authority wanted to close Windsor altogether.

In Maidenhead today at 1.41am our local fire service was called into action at sheltered accomodation in Brill House, Cox Green – which had a night time fire. Fortunately, automatic equipment alerted the problem before it spread too far and residents were evacuated without injury. The property is a bit damaged, I understand.

Posted in General, Maidenhead, Windsor | Leave a Comment »

Local LibDems finally make the national press

Posted by davidburbage on September 20, 2011

  . . . but not for any good reason !

  Pictured is Richard Fagence of this Borough, last seen in combat locally losing an election in Clewer South, after he had recently lost an by-election in Park and previously, lost the “safest” LibDem ward he won back in 2003, to my Conservative colleagues in Clewer South in 2007.

All the conference excitement must be too much, and he features in an even more impressive spread on page 10 of the Daily Telegraph today!

Posted in Libdem Failings, Windsor | 1 Comment »

Unveiling the Irish Guards Statue

Posted by davidburbage on July 3, 2011

Pleasant lunchtime spent last week at the unveiling of the Irish Guards Statue.

The back of the head of the chap in the bottom right corner of the photo is Col Mike “I’m not going to start the Third World War for you” Jackson who was there to see the unveiling of the bronze.

It can be seen at the entrance to Park Street, in Windsor. Adds to the town, and values the enormous contribution the troops make to keeping our country safe.


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