RBWM still 'brushing things under the carpet', says opposition councillor

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

A meeting of the council turned fractious on Tuesday as an opposition councillor accused the administration of ‘brushing things under the carpet’.

At the Infrastructure Overview and Scrutiny panel, councillors began by discussing the first quarter performance for the borough.

It achieved its targets for the monthly footfall in Windsor and Maidenhead town centres, among other goals, but did not quite reach its target for planning applications processed in time.

Andrew Durrant, executive director of place, said that the footfall was at about half a million in each town, which is 'not a million miles away' from pre-COVID figures.

The panel also discussed the number of complaints and compliments received by the council over the 2020/21 period.

The borough took forward 415 formal complaints, compared to 398 in 2019/20. By far the largest proportion of these (34 per cent) were regarding waste management.

The council also received more than double the number of compliments compared to the year before.

When the panel came to agree its future work programme, committee member Councillor Jon Davey (WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth West), who was absent from the meeting, had arranged for a statement to be read out in his stead.

But his statement was interrupted swiftly by chair of the panel, Cllr Christine Bateson (Con, Sunningdale & Cheapside), who felt he had not focused on the matter at hand, i.e., making suggestions for the work programme.

This frustrated Cllr Gurch Singh (Lib Dem, St Mary’s).

“Cllr Davey has got a statement he would like read, which had been agreed by head of services – and now he’s not been allowed to speak,” he said.

“This new system is just the same as the old system, it’s brushing things under the carpet. There’s no scrutiny here.

“What you’re trying to do is continue this culture of doings thing behind closed doors. I’m furious about this, absolutely furious,” Cllr Singh said.

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