11:34AM, Wednesday 21 July 2021
Campaigners for a new Windsor Town Council saw their hopes dashed at a full council meeting last night.
Work has been ongoing over the past two years to try and set up a parish council for 21,000 Windsor residents who live in unparished areas of the town.
Under the plans, the council would be made up of 21 elected members, representing 10 wards, with its first elections planned for May 4, 2023.
Residents had the chance to give feedback on the plans earlier this year with the council receiving 679 consultation responses.
But borough councillors had the final say on whether to push ahead with the plans with the item discussed during a full council meeting at Maidenhead Town Hall last night.
Councillor Wisdom Da Costa (WWRA, Clewer and Dedworth West) told the meeting: “For the last half century there’s been a huge gap in representation of local interests.
“Today, we have a historic opportunity to return a town council to the good people of Windsor.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Amy Tisi, who represents Clewer East ward, also urged councillors to back the proposals and give Windsor residents the chance to do more to support their community.
She said: “The people of Windsor already organise and fight to demand better for their town and residents and that’s why we should have a town council.”
But councillors from the ruling Conservative administration said the number of responses to the town council consultation showed there is not an appetite for another layer of local governance in Windsor.
Councillor David Cannon (Con, Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury) said: “21,000 people are impacted by the decision that will be made today and despite the social media claims by various people claiming to speak for Windsor, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
“We’ve had a three per cent return of people responding to the consultation.”
He added the formation of a town council would lead to an increase in the parish precept, leaving residents paying more in council tax.
Fellow Conservative councillor John Bowden, who represents Eton and Castle, also described the proposals as ‘nonsensical’.
Plans for a Windsor Town Council were rejected by 20 votes to 15 but some councillors who could not attend the meeting due to self-isolation were left frustrated as they were unable to vote.
The race to get as many people vaccinated against coronavirus has ramped up in the Royal Borough and Slough amidst an ongoing rise in cases across the country.