Windsor and Maidenhead serve notice to leave the Local Government Association
This morning the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead gave the LGA formal notice that they will leave the organisation. The bizarrely long notice period of a year means that we won't be able to leave right now, but will cease to be a member this time next March.
We have had an interesting time with the LGA in the last year. As a body that counts 30-plus fire authorities as members, the LGA had to act as the arbiter in Windsor's request to keep its fire station open (using the Sustainable Communities Act).
For some time previously Councillors had questioned whether the £40k membership charge has delivered value to the residents of Windsor, Maidenhead and Ascot. Certainly the funding of an organisation which uses taxpayers' money to lobby government and to increase media coverage of positive stories about councils in the press raised eyebrows.
The valuable legal advice it does deliver at times to officers needs to be considered, but the appearance of a list of banned jargon and the considerable effort used to promote that list on the Today programme and elsewhere was more difficult to justify.
So we'll see whether life is better and cheaper without them - certainly our colleagues believe £40,000 could be allocated more effectively - perhaps by giving it back to residents as a small part of another tax cut.
And in further news, Adam Afriyie MP challenged Margaret Hodge to let Windsor have another go at invoking the Sustainable Communities Act to save Windsor Fire Station - something she has now agreed to. Thanks Adam!