THE Insider understands that the decision by construction firm Mace to invest in the controversial West Way redevelopment has bemused industry specialists.

When The Insider glanced at The Construction Index website he noticed that the £100m development has made ripples in the construction industry.

The website says that Mace has one of the better reputations among construction industry contractors.

It goes on to report that one industry insider said: “This is stunningly unpopular and set for a prolonged legal battle. I’m surprised that Mace want to get involved.”


Oxford Mail:

COUNTY councillor Rodney Rose, pictured, could be excused for feeling faintly relieved this week.

The deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council – who until last year was cabinet member for transport – had to sit through a two-hour cabinet meeting examining in great detail the decision his successor David Nimmo Smith made on a series of 16 speed bumps in Bicester.

His decision to approve the scheme had been called in following uproar in the town because of a lack of consultation.

Addressing the meeting, Mr Rose admitted he was relieved to no longer hold the transport portfolio – presumably also because his is no longer the name motorists can curse when stuck in traffic.

Oxford Mail:

MATT Barber, the leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, has obviously been keeping on top of his authority’s finances.

When asked by one of The Insider’s colleagues whether the council had been given the final installment of payments for the Old Gaol in Abingdon, Mr Barber,above, confidently asserted that it had. But when pressed on whether it amounted to the expected £2m, he seemed to waiver and asked us to go to the district council’s press office.

Oxford Mail:

IT’S often journalists who are described as cynics, but politicians can fall victim to the same thing.

When city councillor Craig Simmons, above, was voted in as Oxford’s deputy Lord Mayor earlier this month, his Green colleague Dick Wolff made a passing reference to his time in a band.

In fact Mr Simmons’ band beat a nascent Iron Maiden in a competition in the 1970s.

But Labour city councillor Anne Marie Canning appears to be a bit of a Doubting Thomas and has asked Mr Simmons to cough up the evidence – something the Green city councillor is promptly doing to make sure any lingering doubts Run to the Hills.