Plans for Windsor Town Council were dashed last night. At a meeting of the full RBWM Council, Conservative councillors vote as a block against the proposals by 20-15.
The plans to give Windsor the equivalent of its own Parish Council had been years in the making. A group of residents (including our highly respected former Mayor Dee Quick) wanted to increase local democracy. The plans for Windsor’s own Town Council were pushed forward following Dee’s sad death in 2020. By the end of the year, everyone seemed to be in broad agreement that a Town Council would be of benefit to Windsor.
A sad day for local democracy
Last night, 8 of 11 Windsor councillors voted for the creation of a Windsor Town Council. However, this was not enough. to get the motion through. As Cllr Helen Price later posted on Twitter “… councillors from outside Windsor decided they knew better than Windsor’s representatives . They decided that Windsor residents didn’t want a town council. They decided to overrule the cross party recommendation to form a town council.”
Reasons given on the night by Conservative Councillors for their dismissal of grassroots democracy included a poor response rate to a consultation paper. It was claimed that showed there isn’t an appetite for a Town Council. James Bagley of the Slough & Royal Borough Observer, noted that this is despite the council recently lauding the success of a borough wide budget consultation that achieved a far lower response rate.
Why no Town Council for Windsor?
Was the real reason the Tories voted against the motion pure self interest? Windsor generally votes for more Independent and Liberal councillors than the rest of the borough. Was the loss of a little bit of political power too much for the Conservative group?