New leader announced for Royal Borough party

The new leader for one of the borough’s political parties has said he is ready to ‘take a battering’ to get his party to the ‘next level’.

The Borough First (TBF) has announced that David Buckley will become its new leader, replacing former borough councillor Claire Stretton.

Cllr Helen Taylor (Oldfield), will take over as secretary.

Mr Buckley, a Datchet resident, got involved with TBF when it was first formed in 2018, and ran as an independent candidate for Windsor in the general election in December.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Buckley discussed why he took on the role and what he hoped to achieve with TBF.

He said: “We want to give people that want to engage in politics a home, because so many people are lost from a political point of view.

“My priority is to support people who wish to engage and want to see change, a better borough and a more transparent system which engages with the residents.”

After TBF was founded, it was one of the parties that, alongside the Liberal Democrats, took seats from the Conservatives in the local elections in May.

The party has three councillors – Cllr Taylor, Cllr Geoff Hill (Oldfield) and Cllr Helen Price (Clewer and Dedworth East) but four more independent councillors are also affiliated with the party.

One of TBF’s aims is to give people with no political experience the training and encouragement they need to make their voices heard, and Mr Buckely was one of the people who sought this guidance.

He said: “I started off looking at entering politics in 2018 and got involved at the start of TBF when it started to come about and I believe in the openness and transparency they were looking to achieve.

“When I started in politics I had no idea about anything, I ran in the general election last year and I wouldn’t have even thought about that without that help and support.”

Mr Buckley intends to stand in the next local elections, in the hope of increasing the number of members on the council.

It will be a crucial time for opposition candidates, with the Conservatives’ majority of only two seats, the next election could change the political landscape in the borough.

On his appointment, he added: “I see myself as a bit of an interim leader, I think the members thought I was the best person at this stage and needed someone happy to take a battering and take the party to the next level.”

Speaking about his predecessor, David said: “With Claire, it’s just a case of she’s been through this and she feels she’s given a lot to the local community and needs a bit of a breather to engage in her private life.”

Mr Buckley’s appointment will be ratified at TBF’s AGM, which is still to be confirmed, but will place before the end of April.

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