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  1. Updates from Thursday 11 December 2014

Live Reporting

By Dave Gilyeat

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it for today's BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire. We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00.

In the meantime, if you need to get in touch, drop us a line by clicking


Tonight's television

Jerome Sale

Sports editor, BBC Radio Oxford

Nearly 200 children are being supported by agencies in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Wiltshire because they are at risk of sexual exploitation. You can watch our report


The supported children include those who have been abused or are at risk of abuse

Also tonight, Network Rail apologises for a serious of signal failures which caused disruption to passengers on the Great Western route into London this week.

Be sure to watch

South Today on BBC One from 18:30.

Heavy rain ahead

There's heavy rain on the way, clearing by dawn. It will be windy with the risk of gales in the early hours, with lows of 2C (36F).

Down and dirty

The stage production of classic 80s romantic drama Dirty Dancing has officially landed in Oxford, and will run until 3 January at the

New Theatre.

Rosie Frascona, Kat Orman, Gareth Bailey

Kat Orman was joined in the studio by two of the stars of the show, Gareth Bailey who plays Johnny Castle, the role made famous by Patrick Swayze, and Rosie Frascona as Baby Houseman, originally played by Jennifer Grey.

"I find it absolutely incredible how Dirty Dancing is this universal language," Gareth said.

Wantage honour

Wantage has won Best Town Centre at the Great British High Street awards.

The national competition, launched by the

Future High Street Forum, honoured
seven winners at a Westminster ceremony, which were whittled down from 135 entries.

The town was commended for its "complete transformation", with a pop-up shop, a community shop, live public performances, a loyalty card scheme and arts displays.

Hometown show

Oxford singer-songwriter Lewis Watson plays a homecoming gig tonight at St Barnabas Church.

"Thank you all so much for an amazing year," he told fans on his

Facebook page. "It is the last UK show I'll be playing for quite a while."

Lewis Watson
Warner music

Lewis Watson's debut album The Morning

was released in July on Warner Music.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The verdict is being considered at Oxford Coroner's Court into the death of a man with learning disabilities at a specialist health unit in Oxfordshire.

I'll have the latest at 17:00.

Tree decorating competition

Banbury Guardian

Community organisations in Bloxham and Adderbury have been getting super-creative in two

competitive tree decorating competitions.

School closure

St Barnabus Primary School in Jericho, which was closed today due to power failure and boiler issues, will be closed again tomorrow.

Oxford win Varsity

Ross Heaton

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Oxford University have won the Varsity rugby 43-6 against Cambridge!

It's the fifth straight win for first time for either team in the history of the fixture.

Temporary car park

A temporary car park will open on Monday to make up for the closure of the Westgate multi-storey (pictured) and Abbey Place sites.

Westgate carpark
Bill Nicholls

The old car parks are making way for the

redevelopment of Westgate shopping centre, but will not close until 5 January to avoid clashing with the busy Christmas period. The temporary site at Oxpens will accommodate 420 cars.

Jason Munro, parking and shopmobility manager for Oxford City Council, said it was a car park the city could be proud of.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

More than 6,000 churches are now infested with bats, the government says.

Church interiors and artefacts can be badly damaged by bat faeces and urine, but the

Bat Conservation Trust says there are ways of handling infestations which can allow bats to stay in parts of churches without causing problems.

However, the government's spokesman on Church of England issues, Conservative MP for Banbury Sir Tony Baldry, has said bats are a nuisance.

More headlines at 16:00.

Keep dancing

Kat Orman has described

Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole, this afternoon's surprise guest, as an "early Christmas present".

The two of them gossiped about Pixie Lott's shock exit from the show on the weekend.

Kat Orman and Brendan Cole

"Wow," Cole said. "Didn't expect it. Great viewing. It's made them all really scared that they're not going to make it through to the final, which I love."

Cole also talked about his latest partner Sunetra Sarker. He described it as a "good relationship" but said they were not "bosom buddies".

Live commentary

Don't forget we have live commentary of the Oxford v Cambridge Varsity match right

here, right now.

Oxford are currently leading 22-6.

Brookes awarded £4m

Oxford Brookes University has been awarded more than £4m by the
Higher Education Funding Council England to invest in biosciences.

Professor David Evans, head of biological and medical sciences, said he was "delighted" with the investment.

Oxford Brookes
oxford brookes

He added that it would increase the opportunities of "students to prepare for employment in the thriving bioscience sector, with industry-standard laboratories and up to the minute equipment".

Compare your primary school

More disadvantaged pupils in England's primary schools are

moving on to secondary school able to read, write and add up, league tables released by the
Department for Education reveal.

Comparison map of league table results across the country
Department for Education

For schools in Oxfordshire, 78% achieved level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths. Explore the statistics further


Nice view

BBC South Today reporter Adina Campbell

tweets: Just interviewed the Housing Minister about the #Bicester ecotown. This is the view from the site office...

Adina Campbell tweet of building site

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Solicitors have told Oxford Coroner's Court there were not enough risk assessments in place to care for a young man with learning disabilities who died.

Nico Reed was being cared for in a supported living unit in Chalgrove. I'll have

more on this at 15:00.

'Magic' market

Oxford Mail

Christmas magic will sparkle in Oxford as the

city's festive market opens today.


Andy Gordon

Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

Warlier today Phil Gayle met Oxfordshire's very own Supercub.

Cub scout Oscar Gibson, 10, from Woodstock, has achieved a very rare and impressive thing.

Oscar Gibson and Phil Gayle

He's gained every badge going (about 60), and he'll be presented with his final badge at tonight's meeting of the

33rd Kidlington Cubs.

On air

Cristina Parry

Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

On the afternoon show today, two stars from the

New Theatre's Dirty Dancing, Roseanna Frascona and Gareth Bailey (aka Baby and Johnny), will be put in a corner by Kat Orman.

Plus we discuss the football trips arranged for sociology students

to study the working class. Is this a good idea or an offensive?
Let us know.

Plus Kat will have a very special mystery guest stop by for a quick chat.

Tune in this afternoon to find out who.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Half of all the pets seen by a vet in Chipping Norton are overweight.

The practice revealed it sees about 100 overweight pets every week, as the

PDSA animal charity claims Britain is facing an obesity crisis among cats and dogs.

I'll have more headlines at 14:00.

Turkey vote row

Jack FM Oxfordshire has defended its campaign to leave the fate of a couple of turkeys

down to a public vote.

Sage and Onion
Jack FM

In a statement, the radio station said: "If it's decided that the turkeys are to be saved then we will be working with the relevant welfare authorities to make sure that Sage and Onion's forever home will be somewhere that they can have a long and happy life together.

"If listeners vote to cook the turkeys, the turkey farm would facilitate the procedure and that would not be broadcast.

"We are not wanting to shock people, we want to open up a wider debate about our food choices and food provenance."

Lunchtime TV

Laura Trant

Reporter, BBC South Today


BBC South Today this lunchtime you can see how
our investigation discovered nearly 200 children in the Thames Valley and Wiltshire area have been identified as being at risk of sexual exploitation.

Policeman talks to children in street

After high profile cases in the region, thousands of police and council staff have now been trained to recognise the danger signs.

Watch the report on BBC One from 13:30.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The unit in Oxford set up to identify and protect children at risk of sexual exploitation has had full funding confirmed today.

The Kingfisher Unit, which was founded after the Bullfinch investigation, is to get about £1m.

More at 13:00.

Eco-town awarded

Banbury Cake

Cherwell District Council's Eco Bicester initiative

has been given a European energy award.

Kidlington carols

We're counting down to Christmas with the help of Oxfordshire's primary school children.

North Kidlington Primary School carol singers

This morning, it was the turn of North Kidlington Primary School with their stirring renditions of Jingle Bells and Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.

Listen in


Footy therapist wanted

Banbury Guardian

Banbury United are looking for a

first team physio/sports therapist.

Turkey vote row


RSPCA has urged Jack FM Oxfordshire to ditch its Cook it or Keep it campaign. The radio stunt, which has already drawn criticism from
Queen guitarist Brian May, has put the fate of two turkeys
down to a public vote.

Turkeys (generic)
Getty Images

The charity said: "While we appreciate this is intended as a light-hearted festive feature the RSPCA opposes practices that have the potential to cause animals pain, suffering or death in the name of entertainment. We would strongly urge the radio production team to rethink this stunt.

"If the decision is taken to slaughter the turkeys then there are some quite serious legal implications regarding the slaughter... If there is a decision to 'keep' the birds, the RSPCA would like to know how this is going to be facilitated."

News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Details of the online auctions to sell kit and cars belonging to the now closed Oxfordshire-based

Marussia Formula 1 team have been released.

The administrators say the Banbury team's equipment, which includes the Formula 1 cars minus the engines, will be sold off in a series of webcast and timed auctions.

The four events will start with the first on Tuesday and the last in January.

More at 12:00.

Aiming for Varsity victory

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Oxford University will go for an historic fifth consecutive Varsity victory this afternoon as they take on Cambridge at Twickenham.

Oxford celebrate winning the Varsity Match
Getty Images

Prop Lewis Anderson, who could become the first player in Varsity history to win five games for his side, says the importance of the fixture can't be underestimated.

"I think most of us would be very happy for a season in which we lost every other game apart from the Cambridge one," he said.

You can listen to online commentary of the Varsity match live from Twickenham this afternoon from 14:30

via our website.

Teenager sexually assaulted

Oxford Mail

A teenager was sexually assaulted by a

stranger in a park in Wallingford.

Fair game?

via Facebook

You've been getting in touch about the controversial Jack FM Oxfordshire campaign in which

two turkeys could live or die depending on a public vote. Queen guitarist Brian May said he was "disgusted" by the stunt.

Tasha Baker

wrote on our Facebook page: "You can bet 90% of those who complained will have a turkey on their table at Xmas."

Simon Hicks

quipped: "Tell him to get stuffed... and get a haircut." But Wendy Grimsdale
said: "We all know animals are slaughtered for food but that doesn't mean we should celebrate the killing as entertainment."

'Weather bomb'

Strong winds and huge waves have affected north-western parts of the UK as a

forecast "weather bomb" arrived.

Oxfordshire will get a smaller taste of it tonight with gusts of 50mph predicted.

glasgow storm
Nicky taylor

But what exactly is a weather bomb? BBC weather's

Peter Gibbs explains.

News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Two schemes to protect the rail line in Oxford from flooding are progressing well, but not quickly enough to prevent travel disruption if there's flooding this winter.

That's from the leader of

Oxford City Council after
Network Rail announced it had carried out some of the permanent fixes planned for the line at Hinksey.

But Bob Price added that the funding was in place for the long-term work to be done.

More headlines at 11:00.

Louisa's letter

Yesterday almost half a million people read our story of the Oxford University student who got back at the school bully

who used to call her "manbeast".

Louisa Manning was asked out on a date by her tormentor when they bumped into each other 10 years later, but she stood him up, and wrote him a letter instead, giving it to a waiter to hand to him, along with a picture from her schooldays.

Letter to former bully
louisa manning

"I thought I'd send you this as a reminder," she wrote. "Next time you think of me, picture this photo, because she's the one who just stood you up."

What do you think of Louisa's actions? Would you have done the same given the opportunity?

Let us know.

On air

Liz Green

Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

On today's mid-morning programme Howard Bentham meets Oxfordshire screenwriter Matthew Faulk.

Matthew, whose credits include the 2004 adaptation of Vanity Fair starring Reece Witherspoon (pictured here arriving at the premiere), will talk about working behind the scenes in Hollywood, and what really goes on in the movie industry.

Reece Witherspoon

Plus, find out what Howard is made of - as we get the results of his DNA test.

Listen in now.

Slow on A40 eastbound

There's very slow traffic on the A40 eastbound between Witney East in Barnard Gate and Eynsham Roundabout in Cassington.

No move for Sue Ryder hospice

Henley Standard

The Sue Ryder hospice at Nettlebed

will not move to Townlands Hospital due to disagreements on "a number of key areas".