David Burbage

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David James Burbage, MBE, is a British Conservative politician. He has been Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead since 2007, representing Bray, Berkshire.

Background[edit]

Burbage was born and raised in Great Glen, Leicestershire, educated at schools in Kibworth and Market Harborough, then studied Computing Science at Imperial College London, chairing the Imperial College Conservative Society from 1986/7, having also held the post of News Editor at Imperial College Radio from 1985/6.

Leader of the Council[edit]

Elected for Bray in 2000, Burbage became Leader of the Council in May 2007[1] when the Conservatives defeated the Liberal Democrats who had held the Council with a majority since 2003.

On 22 April 2016, Burbage announced on his own blog[2] his resignation as Leader of the Council stating "I am going to give others the opportunity to succeed as the Council’s Leader". It was subsequently revealed that his resignation followed a vote of no confidence from fellow Conservative Councillors after a complaint was made by the Managing Director of the Council, Alison Alexander, alleging of 'bullying behaviour' of Council employees by Burbage.[3]

Councillors' Allowances Controversy[edit]

Burbage courted controversy when in January 2008 he proposed a motion significantly increasing councillors' allowances - a headline figure of a rise of 97% for backbench members of the council being widely used by his political opponents.[4] The rises had been recommended by an Independent Remuneration Panel, but were ultimately the decision of the council members themselves. The move was contested by the main opposition Liberal Democrats.[5][6] Burbage was himself a significant beneficiary of the rise receiving £26,045.63 in allowances in 2008/09,[7] the first full year of the new allowances, compared to the £15,938.04 received by his predecessor in 2006/07, the last full year of the old allowances, a rise of 63.4%.[8]

The total amount paid to Councillors in allowances continued to rise under Burbage's leadership of the Royal Brough of Windsor and Maienhead, reaching a record amount of £603,775.26 in 2013/14[9] up from £315,392.48 in 2006/7 (the last full year of the previous administration of the council).[10] The most recent rises were largely attributable to the creation of extra cabinet posts within the council.[11]

Transparency[edit]

In February 2009, Burbage proposed the Council motion on transparency that was to become national Conservative policy[12] - that all expenditure over £500 should be published online.[13]

Recyclebank[edit]

In a first for a UK local authority, Windsor and Maidenhead launched Recyclebank,[14] an incentive based recycling scheme that rewards residents for recycling.

Council Tax Record[edit]

In February 2010, Burbage's administration cut Council Tax in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead by 4%, equivalent to about £40 a year for a band D property,[15][16] and the largest percentage cut in UK history. This was followed up with a published letter to the Daily Telegraph[17] on how Conservative councils were cutting Council Tax, headed by him, and signed by 34 Council leaders in response to comments from Labour's then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government John Denham.

However the 4% and the subsequent smaller cut in the following year in Council Tax have been attacked by the Liberal Democrats who have claimed that it has largely been achieved by increasing fees and charges for the services the council runs (like car parking,[18] home care and day centres) and by cutting other services (like free swimming for the elderly), rather than by a genuine increase in The Royal Borough's efficiency.[19][20]

Blogging[edit]

Burbage writes a fairly regular blog,[21] updated several times a month and also contributes articles[22][23] to ConservativeHome.

2011 Elections[edit]

In elections for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead on 5 May 2011 Burbage led his Conservative Group to a resounding victory against the Liberal Democrats taking 51 out of 57 seats on the council.[24]

National recognition[edit]

With Liam Maxwell, Burbage was invited to Liverpool to join the launch of David Cameron’s Big Society as one of just four vanguard areas on 19 July 2010.[25]

In October 2010, Burbage was placed 59th in The Daily Telegraph's listing of influential right wing politicians[26] in the UK.

Burbage was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to local government.[27][28]

Political offices
Preceded by
Mary Rose Gliksten
Leader of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council
2007 – present
Incumbent

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/berkshire/6622071.stm Victory in 2007
  2. ^ https://davidburbage.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/statement/
  3. ^ http://www.localberkshire.co.uk/news/14461231.Council_leader_pushed_out_over_bullying_allegations/
  4. ^ "Delving into councillors' expenses". Maidenhead Advertiser. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  5. ^ http://uk.sitestat.com/rbwm/rbwm/s?rtf.21996&ns_type=pdf&ns_url=http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/public/meetings_080129_council_minutes.doc
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "ALLOWANCES PAID TO MEMBERS 2008/2009" (PDF). Royal Brough of Windsor & Maidenhead. 
  8. ^ "ALLOWANCES PAID TO MEMBERS 2006/2007" (PDF). Royal Brough of Windsor & Maidenhead. 
  9. ^ "ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR AND MAIDENHEAD ALLOWANCES PAID TO MEMBERS 2013/2014" (PDF). Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "ROYAL BOROUGH OF WINDSOR AND MAIDENHEAD ALLOWANCES PAID TO MEMBERS 2006/2007" (PDF). Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Whiteway, Daniel (12 August 2014). "Record amount paid out in councillor allowances last year at the Royal Borough". Royal Borough Observer. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  12. ^ http://whatis.spotlightonspend.org.uk/newsroom/in_the_news/councils_urged_to_publish_data.aspx Eric Pickles calls for all Councils to follow the £500 trend
  13. ^ http://conservativehome.blogs.com/localgovernment/2009/03/mark-wallace-wi.html Windsor and Maidenhead publish all expenditure over £500 online
  14. ^ http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2243357/recyclebank-launches-first-uk First UK incentive based recycling scheme
  15. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/7036554/Windsor-and-Maidenhead-council-makes-history-with-biggest-ever-cut-in-council-tax.html Telegraph article on RBWM tax cut
  16. ^ http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/153769/Windfall-for-Queen-as-council-tax-bill-is-cut Express article on 4% tax cut
  17. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/7120417/Tony-Blairs-claim-that-Britain-is-a-safer-place-now-Saddam-Hussein-has-gone.html Letter to Telegraph in response to John Denham's low Council Tax claims
  18. ^ Beech, Alastair. "Lib Dems fight parking charge rise". Maidenhead Advertiser. 
  19. ^ Beech, Alastair. "Tories unveil lowest ever council tax rise in the borough". Maidenhead Advertiser. 
  20. ^ "Budget given go ahead by councillors". Royal Borough Observer. 
  21. ^ http://davidburbage.wordpress.com Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
  22. ^ http://conservativehome.blogs.com/localgovernment/2010/01/windsor-and-maidenhead-council-announce-4-council-tax-cut.html Announcing a 4% Council Tax cut
  23. ^ http://conservativehome.blogs.com/localgovernment/2010/07/cllr-david-burbage-how-local-government-can-help-deliver-the-big-society-agenda.html ConHome article on the Big Society
  24. ^ Trepte, Martin. "ELECTION RESULTS: Conservatives 51, Independents 5, Lib Dems 1". Maidenhead Advertiser. 
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2010.  Royal Borough Chosen in David Cameron’s Big Society scheme
  26. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/conservative/8037566/Top-100-most-influential-Right-wingers-75-51.html "Telegraph’s Top 100 most influential Right-wingers: 75-51". 
  27. ^ "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 16. 
  28. ^ "New Year Honours 2014: list in full". The Daily Telegraph. London. 30 December 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.