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  1. Updates from Wednesday 28 January 2015

Live Reporting

By Dave Gilyeat

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all for Local Live for Oxfordshire for today, thanks for joining us.

We'll resume updates at 08:00 tomorrow, and in the meantime you can get in touch via


Tonight's television

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today

On tonight's

South Today:

Lisa Dancer
  • A woman from Kidlington who was left disabled by her former boyfriend is calling for the justice system to be made easier for victims of domestic abuse
  • And Oxfordshire's Care Home Association says there's a huge shortfall in the funding homes receive from the council

For these stories and more watch BBC One at 18:30.

Possible sleet and snow

Alexis Green

Weather presenter, BBC South Today

Tonight will be cold, with clear spells.

The odd sleet or snow shower is a possibility with temperatures dropping to freezing in some areas.

Ice could also be an issue on untreated surfaces where we've had showers overnight.

Independent Venue Week

BBC Introducing in Oxford is teaming up with local venues to put on some very special gigs for
Independent Venue Week.

Tomorrow night's gig at the

Jericho Tavern was co-curated with Colin Greenwood from Radiohead, and features Balloon Ascents, Cassels and Cameron A G.

Meanwhile, Friday night's gig at

The Cellar was co-curated with Stornoway, and features Brian Briggs from the band performing a solo set, as well as Pixel Fix, Tremorheart and Estherjoylane.

In the meantime,

download last week's podcast to find out more about The Cellar's rich history.

Care calculator

The BBC has launched an

online guide to the care system for the over-65s

Elderly hand

Users can submit their postcode and find out how much each service costs wherever they live in the UK. The "care calculator" covers both residential care and the support provided in people's own homes, for tasks such as washing and dressing.

A34 busy

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

The A34 is busy northbound from Abingdon North to the Botley Interchange.

Train delays

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

There are delays of up to an hour on

First Great Western between Worcester Shrub Hill and Oxford due to an incident on the line.

It is open but there'll be residual delays until about 17:15.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

If you live in Oxford you can now get access to information about when you should put your bins out via an app.

Oxford City Council has launched a smartphone application that allows residents to report litter and abandoned cars, or check what planning applications have been made nearby.

I'll have more at 17:00.

Snake in the grass

A fossil discovered at a site near Kirtlington suggests snakes were learning to slither more than 167 million years ago, 70 million years earlier than previously thought.

It is not known if the small remains of Eophis underwoodi are from a juvenile or adult, but it has the sharp, backward-pointing teeth recognisable in modern day snakes.

Prehistoric snake
Julius Csotonyi/PA Wire

Lead scientist Prof Michael Caldwell, from the University of Alberta, said: "The study explores the idea that evolution within the group called 'snakes' is much more complex than previously thought.

"Importantly, there is now a significant knowledge gap to be bridged by future research as no snake fossils are known from between 140 to 100 million years ago."

'Tesco Town' no more?

Earlier we gave you the news that Bicester, once dubbed "Tesco Town" because of its large number of stores, is to lose its town centre Tesco Metro.

Martin Hepworth

tweets: just the one closing?? Will be down to single figures in Bicester soon then :-)

Do you know him?

Thames Valley Police has released a picture of a man wanted in connection with shoplifting at Sainsbury's on Oxford Road, in Kidlington.

CCTV image of man wanted in connection with shoplifting incident

Two men entered the store at 15:20 on 12 January and took a large number of bottled spirits without paying.

A spokesman said: "Anyone with information about this incident should contact investigating officer PC Rob Bull, of Bicester police station, via the 24-hour enquiry line 101."

Jake Blakeley deliberations

The jury at the

Jake Blakeley trial has yet to deliver a verdict after eight hours of deliberations.

Moments ago the judge called in the jury at Oxford Crown Court and announced he would give them one more hour to come to a decision.

Coming up

David Prever

Drivetime presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

All this week we are commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill's death.

The wartime prime minister's grave is in Bladon in West Oxfordshire, and its the constituency of the current prime minister David Cameron. We'll hear from him on tonight's show.

Winston Churchill
Getty Images

Plus, I'll be asking if we should be doing deals with Islamic State (IS) to free hostages. Jordan has said it is willing to hand over

an Iraqi woman on death row in exchange for a Jordanian pilot being held by militants.

This and more on

the drivetime show from 16:00.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Emmylou Harris and Level 42 have joined the line-up at this year's

Cropredy Festival.

They join the already announced Toyah Willcox and The Proclaimers at the event which takes place from 13 to 15 August.

More headlines at 14:00.

Back on his bike

South Oxon & Vale of White Horse police

tweets: How nice to see a stolen bike handed back to its owner #Henley #C9660

Owner receives stolen bike back from police
TVPSouth Oxon & VOWH

Power station demolition in 2016

Oxford Mail

The three remaining cooling towers at the former Didcot A power station

will be demolished in 2016, according to energy company RWE npower.

Bicester Tesco closes

Martin Eastaugh

Big Tour producer, BBC Radio Oxford

Supermarket giant Tesco has named the 43 stores it is closing across the country, and it

includes a Metro store in Bicester.


The company is currently informing workers at the affected stores, in a move that will see 2,000 staff lose their jobs.

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said the decision to close the stores was "exceptionally difficult".

The Metro store in Bicester, on Sheep Street, will close on 4 April.

Road traffic deaths rising

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

More people were killed on roads in the Thames Valley area in 2014

than in the year before.

The force said the figure rose by 21 to 78 people killed in 72 traffic collisions.

Rui Vierira/PA Wire

In Oxfordshire, 27 people died in 27 collisions.

Head of roads policing Ch Insp Henry Parsons said each fatality caused "untold misery and distress".

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Bicester is to lose one of its Tesco stores.

The supermarket chain has announced the Tesco Metro in the town centre will be one of

43 stores closing nationally.

More headlines at 15:00.

'Bit crowded'

via Facebook

Thanks for your comments on the coat of arms that retiring MP Tony Baldry has thought up as a parting gift for Cherwell.

Sue Parsons

asks: Is this to remind us what the countryside looked like before it became one massive housing estate?

Andrew Henderson

says: Surely this (if needed at all) should have been commissioned by the council and the people of Cherwell should have been consulted as to what it should represent.

Anna Williams

says: It looks nice but it's a bit crowded... I'd take the knight's helmet out and have the tree/rainbow just on top of the rivers. Also seems a bit odd to feature a motorway on something so focused on the countryside.

Oxford's role in new institute

Details have emerged of the part

Oxford University will play in the upcoming Alan Turing Institute.

Alan Turing statue

Five departments, the Mathematical Institute, Department of Computer Science, Department of Statistics, Department of Engineering Science,and the Oxford Internet Institute, will take part in the research.

Professor Ian Walmsley, the university's pro-vice-chancellor (research), said: "We look forward to working with our partners... across a diverse range of disciplines to ensure that this is translated into new commercial opportunities and innovations that benefit society as a whole."

Floods: A year on

Henley Standard

Businesses hit by flooding a year ago

are on the road to recovery.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

A jury is continuing to consider its verdict at the trial of a Didcot teenager accused of

helping his brother to bury Jayden Parkinson.

Jayden, 17, was strangled by Ben Blakeley and later buried in his uncle's grave in December 2013.

The court heard 18-year-old Jake Blakeley thought he was burying weapons, a cat and a dog.

Festival looking for bands

This year's Truck Festival, which takes place on 17 and 18 July at Hill Farm, Steventon, is now

taking applications from bands hoping to play there in the summer.

White Lies at Truck Festival

There are 20 slots on the line-up up for grabs at the event, which last year featured The Cribs, White Lies and Peace on the main stage. The deadline for applications is 27 February.

A spokesman said: "We have always prided ourselves on supporting the best up and coming artists and... it's always refreshing to hear the new talent that there is in the UK. [We] can't wait to get listening."

'Nice Tony!'

You've been tweeting your thoughts on the Coat of Arms Sir Tony Baldry has mooted for

Cherwell District Council.

coat of arms
cherwell district council

David Brimson

tweets: as long as Tony pays for it as corporate arms are pricy at the Royal College of Arms. Nice Tony!

Leonardo Loredan

tweets: excellent use of rainbow - glad that @TonyBaldry demonstrating Cherwell's commitment to gay pride.

Lunchtime TV

Laura Trant

BBC South Today


South Today this lunchtime: Dominic Isom has
appeared in court charged with murdering his partner.

Samantha Henderson, from Corfe Castle, Dorset, has been missing for a week.

We'll also have the latest on the

2.9-magnitude earthquake that caused tremors near Winchester last night.

Earthquake map

Join me at 13:30 for all the region's top stories.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

There has been a steep rise in the

number of people killed on roads in the Thames Valley.

It's been described as "exceptionally disappointing" by the head of roads policing Ch Insp Henry Parsons.

I'll have more on this and all the headlines at 12:00.

Potholes cost rises

Witney Gazette

The amount of compensation claimed by Oxfordshire drivers for pothole damage

has more than doubled in two years.

Majority direction in Jayden trial

We are still expecting a

verdict in the Jake Blakeley trial today.

Mr Blakeley, 18, denies preventing the lawful burial of Jayden Parkinson. She was strangled by his brother Ben, 22, and then buried in his uncle's grave.

Jayden Parkinson
Thames Valley Police

The jury at Oxford Crown Court has been told the judge will accept a majority verdict.

Alan Turing Institute

Oxford University is to play a large role in the forthcoming Alan Turing Institute.

Based at the

British Library, it will focus on the application of big data and algorithm research.

Alan Turing
Science Photo Library

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "

Alan Turing's genius played a pivotal role in cracking the codes that helped us win the Second World War.

"It is therefore only right that our country's top universities are chosen to lead this new institute... [It] will attract the best data scientists and mathematicians from the UK and across the globe to break new boundaries."

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

People in Oxfordshire suffering from a cardiac arrest could find themselves being given a placebo by paramedics as part of a new trial.

South Central Ambulance Service is taking part in a study which gives cardiac arrest patients either a placebo or the drug adrenaline.

I'll have more on this and all the headlines at 12:00.

No Paine, no gain

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Banbury Cricket Club have pulled off a major coup by announcing that former Australia wicket-keeper Tim Paine will be playing for them in the Home Counties Premier League this summer.

Tim Paine

Paine, who's just turned 30, has made 35 international appearances in tests, one-day and T20 competitions.

His best international score is 111 against England six years ago. He will play as Banbury's official overseas player in 2015.

M40 represented in coat of arms

The Conservative MP for Banbury, Tony Baldry, has been explaining why he commissioned a coat of arms for Cherwell.

Tony Baldry

"I thought it was rather sad. Banbury Town Council has a coat of arms, Bicester Town Council has a coat of arms, even Deddington Parish Council has its own... so I thought I should rectify that.

"The background's green to represent the Oxfordshire countryside, and flowing down the centre of the shield is a river to represent the River Cherwell, and on the other side there are two blue lines, one to represent the Oxfordshire canal, and one to represent the M40 and which highlight the fact that Cherwell is in the heart of England."

Frideswide Square 'over budget'

Oxford Times

The work to overhaul Oxford's Frideswide Square is over budget

before it has even properly started.

Eddie aims for eagles

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Oxfordshire golfer Eddie Pepperell is in the form of his life, but he's revealed it comes after a winter of inactivity.

The Frilford Heath member hasn't hit an over par round in 2015 and finished with a career best 16-under for the tournament as he took fourth place at the

Qatar Masters last weekend.

Eddie Pepperell at the Qatar Masters
European Photopress Agency

He remains in the Middle East for the

Dubai Desert Classic which starts tomorrow, keen for the consistency he's shown so far to continue.

He said: "That's something I'm pleased about because that's what you've got to try and do every time you go on the course... it bodes well moving forward."

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

A working committee of volunteers has been selected to help decide what improvements are needed to the West Way shopping centre in Botley.

An application for a large-scale overhaul of the area was unanimously rejected by the Vale of White Horse last month.

Caroline Potter, chair of

West Way Community Concern, said residents hoped to see affordable housing and a "large multi-purpose community centre, including arts facilities that the community at large can enjoy for all generations".

More headlines at 11:00.

Bladon memories

Howard Bentham

Presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

The village of Bladon was lined by 1,000 policeman to maintain the privacy of the burial of Sir Winston Churchill, and the policeman on the gate of the church that day was Donald Thompson from Woodstock.

Fifty years on Donald and I went back to St Martin's to talk about the day. You can hear what happened on today's show.

Plus Bill Giles, who is from Oxfordshire and was the former head of BBC's weather department, tells me how forecasters wrongly predicted the "historic blizzard" headed for New York.

Tune in now.

'Super authority'

Banbury Cake

Senior councillors of Oxfordshire's biggest authority have supported calls for a debate on creating

one "super authority" for the county.

Jayden trial deliberations

A jury is considering its verdict in the trial of a teenager accused of helping his brother bury his murdered ex-girlfriend.

Jayden Parkinson

Jayden Parkinson, 17, was strangled by Ben Blakeley, 22, in December 2013 and then buried in his uncle's grave.

Blakeley, from Reading, was jailed for life for her murder in July last year.

The court heard Jake Blakeley, 18, from Abbotts Road, Didcot, thought he was burying weapons, a cat and a dog. He denies preventing a lawful burial.