IF Thames Valley Police every find themselves in need of an extra sleuth, The Insider would suggest they look no further than Oxfordshire Council Council.

Oxford Mail: Melinda Tilley

Cabinet member for Education Melinda Tilley already has a hefty workload in her day job but in her time off she is busy getting to the bottom of mysteries.

The Insider learned she gets away from it all with a few episodes of American crime drama series NCIS, which tracks the work of a US Navy investigations team.

Criminals of Oxfordshire beware.

AFTER being courted by the Tories for his vote on a variety of electronic devices, The Insider is now being wooed by the Liberal Democrats in the Oxford West and Abingdon constituency.

While there is no sign yet of any dirty tricks in the General Election campaign, the niceties are being done away with and the gloves, perhaps, are about to come off.

The latest leaflet through the door comes from the Lib Dems and spells out in no uncertain terms that it would be potentially very “damaging” to vote Tory.

The leaflet flags up £50bn of Conservative cuts on a so-called ‘hit-list’ while claiming that, as part of their role in coalition, the Lib Dems have stopped “nasty and damaging Tory plans”.

Expect a lot more of this robust lobbying before you go to the polls.

Oxford Mail: Elise Benjamin  Oxford Mail: John Tanner

THE Insider was shocked on Tuesday night to see Green councillor Elise Benjamin and Labour councillor John Tanner agree not once, but twice.

At meetings of Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee, the two rarely share much affection.

Both are former Lord Mayors of Oxford. They have that in common, but rarely see eye-to-eye in the council chamber.

But they were united in opposition to a railway bridge in Aristotle Lane, as well as polished panels which had been chosen for the roof of the old Ruskin College building in Jericho.

Ms Benjamin said of the first time: “It is one of those scary moments where John Tanner and I agree.”