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Some like it hot and some like it jackets off

It could only happen in Lanarkshire. The temperature at the last North Lanarkshire education committee soared - and that was before the meeting started. The reason was that the heating was on, which is more than can be said for the heating controls.

Jackets were therefore off more quickly than usual but, alas for racy reportage, the exchanges were relatively cool. Even the traditional insults between those two veterans of old Cumbernauld politics - education vice-chair Douglas Gilchrist (Labour) and former town provost Gordon Murray (SNP) - were less heated than usual.

Indeed the sharpest political barbs came from "non-political" education officer Jim McGuinness. After a particularly sour observation from Murray, complaining about the Education Minister's introductory remarks on the Government's pre-fives consultation paper, McGuinness observed: "I'm sure the minister didn't have your ward in mind when he wrote his foreword."

To another councillor, the bold McGuinness was moved to retort: "I'm a bit disappointed by your last comment." Labour's Frank Gormill thought by this stage it was time to return the favour, praising McGuinness for "getting a dig in at the Government".

Gormill has clearly taken to heart the North Lanarkshire education motto of Aiming Higher. We're almost certain we heard him press for "toiletrie facilities" in the council's pre-fives establishments.

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