IT is rumoured that one of the cabaret artists at a St Patrick's supper on Friday - yes, it's taking place a few days early - will be the all-singing, all-dancing Lord Mayor of Oxford, John Tanner.

Assuming he stays in tune, he can be assured of a warm reception when he finishes his solo - tickets for the event at the North Oxford Community Centre sold out in a flash.

We recall after his Christmas reception at the Town Hall last year hundreds of voluntary workers and community leaders leaving disappointed after he whizzed on to the stage to say a few words... but didn't belt out a tune.

ONE assumes it is not often that Sister Frances Dominica, the founder of the marvellous Helen and Douglas House hospices in Oxford, swears or curses.

But perhaps she could be forgiven for turning the air blue recently when her dog escaped, giving her the run-around all night long.

We hear the hound was eventually taken off the streets by a warden and driven to a pound in Aylesbury, only being reunited with its owner the following day - but not before she had forked out a king's ransom.

ONE of the advantages of having a strong and focused leader at the helm of any organisation is that positive change filters down through the ranks, right?

Wrong. Well, so it appears at Oxford City Council.

Poor old Peter Sloman, the Town Hall chief executive, has ruffled a few feathers by forcing through changes to the authority's working practices, or so it would appear from irate staff who have ignored a ban on contacting the media and phoned The Insider for a shoulder to cry on.

We'll keep you updated.

IF everyone believed that words that frequently fly from the mouths of Tory MPs then we would all be in trouble.

So take the latest wheeze from the Conservatives with an extremely large pinch of salt. Apparently the clocks could be changed to make evenings lighter as a way of boosting tourism under a future Tory government.

The party has promised to consider the move as part of a review of its tourism policy ahead of the next General Election.

Shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said moving the clocks forward an hour all year round would mean "longer days for tourism attractions, longer tourist seasons, and could mean a huge boost in the number of visitors to Oxfordshire".

WHAT has got members of Oxford's Independent Working Class Association all excited recently?

After numerous occasions when opposition councillors at Oxford City Council sighed heavily whenever an IWCA member got up to speak in the council chamber, the BBC has launched its White season of TV programmes.

The corporation has devoted huge resources to asking whether Britain's white working class has become invisible.

It's a question that Stuart Craft, the IWCA leader, has been asking for years.