The oddest notions of amenity are entertained by some of our local councillors. Fresh from his triumph in causing a number of perfectly healthy elms to be felled in Osney, Alan Armitage (above) is turning his attention to closing public lavatories.

Responding to the worries of local people (the value of their property investment perhaps being pre-eminent among them), he and fellow members of the city council's north area committee have ordered the closure of the loos in St Bernard's Road.

Allegedly, they have been the location for drug-taking and dealing, sexual activity and noisy behaviour. (Don't we have a police force to stop all of these?) Armitage told our reporter: "It's a shame that we are in the position where we have to close public toilets, but that does seem to be the best course of action. People were using the toilets as a rendezvous for drug-taking and residents did not like going past there to get to their own homes."

Could one of these have been his Liberal Democrat colleague Mrs Jean Fooks, who lives a hundred yards up the road? She said: "It's a sad day for councillors when you have to make a decision to shut down public toilets but on this occasion there was no alternative."

This remind you of anyone? Got it in one - old 'Tina' ("There is no alternative") Thatcher, as she was known to Parliamentary colleagues.

And as if to rub in the point, there she was on Monday telling the Oxford Mail: "I am not for turning on this."

The 'this' referred to was another of our snatched amenities, the weekly rubbish collection, which Mrs Fooks is obstinately refusing to reinstate. Everyone who opposes her, you see, is wrong.

Want to know how the story will end? In tears, I predict - just as it did with Thatcher.