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Windsor and Maidenhead budget debate mocked as 'pantomime'.

February 25, 2015 1:59 PM
In Royal Borough Observer - online

2.1% council tax cut in the Royal Borough approved in debate described as a 'pantomime'

THE annual budget debate was mocked as a 'pantomime' by veteran Liberal Democrat Cllr Simon Werner yesterday.

A total of 30 Royal Borough councillors took their turn at Maidenhead Town Hall to praise or damn the ruling Conservative's much touted 2.1% cut in council tax for 2015/16. But Cllr Werner, who represents Pinkneys Green ward as a Liberal Democrat, mocked 'creepy' councillors he accused of lining up to praise their party leaders.

He said: "It does not change. It is a pantomime. All decisions have been taken already. It is such a shame, this ya boo politics."

But the mockery backfired, as one member of the ruling Conservatives after another stood up to proudly announce themselves as 'creepy' and praise their leaders.

Cllr Simon Dudley, deputy leader of the Royal Borough, introduced the budget.

He said: "We believe peoples' money should be theirs to spend, not for politicians to take away."

Cllr Lynne Jones, who represents Old Windsor as an Independent, called for a tax freeze rather than a cut, saying: "We must ensure that we have enough resources to make our services accessible to all. We should not just provide our 'statutory responsibilities' but a public service to be proud of."

She and Cllr George Fussey, Liberal Democrat for Eton and Castle, both highlighted the recent criticism by Ofsted Government inspectors of the borough's children's centres, on the grounds they were understaffed.

Cllr Wisdom Da Costa, who represents Clewer North as an Independent, expressed concern at the number of borough officers who had left their posts recently. He said money used to reduce the council tax should be spent on staff who were suffering from poor morale, unpleasant workloads and deteriorating terms and conditions.

At the end of the meeting councillors voted overwhelmingly for the council tax cut - which will set Band D at £906.95.


  1. Royal Borough Observer - online