REGULAR visitors to Oxford Crown Court will know a thing or two about stark class divides but this has now been extended to the building’s flooring.

A new section of fresh carpet has been laid down in the court waiting area. But it only covers the area outside courts reserved for civil cases.

This means defendants awaiting criminal court appearances have to make do with the old, gum and cola-stained carpet, while the fee-paying members of the public can wait for the law whilst enjoying that pleasant aroma of new carpet. Where is the justice in that?

THERE was much excitement on Tuesday when Oxfordshire County Council headed all the way up to Banbury to broadcast a meeting online for the first time.

Oxford Mail: County Council leader Ian Hudspeth

Ian Hudspeth

Tweeting Tory leader Ian Hudspeth took to his Blackberry to proudly announce the council first ahead of the meeting, while topics on the agenda included the authority’s corporate plan, flooding, and the decline of the bee population.
There were surprisingly few glitches, aside from a brief spell in which Labour leader Liz Brighouse’s microphone did not seem to be on. Indeed, The Insider hopes this was not part of a plan to silence the opposition.
While the meetings might not garner the interest of the internet generation, at the least the councillors will know they are being watched.

A NEW, and distinctly louder, speaker system has been installed at Oxford Crown Court, presumably in a bid to cut the frequent delays caused by defendants and barristers apparently “not hearing” the announcements calling their cases to court.
But the drawn-out two-tone “ding dong” sound is not proving too popular with regulars. The Insider heard one person describe the noise as “horrible”.
At least everyone knows now For Whom the Tannoy Tolls.

WE couldn’t help but notice how fulsome Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust’s communications department – which handles press queries – were in their reply on Monday when the TaxPayers’ Alliance queried whether their combined salaries and pensions for 2013 of £363,161 were justified in such austere times along with an energy manager and equality and diversity manager who got another £40,511 each.
We got a 280-word statement which said the comms team “help to keep patients and the public informed about our services so that they can get the maximum benefit from them”. Ironically, on the same day we asked the comms team to comment on the very good news story about charity Radio Cherwell hospital radio winning two awards at the National Hospital Radio Awards in Bristol. Unfortunately, we received nothing on this good news story. So that’s money well spent isn’t it?