DIARY: Light relief offered at IPR Local Govt gathering

Amid the hand-wringing, soul-searching and worthy introspection at

last week's IPR Local Government Conference in Birmingham, delegates

were invited to contribute to a rather lighter item on the agenda.

Proving the maxim 'whatever doesn't kill you just makes you stronger',

everyone was offered the chance to share their darkest professional

hours. Several good stories emerged.

One unfortunate delegate was doing an impression of a councillor as a

reindeer when his subject walked in. Another told the local press:

'Sorry, the leader's not in his office, he's on a twinning junket in


For high-profile errors, the mis-spelling of a local authority's name on

an airship flying above Alexandra Palace takes some beating.

And for bad luck, the delegate who persuaded his council leader to dress

as Dusty Bin to launch a road service - only to simultaneously run in to

a refuse collection strike and a TV crew is worthy of note.

But perhaps the most imaginative blunder was the decision by one

delegate to publish a leaflet for the deaf ... in braille.

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