• SHADOW Education Secretary Tristram Hunt is bound to have plenty of plans for schools if Labour wins the general election in May.

But perhaps he should look slightly closer to home first.

Last week The Insider rang the Labour Party press office and asked for some details about research the party had carried out in Oxford.

“Oxford?” the apparatchik on the other end asked.

“Is that East England or South East England?”

Oxford Mail: Anthony Stansfeld

  • THE Insider was almost a guest of honour at Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld’s public policy, planning and performance meeting on Tuesday.

Despite the row of chairs The Insider was the only person who came to watch the quarterly meeting of police officials.

Mr Stansfeld, above, started the meeting with: “We have one member of the public, a reporter from the Oxford Mail.”

Considering The Insider was only told about the meeting with less than 24 hours notice, perhaps the meetings would be better attended if the public were actually told about them.

Oxford Mail: Ed Vaizey

  • WANTAGE MP and Heritage Minister Ed Vaizey, above, came up with a real vote-winner on a recent visit to Whittington Lodge, the first purpose-built cattery at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The lodge, built around 1907, was given Grade II listed status by Mr Vaizey and at the same time he took the chance to pop a cute grey kitten up on his shoulder.

Mr Vaizey said the lodge was “historically fascinating and exquisitely designed” but he seemed just as interested in the fluffy kitten sporting a bright blue collar.

Following publicity pictures one wag tweeted that the Tory MP had come face-to-face with a “blue-collar” worker.

  • JUST 18 hours after the South Oxfordshire District Council offices in Crowmarsh Gifford almost burnt to the ground council staff used Twitter to remind residents of more mundane matters.

Council leaders and staff were determined to get back to normal as soon as possible and used the SODC Twitter feed to remind residents of what really mattered - putting the right bins out.

Amid all the chaos caused by the blaze the council took time to tweet: “If you’re expecting your bins to be emptied tomorrow it’s the grey bin and food waste.”

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