Anti-Christian attitudes

12:36pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir — Why is Oxford City Council so persistently anti-Christian? A little over a week ago it announced that the Christmas lantern parade planned for next month would not be allowed to go ahead, on the bizarre basis that it was “a victim of its own success”.

Bizarre situation

12:36pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – It is a year since Oxford University promised in the High Court that it would carry out a retrospective Environmental Impact Assessment on the effect of its inappropriate and over-sized development that has ruined Port Meadow.

Shoulders of giants

12:35pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – We are grateful for John Gordon’s supportive comments on the Oxford Futures report we launched earlier this year, and on URBED’s prize-winning report on garden cities.

Filling station loss

12:34pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – As a local resident (retired) who regards the BP petrol station near the Botley Interchange as an invaluable service, I am very concerned to hear that it is “not regarded as a local amenity” by our ‘local’ representatives on the Vale district council (not that local, obviously).

It’s simple, really

12:34pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – The pain of delays due to roadworks might be cut dramatically by adopting 24-hour working. That would cut the number of weekdays needed to eight hours/24 hours, or a third.

Election is to blame

12:33pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – Several of your correspondents recently have complained about the serious delays to traffic in Oxford.

Descent into chaos

12:33pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – The Frideswide Square project descends into chaos. The county council has, bizarrely, started a £6m project apparently unsure quite what it is going to do.

Social event

12:32pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – Has the decision been made already before the so-called consultation on mobile libraries has ended. Listening to the local news it would appear so. I received a letter on October 4 telling me the consultation ran until December 31.

Goodbye Green Belt

12:32pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – A central problem our world faces is human overpopulation.

Bad case of inertia

12:02pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – I thought that Nicola Blackwood’s Shop Small campaigh was a great idea.

Shame for William

12:01pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – What a shame William Poole has no experience of the range of successful teaching currently to be found in state schools.

Canadians briefed

12:01pm Monday 20th October 2014


Beware, beware

12:00pm Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – I liked your correspondent’s claim that while Cambridge has a ‘can do’ attitude to development, Oxford has a ‘yes, but’ attitude. and there may well be an element of truth in it.

Green elephant in room

11:56am Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – Sky, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are proposing that the televised election debates should include UKIP but not the Green Party, Respect or other parties. Obviously there’s a question of fairness here, and puzzlement about the criteria used to reach that judgement. But that’s not the real issue.

Poor cycling standard

11:56am Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – It is unfortunate that developments to encourage cycling in Oxford tend to discourage the equally commendable practice of walking.

An inevitable lapse

11:54am Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – Christopher Gray is such a remorseless name-dropper that the occasional lapse is perhaps inevitable: but to describe Sandra Blow and Craigie Aitchison as ‘young British talents’ in the restaurant review (Quod’s still a big favourite, October 2) is a bit of a howler.

Wonderful police

11:53am Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – Aren’t our policemen wonderful — especially the cycle-mounted ones. When stuck at traffic lights with a flat battery, not only did I get a push into a side road but he even gave me a push start — after waiting patiently while I tried to phone my wife who I was meant to be meeting. Sorry I didn’t get your details but you know who you are, thank you very much.

Population prediction

11:52am Monday 20th October 2014

Sir – In my letter of October 2 on the world’s predicted population, I should have noted that the 12.3bn prediction comes from a paper by Professors Adrian Raftery and Patrick Gerland, published online in the journal Science on September 18, a paper I would strongly recommend to anybody concerned with the future of our planet.

Scholarly tentativeness needed

The Oxford Times:

1:43pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – It perhaps seems pedantic, but I feel strongly that what may be myths should not be framed as certainties. (I get cross every year when the BBC among others tells me it is Shakespeare’s birthday, when we don’t know what day he was born — only the date of his christening.)

City seems indifferent

1:41pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Having lived for many years in both Oxford and Cambridge, I have long thought that our city could well learn something from our Fenland twin and so was very pleased to read that a delegation of the great and the good is to make a visit.

Fascinating read

1:40pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Last week’s front page story and editorial were a fascinating read — Oxford City Council and Oxford University confronting the fact of Cambridge leaving them behind.

Aspire to better

1:40pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Last week’s front page stated ‘City leaders ask why Cambridge is streets ahead’. More than three times quality of life was mentioned. 

Sprawling mess

1:39pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Is it some municipal equivalent of ‘penis envy’ that drives council leaders Bob Price and Ian Hudspeth to devise inappropriate and damaging expansion schemes, complaining about Cambridge stealing a march on poor downtrodden Oxford (City leaders ask why Cambridge is streets ahead, October 2)?

Close Botley Road

1:38pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – It is quite clear why Cambridge is growing more quickly than Oxford — they have developed large employment sites in (and just outside) their Green Belt, with huge increases in car commuting as a result. We have a long tradition of trying to avoid this: the congestion on our roads is bad enough already.

Out-of-scale scheme

1:37pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – The revised plans for the Doric development in Botley show a complete disregard for the welfare of pram pushers, wheelchair users and the less mobile, assuming that we shall all be happy to wait for ages for lifts to arrive or put our shopping carts on to the escalators.

Repeated battles

1:37pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Is this government out to destroy our ancient market towns and villages? It’s building programme certainly gives that impression. My own village of Milton-under- Wychwood is at present battling against a development of 70 homes which could rise to many more if an option for an extra 25 acres is taken up.

Planning in a mess

1:36pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Planning in Oxfordshire is in a mess. There are two fundamental issues:

British genius

1:35pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Thank you for Malcolm Graham’s article in Oxfordshire Limited Edition about the Volunteer Training Corps in the First World War.  However, a photograph caption on page 111 wrongly says “…Motor Volunteers parade with their cars…”. It clearly shows three motorcycles: one solo and two with sidecars.

Sort out A40 jams

1:34pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – I refer to Reg Little’s feature with David Leach last week. I too attended the meeting with Ian Hudspeth in Witney and was intrigued by the idea of a monorail to solve the congestion on the A40.

Minimal cost

1:33pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – This is my very last letter on this subject of extending a bus route north to east of the pedestrianised part of Oxford city. I was totally unaware that this had already been tried before and allegedly was unsuccessful.

What hope for bees?

1:32pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Does Jaine Blackman know her wasps from her bees? In her excellent review of Elisabeth Birchall’s treasure trove of a book, Jaine states that bees are “one of Britain’s favourite insects (as long as they are not bothering you at a picnic)”.

We are truly blessed

1:32pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Recent correspondence and reportage in The Oxford Times of goings-on in our great county and town led me to the conclusion that we are truly blessed by those who serve us and seek to develop our city and county.

Thanks to the PM

1:31pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Thank you David Cameron for your support at last for ebola sufferers in Sierra Leone.

Feet dragging on Castle Mill

1:30pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir — Two years ago, on seeing the skeletons of the Oxford University Roger Dudman Way buildings starting their terrible rise over Port Meadow, I started a petition, which thousands of Oxford’s residents flocked to sign.

Enduring bulwark

1:29pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Your correspondents’ comments on planning and the Green Belt (Letters, September 25) call for a response.

Darkest despair

1:29pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Last week’s letter from Peter Thompson of the Oxford Civic Society was published on the same day the journal Science published its statistically rigorous predictions that the world’s current population of 7.2bn could rise to 12.3bn by 2100, with the population of Europe nudging 1bn.

Risking recklessness

1:28pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – If a child was trapped in a burning building would you immediately run in and try to save him? Or would you not act at all, for fear of being blamed if the rescue does not go to plan?

Psychedelic roads

1:27pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – We tell the highways department about potholes, we even give postcodes and send photos. Eventually a man comes out with an aerosol spray and marks a few. Nothing happens and the spray wears off.

Fashionable parade

1:26pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – In her heritage statement about Elms Parade (westwayconcern.files.

Don’t get ill here

1:25pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – People in this area should consider moving out of the Thames Valley as they get ill or disabled.

Thank you to all

1:25pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – I would like to please take the opportunity to thank all those people who kindly assisted me, when my wife had a fit, just outside the indoor market, off Market Street, Oxford, on Tuesday last week.

Appalled at flailing

1:24pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Like Josephine Seccombe (Letters, September 25), I was appalled to see the savage and completely unnecessary flailing of the hedge alongside the footpath on the north side of the A40 between Cassington and Eynsham a couple of weeks ago.

Idea did not work

1:23pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – It is precisely to help people, like M E Fawcett (Letters, September 25), with reduced mobility, as well as those burdened with shopping and children, that we need to keep bus services in the city centre, and running on central streets. It is vitally important that all these groups continue to be able to use buses, something I think we both agree on.

Raising funds

1:22pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Thank you for publishing my letter on August 28 about the two Canadian and British flying Lancasters, and the need to raise public funds for the creation of a new memorial to Bomber Command which has yet to be built near to Lincoln Cathedral in memory of the 25,000-plus aircrew KIA from ‘Bomber County’ alone.

Across the board?

1:21pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – I have never worked in a comprehensive school, and say these things not to cast judgment or to demotivate.

Use it or lose it

1:19pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – There was great agitation for a bus link from Witney to the JR hospital, and Stagecoach introduced the S7 in July, although it was pointed out that it does not enter the JR site, but stops outside in Headley Way on its way to Brookes University. I travelled on the 13.22 bus on Tuesday and Wednesday last week.

Dedicated lanes needed

1:19pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – I had a look at the Frideswide Square/Station masterplan. I noted that the plan does not show bicycle racks near the station nor do there seem to be clearly defined bicycle lanes in Frideswide Square.

What a shambles

1:17pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – I have just received two publications about flooding in West Oxford. The principal agency involved in their publication is the Environment Agency, who are charged, and funded by Parliament, with defending us against floods.Your readers will be pleased to know and I quote from the publication: “The Environment Agency will give the public at least two hours’ warning of any local main river overtopping its bank or flooding properties”.

Shakespeare link

1:15pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – Mistress Quickly at the Painted Room? I can agree with David Webb (Possible visitor, September 25) that the notion of Shakespeare having been the father of poet laureate Sir William Davenant is far-fetched, but then there is no reason to suppose that John Aubrey believed it.

Poet’s not forgotten

1:13pm Thursday 9th October 2014

Sir – It was interesting to read of Christopher Gray’s meeting with two grandsons of Laurence Binyon (The Oxford Times, September 18). The poet does indeed deserve to be better known, although he has never been forgotten in his old college, Trinity.

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