THE Insider could not help but notice the furore which has broken out in Oxford recently over a flag.

There seemed to be a certain amount of sniping about exactly whose idea it was to fly the rainbow flag on Town Hall.

Both the Lib Dems and the Greens were claiming credit for the idea, which was meant to express solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) athletes taking part in the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Oxford Mail:

Tony Brett

Depending on who The Insider’s colleagues asked, the idea was either that of Carfax city councillor and Lib Dem Tony Brett, pictured, or Green campaigner (and candidate for St Clements at the upcoming elections) Hazel Dawe.

It seems a shame that this idea has caused political division rather than unity and, ultimately, it is just a flag. Something tells The Insider that voters will make their minds up on different issues once May 22 comes around.

A COUPLE of weeks ago The Insider pointed out that Lib Dem city councillor Mark Mills would be stepping down at May’s election.
But Mr Mills, who represents Holywell, did not respond to our request for a comment.

Oxford Mail:

 Mark Mills

The Insider is nothing if not fair, and Mr Mills has now confirmed he is stepping down.
“I’ve come to the end of my studies and will likely be moving on from Oxford in the summer. Therefore I felt it was inappropriate for me to put myself forward for election again,” he said.
Considering Mr Mills represents a seat heavily populated with students, a group of people the Lib Dems are not particularly popular with any more, perhaps this is a happy coincidence for him.

ON AN entirely unrelated note, The Insider has noticed with interest some of Cherwell District Council’s recent tweets.

The authority has obviously been carrying out food hygiene inspections and has taken to the social networking site Twitter to tell the public of its good work.
But some of these tweets may have strayed from public information into simple advertising such as: “If you’re out and about in Bicester try Carluccio’s – they’ve achieved a 5 food hygiene rating”.
Another one could be: “If it’s a takeaway you’re after, both Burger King and Pizza Hut in Banbury have scored 5 on the food hygiene rating – well done.”
Well at least now we know where we can find the district council’s officers after hours.