Outgoing mayor Cllr Colin Rayner has made a surprise attack on some of the Royal Borough's charitable trusts.
Cllr Rayner voiced his carefully worded criticism in the most public arena possible - at Maidenhead Town Hall during yesterday's annual mayor making ceremony.
Making his farewell speech as mayor before formally handing over the ceremonial mace, seal and keys to his successor Cllr Andrew Jenner, Cllr Rayner broke with the tradition by allowing controversy to come into his review of his year in office.
He told a hall filled with civic leaders and representatives of leading organisations, that he had been disappointed by the attitude of the some of the trusts he had become involved with in his role as mayor.
He said they appeared to have 'vast assets' that they were failing to distribute.
He said: "I was told 'we must save it for a rainy day' but I said that for some of our residents that rainy day had come already."
He said he had told one trust that he had never heard of it before, although its managers had insisted to him they were well known.
This morning Cllr Rayner admitted it had been a 'very, very difficult decision' to include the criticism in his speech and emphasised it did not apply to the vast majority of the trusts he had become involved with during the year.
He praised the Prince's Trust and Michael Shanly Trust as well as the Maidenhead Advertiser's own Louis Baylis Trust, saying they set a good example by giving donations that helped homeless people and saved many worthwhile organisations from folding.
But he said: "I was referring to trusts that have millions and insist they can only spend the interest. I call on them to look into their hearts. There are young people who can't afford to go to university, others trying to start charitable ventures - they need the money now."
But the outspoken farmer, whose term as mayor has been regarded as a great success, made sure that overall his speech was a celebration of the year.
Cllr Rayner, who farms at Berkyn Manor Farm in Horton and represents Horton and Wraysbury as a Conservative on the Royal Borough, told guests that he and his wife Samantha had been moved to tears by the variety of people they had met and good works being done in the borough.
Councillor Andrew Jenner, (Con, Maidenhead Riverside) is the new mayor for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. He is set to perform one of his first duties in the role on Sunday at the Mayor's Civic Service at St Mary's Borough Church in High Street, Maidenhead, in full ceremonial attire from 10.30am.
He owns Riverside Cafe in Ray Mead Road, Maidenhead.
Councillor John Lenton, (Con, Horton and Wraybury) has been appointed as deputy mayor for the Royal Borough. He lives in Welley Road in Wraysbury.
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