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DIARY - TOULMIN SMITH

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Camden LBC's Liberal Democrat group leader Flick Rea recently returned home to find a For Sale board outside her ho...
Camden LBC's Liberal Democrat group leader Flick Rea recently returned home to find a For Sale board outside her house.

However, it was not rival councillors trying to oust her but a simple mistake by estate agents Brian Lack.

Rumours of an imminent by-election flourished in the area because the hapless estate agent had picked the wrong house.

Ms Rea reportedly said: 'I had a lot of people asking when I was moving and when the by-election was going to be.'

The estate agent said it was a mistake because a new driver had put up three boards in the wrong area. Fortunately, none of the others were elected members.

The existence of an irrepressible sense of humour among IT managers emerged during presentations at the Society of IT Management's annual conference in Newport. On Slovakian ID numbers: 'These are meant to be unique but they do get duplicated. I'm sure that never happens here.' Chortles from the audience. On standards: 'We love them, that's why we have so many.'

There was inadvertent humour too, as a German speaker reinforced national stereotypes by admitting e-government Deutsche-style is all about efficiency.

There was even irony. The national strategy for local

e-government is going to be delayed because . . . there are delays setting up a websiteto accompany it.

LGCnet has worked out how to boost turnout for its Question of the Week - get party political.

Last week's question was: 'At the end of the conference season, which party has the best policies for local government?' After a slow start on Friday morning, the Liberal Democrats had mysteriously surged into the lead by Monday morning.

The followers of Charles Kennedy polled 12 times as many votes as their nearest rival, the Labour Party.

The number of votes even beat the total number polled on whether the Local Government Association should abandon its incrementalist approach. Voters are limited to one vote per session. That means an awful lot of Lib Dem clicking - did the party issue a three-line whip to its members to visit the LGC website?

www.lgcnet.com/pollvote/poll.asp

If you wish to disseminate any gossip, please e-mail me on

joshua.toulminsmith@lgc.emap.com

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