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At I Love Oxfordshire our ethos is one of non-partisan Social Enterprise.

We do not have any political agenda.

We believe that whatever side of the fence you are,  you’re entitled to your views. If they are reasonable and meet our ethical guidelines we will endeavour to post them.

Recent Open Letters to Robert Courts MP

From members of I Love Witney

We have a strict rule in the I Love Witney Facebook group that politics should be kept to a minimum. Letters to local MP Robert Courts from members are often reported to group admins and are consequently removed.

However we are very keen that readers with something important to say are given a voice, so they are reposted here.

From Nick Owen. 8th July 2022

Dear Member of Parliament
Thank you for your cut and paste letter.
“I welcome that the Prime Minister has taken full responsibility for everything that took place on his watch and offered a heartfelt apology.” This sentence simply shows that neither you or the prime minister has any real understanding of taking full responsibility. Even in his resignation speech he blames the herd, not his own behaviour for his fall.
If he had actually taken responsibility he would have seen the necessity of resigning. People like you have propped up this utterly amoral man beyond what any normal member of the electorate would find acceptable.
While 50 ministers finally got the message and resigned it appears you did not, showing yourself unfit to continue to represent the people of this constituency.
With regards

Not everyone feels that way. I fir one think mr. Johnson has done an impossible job while being stabbed in the back by the very people who should have been supporting him. Thank you Mr. Johnson many of us will miss you.

Name removed to protect the innocent !

From Nick Owen. 19th April 2022

Dear Robert Courts,

You have the opportunity, this week, to vote for a motion to start the process of bringing this utterly contemptible Prime Minister to account.
Let me say that I expect you to continue to give him your full backing.
Let me also say that the vast majority of the people of this country believe the PM is a cheat and a liar and unfit to lead the country.

Your continuing to back Boris Johnson will be a matter of public record, which will be shared on the “I love Witney” Face Book page.

You are of course entitled to vote as you please, with no obligation to reflect the feelings of your electors.

I suggest it is a good moment to jump ship from Johnson.

Things will only get worse for Johnson as more fines come along and the Sue Grey report.

I very strongly suspect that you have no more decency and integrity than your leader. Voting to allow water companies to go on pouring sewage into our waterways for 30 more years while boasting how the Government was holding them to account tells me that.

In the slight hope that you show some backbone I submit this letter. I will not hold my breath.

From Windrush Against Sewage Pollution (WASP)

To Mr Robert Courts, MP for Witney, Oxfordshire . By email, 10 April 2022.

Dear Mr Courts
In response to your recent newsletters and email dated 31 March 2022, we the undersigned feel it
necessary to challenge your comment:  That is why I have been leading the campaign to tackle the use of storm overflows and ensure we protect our precious rivers.

We exist among a group of organisations, campaigning or otherwise, working towards an end to sewage pollution in or including the Witney constituency. We would like to make it clear that you are not
leading these groups.

There are two reasons why we need to affirm this to our members, supporters and the public:
1. The comments you make are likely to seriously mislead the public.
2. It appears that you are using this subject as a political campaign representing one party only.

Neither of those features are compatible with our constitutions nor activities.

You also appear to unduly claim the credit for the successes and efforts of our groups and supporters as
well as those of councillors representing the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat Parties and Independent representatives who have been working together to end sewage pollution.

Your general support over previous years and your engagements with Thames Water are appreciated
but fall a long way short of what needs to be done, especially when the heart of the problem lies in
failing regulation led by the UK Government.

Your statement that you are leading the campaign implies the inclusion of all those involved so we request that you publish a clarification to your readership that you do not represent our organisations
and that we do not support the accuracy of the comments you have made.

Your enthusiastic endorsement of the government’s plans to address the sewage crisis is entirely at
odds with the widespread response from across the environmental sector which received the
announcement with dismay regarding the content and/or the lamentably long timescales for delivery.

We are in an environmental crisis which is getting worse and it needs to be treated with urgency, not
There was perfectly adequate legislation in place to prosecute water companies illegally dumping
untreated sewage before the weak version of the Environment Act was voted in but it was rendered
ineffective by government prosecution policy and continues to be undermined in the same way.

The new legislation you mention now appears to provide protection for illegal pollution as long as the water companies engage in some vaguely measured and distant targets – so far into the future that pollution will remain profitable for a very long time.
You imply that the problems are rooted in Victorian infrastructure and are somehow inevitable yet the
real cause lies in the failure of successive governments to ensure that the water industry invested sufficiently to keep up with demand, as admitted in a government press release in January 2021: “water
infrastructure has not kept pace with development growth over decades’. Yet, over the same period,
the water industry was allowed to extract £72 Billion in profits from bill payers.
To underline this, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry reported in January this year: ‘Poor water quality in English rivers is a result of chronic underinvestment and multiple failures in monitoring, governance and enforcement..
The result of this is that there are now many under capacity and failing sewage works across the
country. It is also clear that in the very few places where upgrades are planned, even with the best
intentions of the water companies, the necessary work takes time; too much time to be remotely ready
for the extra deluge of sewage approaching many treatment works and therefore rivers and seas.

The visual signs of pollution from high levels of phosphates and nitrates are something that many people will recognise; the grey water, choking algae, coatings of sediment on once golden gravel and the sad loss of once beautiful habitats to current and future generations.

Every 100 new homes connected in the current housing boom will bring about 30 tones of extra sewage per day to a network that is already failing in many areas. These inadequate infrastructure issues
were known and ignored as the plans were approved and this appalling situation continues even now.

The developers ‘right to connect’ to sewers regardless of the consequences is something that we and concerned staff at Thames Water would like to see urgently addressed by you.

What can you do as Witney MP to prevent and/or reduce the otherwise inevitable increase in the risks to public health and environmental damage that will be caused by so much extra sewage flowing to already failing sewage works and thereby into Oxfordshire’s rivers and streams?
What can be done to protect communities or and compensate them for the damage being knowingly done to them including new homeowners who did not expect to be part of this problem?

Just as your counterpart, MP for the Cotswolds, Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown, arranged for us to meet the
Environment Minister, would you please be able to arrange for us to meet the Housing Minister?
Your sincerely
Ash Smith
Campaign Founder
Windrush Against Sewage Pollution

(The above was also countersigned by 6 other environmental groups)

Another example of how a post can go so wrong or maybe in this case – so right.  Is it an attempt to wind up locals or a lack of understanding? You decide. 

What started out as maybe a disgruntled comment led to about two hundred comments, 37 laughing, 12 wow, and 4 angry emojis.

And not all by the Grammar Police either !

Names removed to protect the innocent !!

Who would have thought an active RAF base would be in operation 24 hours a day…..

…..and the RAF’s biggest global base…..

Who gets a house near an RAF base and then moans?

Considering the situation in Afghanistan I doubt these are training flights.

Doing their job and glad we have them

Maybe sometimes they train in the dark because they need to fly for real in the dark. Just putting it out there…

Bet the people flying know how to spell you’re *

It is the largest RAF logistics base in the country……. Imagine if we were actually in a war

Who’d have thought that aircraft fly at night

Preferable to motorbikes belting past my house or dogs barking too!!!

I guess someone hasn’t been watching the international news then!

I’m happier to have them disturbing my sleep than thinking of them in war zones without experience of night flying.

Are you one of those that will enjoy your freedom but moan because you are devoid of a justifiable reason to live? The base has probably been there

…that’s like moving to the country and moaning about farms

…Or moving next to a pub and complaining about the noise. Lol

They can fly 24/⁷ and flying in ppl from Afghanistan.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time (original poster). Meanwhile, in Kabul…

Are you being serious it’s a RAF air base what do you expect plus they have been training day and night for years stop moaning.

If they are bringing people in from Afghanistan I will cope

Buying a house close to a raf base then complaining of noisy planes flying about……priceless just give them a quick ring and ask them if they can park up.for the night

The news says it’s the rescue flights from Afghanistan…. Well done lads and lasses who are involved, stay safe…

Tuesday night is flying night always has been they do night flight training.

Well I like looking at the pretty lights

Would you tell Gatwick not to fly after 11pm. Hopefully they are operating round the clock to bring as many people as possible out of Afghanistan.

Your taking the piss, complaining about people doing their job at 20 to 11 at night.
(But also it is in-fact you’re)

Its like buying a house near a church then complaining about the bells ringing .

…I miss hearing the bells ring and I love to hear a cockerel crowing. Brought up with these sounds.

….I know what you mean. I went down the river Windrush today. Somebody’s filled it with feckin’ water. What is the world coming to!

They should have night flight training during the day.
And what emergency means that we have disrupted sleep as it means we’ll be all cranky in the morning?
Damned inconvenient.

I lived in Witney for years, right under the flight path I noticed the planes when they weren’t flying rather than when they were. It’s something you just got used too

If you thought a little turbo prop cargo plane was bad just wait for the B-52s to come back through

I think it will be bringing all those poor people to safety

Flying out to save the bacon of thousands stuck in the middle east

You’re spot on! I’m going to set up a petition in the morning, requesting that all world leaders please conduct their disputes in conjunction with the Waitrose opening hours. Don’t get me started on Ambulances… bloody liberty!

Been like since 1971 when I arrived
Keep flying boys and girls and keep up the good work and if you dont like it piss off

Be grateful you have a bed, I assume, you’re trying to get to sleep in! There’s thousands upon thousands of displaced families/people currently being uprooted from their homes and/or facing a life forever changed and full of persecution and death….yet you’re complaining about the noise from an air base doing their very best to help with that situation. And you think they’re taking the piss? Get a grip

…because all wars happen during the day….and it’s ‘You’re’ not ‘your’…

They are busy getting people out of Afghanistan right now so I suggest you wear ear plugs and put up with it.

I think we all agree it’s not the RAF taking the p*ss, your comment on the other hand….!! I suggest you hang your head in shame and delete your post before the incredibly brave service people see it!!

I assume that this is deliberate trolling. No one could be so woefully ignorant of the current situation could they? Or is it an attempt at humour? If so don’t give up the day job. (if you have one)

Are you actually engaged in the world right now? Do you have any comprehension of the lives that may be being saved right now as you look at that plane? My heart would soar with every plane that woke me. I feel utterly helpless so put your earplugs in…

If you join the RAF you’ll soon become conditioned to the noise of the aircraft, problem sorted! I actually fell asleep during an air show at Brize, layed on the grass in front of the air traffic control tower!! The session with the fire section the night before may have helped!  To all the peeps at Bzn, rock on guys, you’re doing us proud!

Get onto the Ministry Of Defence and complain to them if you’re not happy.

Your all heart ……..they could possibly be humanitarian flights returning from Afghanistan, I’ve never seen 22.40pm written that way ……

Are u taking the piss. Brize has been an air ridge to Afghanistan and every other place that the uk operates in for a number of years ever since raf lyneham closed

Ooh maybe you ought to chain yourself to a plane in protest of the RAF disturbing your peace?

…. better that he chains himself to the perimeter fence. That way he can act as a bird scarer to keep the flight path clear, thus serving some purpose.

ISIS can we only fight during office hours as we are upsetting out neighbors at night lol

wouldn’t live anywhere else.. miss the VC10’s

…. perhaps we could board you on an outgoing flight and swap you for someone with an ounce of intelligence and humanity.

Is this person being serious?
I am a veterans daughter and married into the military to which my husband is now a veteran and these comments piss me off!
Brize is an active air base to which is currently being used to bring back people from Afghanistan! Have some compassion and empathy for not only the Afghan people but also our brave military that’s having to do this rescue mission.

What are you going to do if we end up going back to war with the Taliban and there’s flights 24/7?

If you don’t like the noise then you shouldn’t live near a military base.

The military need to train also for any circumstance and day or night. People aren’t selective and agree upon “war hours” due to consideration of the public. They’re training to be able to defend the likes of you!

Now go to bed ‘Karen’ and catch up your beauty sleep!

That post went well!

I often wonder how a post gets so out of control, how one negative comment triggers so much vexed opinion. Maybe we all have too much time on our hands since lockdown and have just become so angry at the whole situation.   

Names removed to protect the innocent !!

‘Is Blenheim closed for walks?’

‘Blenheim is closed, but the public right of way is still open. Although Woodstock residents have been complaining loads about people driving there to walk around Blenheim. Depends on what you class as local, they believe if you are having to drive, then you are not local’

‘You don’t need to travel to Blenheim go for a walk in Witney. There is still a lock down’

‘…While this may be true, how many people will be infected by someone driving in a car and then walking outside in a socially distanced manner’

‘Let’s all take that advice then let’s all get in our cars and drive where we want to walk. Then clap for the nhs later on.  This is part if the problem. What if the car breaks down and you need someone to come fix it etc what if you crash and then ambulance drivers and fire fighters and police need to come out. I know it’s a slim chance But is it that hard to walk around Witney. We have so many nice walks around you don’t need to go to Blenheim. If you do I hope you get smashed with a 10k fine’

‘I’m not in any way condoning excessive travel, but going by your logic we should never drive anywhere, because we might crash or might breakdown. A lot of us have lost someone to covid, and I’m not condoning breaking rules where it could create a risk and that’s not at all what I implied, I am just saying if it is risk free then it should be fine, assuming that no one is at risk of transmitting covid’

‘It’s pretty simple essential travel only.  Travelling for a walk might be risk free might not be you don’t know either way it is t suppose to be done during this lock down.People will only complain if the lock down is extended’

‘I won’t argue with your views because I respect that people see this in different ways, my personal opinion is if no one is at all hurt or has any risk of being hurt as a result of an activity then it shouldn’t be illegal, but I think it’s more than fair that you should be able to.  See it how you see it’

‘How do we know if there is any risk? Lots of people don’t show any symptoms. Hardly seems fair on people who are at serious risk, who have been isolating for nearly a year now. They can’t wait until all this is over’

‘What if someone driving to Blenheim hits a patch of ice and flips their car? An ambulance that should never have needed to be called and potentially an intensive care bed that could have been used by a Covid sufferer who arrives at the hospital at the same time as the person who thought driving to Woodstock was a totally benign thing to do, totally ignoring the ‘essential travel only’ edict. This is just one potential scenario’

‘I too have read the Government guidance on what local means and yes, local means your town, village whatever. I am also aware that people are travelling to Botley Road to shop there, driving 20 miles to walk their dogs at more scenic places. Not sure how it can be enforced if people do not follow the guidance’

‘Yeah you can get in the main town gate, we went there the other day, was a little flooded by the fisheries though’

Eventually we had to turn commenting off - this post had gone so far from it's original question.


As an admin of a Facebook group I am always amazed at how quickly the dynamics of seemingly innocent posts can change so very quickly. A recent post singing the praises a The Horsebox Coffee stall outside Waitrose in Witney, went from being a ‘nice’ photo with some ‘nice’, polite and fun comments to being incredibly nasty and personal in what seems like a heartbeat. 

Names removed to protect the innocent !!

‘One of the best coffees in town’

‘And it’s very nice coffee!!’

‘How enterprising of the coffee horse box!!! We could do with this service at Coral Bay’

‘Why is it there, got enough coffee shops in Witney, can’t people boil a kettle’

‘I’m sure people can. People can also make their own sandwiches, brew their own beer and sit alone in their houses being thoroughly miserable. Give them a break’


‘Have heard coffee tastes lovely’

‘Sell flasks in sainsbury make your own save u money’

‘I’m afraid I feel sorry for all the businesses who are paying business rates and providing a permanent service every hour of every day’

‘I hope she remembers to remove her mask to consume her coffee, or we could end up with a Leslie Nielsen-style drinking problem!’

‘You all complaining about mask wearing and social distancing and helping to get rid of covid and yet You are all hypocrites. You all be the first to complain and take photos are people not following the rules in witney and post it on the internet?! Getting shitty about coffee when hundreds of people lined the streets on saturday not complying with any restrictions or lockdown rules?! No masks no social distancing. Clearly making it a social gathering but thats ok. ?! Seriously people look at your selves.’

‘…out of order. You know why people were gathering on Saturday. Have some respect!’

If you're ever tempted to ask why admins of Facebook groups remove posts or turn commenting off - this is good example of why.

‘So it ok to not respect the rules then?! Exactly the point. You are quick to name and shame rule a single rule breaker and post it on facebook without caring and without their consent and not asking why?! And go crazy. Yet its fine for hundreds of people to do it?!

‘Who’s named and shamed anyone? I fear you are losing the plot!’

‘maybe you should retire back to being a keyboard warrior and ‘stay at home!’

‘Dole scrounging horrible little person who has nothing better to do you will never no what it feels like to lose a proper decent mate get a job’

‘Wtf?! All because i told the truth that makes me unemployed? What sort of stupid logic is that? Really?’

‘Whilst I understand what you’re trying to say, you really could have worded it with a little more respect! They weren’t socially gathering for fun and you know that! I find your comments heartless and insulting to the family and friends of a wonderful young man!’


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