The Insider gives us the scoop from inside the corridors of power

HANDING over political power can often cause disruption, and Oxfordshire County Council seems no exception to that rule. When outgoing county council chairman Tim Hallchurch handed over his role to Anne Purse at the annual council meeting on Tuesday, things could have gone smoother.

Mr Hallchurch had to then gather his things – as well as the large number of gifts he had been given – and retreat to the backbenches. Unfortunately the lack of space behind the chairman’s desk – combined with Mr Hallchurch being laden with gifts – led to both the county council’s monitoring officer and Joanna Simons, its chief executive, struggling to make way for him. He was only able to make his way out after Ms Simon’s chair toppled over. Let’s hope the rest of the council’s year goes more smoothly.

THE election period often puts politicians in awkward situations. And that seems to have been the case in Witney over the weekend when the Conservatives and the Greens descended on the town centre to push for those final few votes. Unwittingly or not, the parties set up their stalls next to each other, which meant that Witney MP David Cameron (who also holds another apparently important position) had to convince people to vote Tory surrounded by Green balloons and rosettes.

The Insider is reminded of Mr Cameron’s old (now seemingly forgotten) electoral pledge of “vote blue, go green” – perhaps his party plotted this happy coincidence after all...

LIKE Icarus, The Insider has this week been brought low. Last week we claimed in this column that Witney Town Council had arranged its June meeting on the same day and at the same time as the first full meeting of West Oxfordshire District Council after today’s election, meaning a number of town councillors might not be able to attend.

This was inaccurate and The Insider is happy to set the record straight.

The meeting that has been scheduled at that time was not a full meeting of the town council, simply an “in bloom working group”. The only councillor who might not be able to attend – as a member of both authorities – is Labour councillor and critic of town council policy Duncan Enright.

His colleagues would be unaffected.

The Insider is happy to hold his hands up on this one in the spirit of transparency and accountability.

AND finally, The Insider would like to wish all his readers a happy polling day. He knows that many of Oxfordshire’s political elite cast their eyes over this column every Thursday and hopes those who find themselves unceremoniously kicked out of their jobs at the election count recover in time to keep reading.