Controversial proposed budget cuts have been defended by the Royal Borough's Conservative leader, writes James Bagley.

At Thursday’s cabinet meeting Councillor Andrew Johnson (Hurley and Walthams) admitted the council found itself in a challenging financial state.

He said the proposed budget would reset the authority’s financial position with significant funds going into statutory services like adult social care as the council returned to financial stability.

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead council has low levels of reserves and needs to make £6 million worth of savings in order to balance this year’s budget.

Cllr Lynne Jones, (Old Windsor: Independent) - the leader of the council’s opposition independent councillors - raised concerns.

She said: “I hear the words transformation, but I heard the words transformation for the last five years.

“I’m looking at this paper and I’m seeing that our future is not actually in our hands unless we lobby and are prepared to say we need to raise our council tax.

“But that’s not what’s being said, and I think that’s where the transparency isn’t there.”

Councillor Johnson replied to Councillor Jones saying: “Be under no doubt, as long as I am the leader, we will be resolute in finding those savings.

“We are in discussion with government about further funding.

“Before we go back to the council taxpayer of Windsor and Maidenhead to ask for a significantly more, we will exhaust every single opportunity, not only to find efficiencies which are still to be found within this authority, but also consider and actively pursue every other form of revenue regeneration.”