New leader says he wants Royal Borough 'for everyone, not just millionaires'

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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New leader says he wants Royal Borough 'for everyone, not just millionaires'

It has been a busy first week as leader of the Royal Borough for Cllr Simon Dudley who says he wants to build a borough ‘for everyone, not just millionaires’.

Housing, saving money and forming better relationships between staff and councillors have all been set as priorities by Cllr Dudley (Con, Maidenhead Riverside), who was formerly the council’s deputy leader.

He said: “It’s been a busy week, there’s been a lot of change. Previously there was a quite a big office for the leader of the council and now that will be used as a meeting room.

“We’re also rationalising human resources, whereas the leader of the council before had his own personal assistant, I will now share one with the managing director.  

“There will be two less principle members of cabinet and one less deputy member, this has all resulted in a saving of £200,000 for the council.”

Cllr Dudley remained tight-lipped about which councillors will be in his cabinet, which is due to be revealed at the annual general meeting on Tuesday.

The Holyport College co-founder also announced he has stepped down as a governor from Forest Bridge School, which he also co-founded.

He said: “They will have a big planning matter soon, they have temporary lease on the Oldfield site, the council is the landlord and I don’t want to be governor of a school and the council leader.

“I will also be stepping down from Maidenhead development control panel and the employment panel.”

Cllr Dudley, who has a home on the banks of the Thames, said housing will be a ‘priority’ for the council following the Born SL6 homeless protest. Last week’s Advertiser revealed the council spent £12,000 of taxpayers’ cash on evicting the protesters.

Cllr Dudley, who joined a sleepout for the homeless on Friday, said: “We’re not going to be working with developers for expensive houses when more people from Maidenhead are sleeping on the street, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

“We’re going to be working with the Brett Foundation, we have a service level agreement and there will be more grant funding for them.

“We need to build an RBWM for everyone, not just millionaires.

“We also want to form better relations with our staff, we need to be looking after our staff.”

Cllr Dudley was appointed to the role of leader after his predecessor Cllr David Burbage resigned from the role following an allegation of bullying.

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