LAST week The Insider reported that there had been confusion at Town Hall between Reading-based London Irish and Oxford-based London Welsh.

Someone at Oxford City Council had confused the two teams in their email correspondence about a civic reception which was being held to mark the start of the new rugby season.

But as it turns out London Welsh, who are now playing in the Premiership, were perfectly good sports about the confusion and the city council even served the players pints of Guinness, presumably as an ironic joke.

Hopefully this positivity will continue for the rest of The Exiles’ season and this time they won’t get relegated at the first attempt.

SCRUTINY committees are there to hold council administrations to account, but Oxford City Council’s scrutineers are obviously expanding their remit.

At this week’s meeting the committee began quizzing the city council’s head of human resources Simon Howick about its policy to give preference to Oxford residents for apprenticeships.

Some councillors were eager to find out how this worked and whether the council was allowed to do this.

Mr Howick defended the policy, saying that Oxford taxpayers should benefit first from the scheme, until another council officer pointed out that the policy had been introduced at the recommendation of the scrutiny committee itself.

AND finally, the departure of Banbury MP Sir Tony Baldry – who earned the nickname the “keeper of the hairspray” in Private Eyeh when he was a personal assistant to Margaret Thatcher in 1974– has sparked plenty of speculation as to who will replace him.

With a majority of more than 18,000, this seat is a peach for any Conservative hoping to become an MP.

Rumours abound that former Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for finance Arash Fatemian, who represents Deddington in the Banbury constituency and stood down from his post on the same day as Sir Tony, is looking for a career change.

Interestingly he still hasn’t responded to The Insider’s email asking him about this.

But The Insider was also interested to note that county council leader Ian Hudspeth hasn’t ruled himself out. Let the fun and games begin.