AS IS now traditional, today marks the beginning of English football’s quadrennial disappointment.

But, perhaps more interesting for The Insider, a number of bodies are jumping on the bandwagon.

Perhaps the most tenuous one of these was Cherwell District Council which has offered its residents a free blue bin to mark the World Cup if they find a “golden ticket” in their recycling bags.

It seems unfortunate – or maybe intentional – that blue is the colour of two of England’s opponents in the group stages of this year’s competition – Uruguay and Italy.

Perhaps officers at Cherwell District Council are more sensible than we thought.

AT THE city council’s first meeting of the political year this week, Labour city councillor Scott Seamons, the executive board member for housing, seemed very excited to have been moved to the front row of his party’s benches.

It means he now sits next to deputy leader of the council Ed Turner.

Is Mr Seamons being groomed for bigger and better things or does his party’s leadership want to keep an eye on him?

Unfortunately for Mr Seamons, his new place is also near the press bench, so we’ll be able to keep a closer watch that before.

MEANWHILE the wait goes on to find out when Oxford University is going to release the environmental statement on its contentious student flats near Port Meadow.

The university has commissioned a study into their impact on the surrounding environment.

But it was seven months ago that a High Court judge refused the judicial review on the basis that the study had already been commissioned.

Clearly the university will want a thorough study which takes time to consider all the issues in depth...

Maybe the university is just hoping that people will just lose interest and the issue will go away.

THERE has been a lot of jockeying for position on the issue of how many houses to build in the county and where to build them.

Cherwell District Council was perhaps foolhardy to go into the inquiry for its local plan with 6,000 fewer homes than had been recommended. Whichever way that’s cut, it’s quite a gap and the council has now been told by a planning inspector to find somewhere to put them.

Meanwhile, the Campaign to Protect Rural England is busy commissioning reports on why the new housing targets are flawed, and South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have commissioned studies into how many homes Oxford can take.

The Insider is not going to speculate on how this will play out – that’s far too contentious an issue – but he has noted that city council leader Bob Price, who’s dead keen on expanding the city, has been relatively silent so far.

Perhaps he shares The Insider’s feeling that this is all somehow playing into his hands.

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