Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

BACKCHAT - TOULMIN SMITH

  • Comment
Green gripe...
Green gripe

Councils should be doing more to recycle plastics, LGC was told by Lankhorst Recycling UK during the Local Government Association's recent Sustainable Communities conference.

So keen was the company to prove no material is wasted, recycled plastic used to make bollards, decking, and sheeting was sent to us in the post shortly afterwards. The overloaded postman brought us a weighty block of non-corrosive plastic, in a padded envelope seven times its size.

What exactly should we do with it? Put it back in the recycling? Prop up a wonky desk? Perhaps we could get a load more and start selling LGC Lego

It's the way Sir Jeremy tells 'em

If your joke bombs, always hope no one important is listening.

So pity poor Local Government Association Labour group leader Sir Jeremy Beecham whose mockery of David Cameron as a vote-hungry Tory toff ('from Eton boating song to Eton voting song') failed to impress one Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.

'Sir Jeremy, I'm still trying to work out the Eton voting song one,' the prime minister told an audience of over 1,000 delegates at Labour's spring conference.

Bike invasion

How times change. Southend-on-Sea BC is promoting the 'Southend shakedown' on Easter Monday, when punters can 'enjoy the spectacle of several thousand motorbikes of every type imaginable on display'.

Riders will set out from the Ace Café biker hangout in north London, and it is all for charity.

Some decades ago the arrival of thousands of motorbikes in the town on a bank holiday would herald pitched battles between mods and rockers. These days it'll be just chips and candyfloss.

Going undercover

History could teach British councillors a thing or two.

Haroun al Rashid, the eighth-century Caliph of Baghdad, used to wander the streets in disguise to find out how his subjects perceived him.

More recently, the mayor of Prague disguised himself as an English rock star only to discover he was being charged double the approved rate by the city's taxi-drivers.

British councillors could use the method to make themselves aware of the problems facing ordinary citizens, but needless to say that it hardly seems necessary to don a disguise since nobody would recognise them.

Party politics

Forget comprehensive performance assessment. The Local Government Association has come up with a revolutionary way of evaluating success.

One of our reporters was told LGC should alter its style guide when quoting LGA spokespeople, putting an end to inserting party membership after a name. The press team said it had noticed we'd recently put their chairman Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart down as a Tory.

Apparently Sir Sandy is not meant to show any allegiance to a party, but simply be seen as a member of the LGA. It must have been his twin we saw at the last Conservative party conference then

Am I minging?

Portsmouth City Council leader Mike Hancock insists he is not a minger. When a letter appeared in a newspaper, allegedly signed by 12 Lib Dem council leaders who vowed their support for Menzies Campbell as their party leader, Mr Hancock whizzed in a reply saying he wants no part in the Ming-ing dozen's antics. Apparently he would rather support Simon Hughes because he involves him more in decision making.

The name's Bond, Milibond

He's often billed as a future British prime minister, but could David Miliband be angling for an altogether more glamorous job?

The smooth minister for communities and local government appeared to be auditioning to be the new James Bond when he adapted the Live and let die theme at the recent Labour spring conference.

'Community is more important, not less important, in this changing world in which we live in,' he stated.

Councillors in the audience might have recalled the song's next line, noting the ever-changing boundaries in which they live in make them give in and cry.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.