THE Insider was made aware of the furore surrounding the speech by county council leader Ian Hudspeth, on unitary status at full council this week.

He was asked a question by his Conservative colleague Charles Mathew, which allowed him to fire a broadside on the issue of Oxfordshire being run by one council rather than one county and five districts.

This riled the Labour benches, with John Tanner particularly angry. If The Insider didn’t know any better he would say that Mr Hudspeth had planted that question on purpose.

AT A full meeting of Oxfordshire County Council a number of firefighters happened to come across something amiss.

The group was quick to point out that one of the doors to the council chamber had been propped open because of the heat.

This would be all very well and good if the door in question wasn’t a fire door.

As The Insider knows well, propping open a fire door somewhat defeats the purpose of them and is generally frowned upon in firefighting circles.

Hopefully, next time the county council – which runs Oxfordshire’s fire service – will pay closer attention to the advice it gives out to people.

Oxford Mail: Melinda Tilley

  • Melinda Tilley

MEANWHILE during the same meeting, one of The Insider’s colleagues couldn’t help, but notice that Melinda Tilley, left rather abruptly during a Green proposal motion.

The Greens had proposed – unsuccessfully – that the county council should rid itself of its investments in fossil fuel companies.

Mrs Tilley, the cabinet member for education, seemingly took against this and left the chamber briefly.

Ironically, for a debate about clean energy, she obviously had her fill of hot air.

Oxford Mail: City councillor Bev Clack

  • Bev Clack

THE Insider couldn’t help but notice that some of Oxford’s Labour city councillors went on an away day over the weekend.

We can only hope that they have come back relaxed and ready for a hard year of looking at planning applications.

But the mind does boggle at what might happen on a Labour away day.

Labour city councillor Bev Clack, tweeted that she came back from it “buzzing” from the “impressive insights from comrades”, while her colleague Michele Paule said the discussion focussed on promoting equalities, community engagement and a healthy environment.

It’s good to know some people still get their kicks from local politics.