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THE INSIDER: Home is where the heart is for Ian's summer holiday
10:10am Thursday 26th July 2012 in Columns
An update from the corridors of power
HOLIDAYS are a minefield for politicians. Far from a well earned break from public scrutiny, the annual summer sojourn shines a harsh spotlight on those in power (think Tony Blair holidaying in the homes of the rich and famous, Osborne’s yachting habits or Cameron’s failure to tip the Tuscan waitress).
So county council leader Ian Hudspeth must be thinking long and hard as he flicks through the travel agent’s glossy brochures.
And tactfully praising his own backyard he has backed the “staycation”.
“I am very lucky to represent the county council in Woodstock, which is as English a settlement as you could possibly imagine,” he opined.
“Now’s the time of year to be enjoying what we have on our doorstep and be tourists at home. I’ll certainly be endeavouring to do just that.”
It hints he will be remaining in Blighty... but does a trip to foreign shores beckon in the autumn?
For the record, the Insider hears Mr Hudspeth’s opposite number, Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, has opted for an equally understated vacation.
He will be heading to Brittany, in France.
THOSE enduring the Barton West planning inquiry hearings last week were greeted each morning by planning inspector Shelagh Bussey reading out the rules.
For five days, without fail, she repeated where the toilets were, where the coffee machines were and told those present to turn their mobile phones off.
By the end of the week our reporter could recite her spiel off by heart.
But on Friday it seemed like some hadn’t been paying attention.
Katharine Makant, the programme officer who had been ably assisting the inspector all week, was caught out when her phone rang within five minutes of the hearing starting.
A forgiving Dr Bussey said she was just thankful it hadn’t happened to her.
IT APPEARS the Tories and Labour are working together in Oxford. County council leader Ian Hudspeth thanked Labour councillor and cab driver Saj Malik for giving him a ride to the railway station this week.
The Insider can only wonder what the taxi chit-chat was like.
However, some things never change.
Mr Hudspeth revealed its was “probably the shortest taxi ride ever”, backing up the perennial Labour claim that Tories don’t spend enough cash in the city.
WE happily reported on Cottsway Housing’s green revolution this week. The west Oxfordshire social landlord has fitted £1m of solar panels to its properties, as the first phase of a £6m investment.
But how can it afford this eco-technology in such straitened times, you ask?
A few days later Cottsway’s newsletter landed in our letterbox with underpaid postage of £1.10 (leaving us to cough up or miss out).
So, as The Insider’s granny would say, look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves.