Local angles are not always cheering

A game many of us play is “you’re one of us” when we spot a local link to the wider world. Usually it’s that accent, which is sometimes a bit poshed up after years of exile. So we cheer on Christine Bleakley on Strictly Come Dancing and Eoghan Quigg on X Factor (don’t we?). Not many cheers are raised though for the deposed leader of Haringey Council from Donegal and the departed head of children’s services Sharon Shoesmith “ from Co Antrim.” Purely out of curiosity does anyone know anything more about their Northern backgrounds?

George Meehan, 65, has been a councillor in the borough for 33 years. He first won a seat in 1971, eight years after he arrived from County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. He has taken a detailed interest in children’s services and, as well as acting as a governor at several schools in Haringey, he was elected as executive member for children and young people in May 2004.

Ms Shoesmith, 55, from Co Antrim in Northern Ireland, spent most of her professional life in education rather than social services. She rose from being a teacher to a school inspector and worked in the school improvement division, monitoring schools with serious weaknesses and requiring special measures.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

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