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  1. Updates from Thursday 12 February 2015

Live Reporting

By Andrew Humphrey

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it for BBC Local Live for today, the service will return on Friday at 08:00.

Evening TV

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today


South Today this evening: The Leader of the Green Party has been in Oxford today to discuss health policy.


Natalie Bennett met the Green candidate for Oxford East, Ann Duncan, and transplant surgeon Abul Siddiky to talk about plans to reverse what they see as an increasing privatisation of the NHS.

Join me for that and more at


Turning wet

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

A lot of cloud about this evening and starting off dry, but showers will work their way in overnight,

with the risk of hail.

Bee Tucker

The wind will start to pick up as well and we'll have lows of 2C (36F) in towns and cities.

Full-back's full-on start

Jerome Sale

Sports editor, BBC Radio Oxford

New U's

signing George Baldock could face a baptism of fire with an away trip to Burton Albion, who are second in League Two.

George Baldock

He said: "I know they've got some good players and obviously they are at the top of the table with good home form so it's going to be tough, but what better way to get your teeth into things."

Butterflies wing it to Blenheim

BBC Radio Oxford

Butterflies have been released into the butterfly house at Blenheim Palace this morning.

Butterfly house at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

The delivery of 200 butterflies included both native and tropical species.

The head gardener at Blenheim, Hilary Wood, said they make quite a spectacle.

She told BBC Radio Oxford: "They are a special delivery to start the season off, it is a very spectacular scene to open this cardboard box and they all fly off."

Banbury sofa blaze

Banbury Guardian

Banbury firefighters made their

second live rescue in less than three weeks after a house fire at The Camellias last Wednesday.

Oxford fuelling driverless cars

A group of scientists from Oxford will be playing a key role in

developing driverless cars.

Lutz Pathfinder pod
Transport Systems Catapult

The government has given the go-ahead to tests of robotic vehicles on Britain's roads with three schemes trialled in four areas of the UK.

Prof Paul Newman, from the

Oxford Mobile Robotics Group at Oxford University, told BBC Radio Oxford that parking sensors are a taste of things to come.

He said: "It's connected to that technology, because that small scale autonomy, that is the vehicle doing something on your behalf. And at the far end of that scale comes 100% autonomy where you press a button and the car drives you to where you want."

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

A former Stoke Mandeville children's doctor used his position for his own sexual gratification, according to the judge that sentenced him today.

I'll have the full story at


Fire engine death 'was accident'

Katharine Da Costa

Reporter, BBC South Today

The death of Sultan Begum, who was knocked down by a fire engine responding to an emergency call in Oxford, was an accident, a coroner has ruled.

Fire engine death scene

The 79-year-old was killed on 16 May last year.

Council 'drags its feet'

Oxfordshire County Council has "really really dragged its feet" with things that benefit local schools, the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has said.

Nick Clegg

Mr Clegg was launching the

Liberal Democrats' election campaign at a primary School in Oxford and was asked about the length of time it has taken to fix a boiler at Rose Hill Primary School.

Mr Clegg told the BBC that: "This government is helping twice as many schools in refurbishing and rebuilding than was the case under the previous government."

Christmas rail chaos

Rebecca Cafe

BBC News

More than 115,000 rail passengers, including many in the Thames Valley, were caught in "widespread confusion and frustration" when

Christmas engineering work by Network Rail overran.

Finsbury Park station chaos
Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

That's the verdict from a report by the Office of Rail Regulation which said the delay led to "unacceptable" service levels.

The late-finishing work saw King's Cross Station closed on 27 December and Paddington shut for part of the day.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Nick Clegg has launched the Liberal Democrat election campaign at Botley Primary School, promising to protect education spending.

I'll have more on that at


Winter on the wane

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Becca Collacott sent in this picture of a winter sun in Abingdon, perhaps one of the last few before the stronger spring sun appears!

Sun and trees
Becca Collacott

If you have a photo from the county, we'd love to see and share it on

Local Live.

United sign MK Dons full-back

Jerome Sale

Sports editor, BBC Radio Oxford

Another day, another signing for Oxford United.

George Baldock

They have brought in MK Dons right-back

George Baldock on loan until the end of the season.

Michael Appleton described him as one of his most exciting signings of a busy season so far in the transfer market.

Baldock told

BBC Radio Oxford: "I'm delighted to be here. I can't wait to start."

Witney sewage

Thames Water says a sewer has become blocked, forcing sewage out of a manhole on Witney's High Street.

The Co-op and several other shops have had to close after they were affected.

The water company said: "Our engineers are assessing the situation now, talking to customers and checking the sewer pipe. We'll be doing our best to get the area back to normal, as fast as possible."

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Staff at a convenience store in Abingdon have been threatened by a robber who ran off empty handed last night.

Join me at

15:00 for all the headlines.

'Part of our town'

BBC Radio Oxford


sale of the top floors of Pettits department store in Wallingford has been welcomed by the town's mayor, as long as it secures the future of the shop.

St Mary's Street, Wallingford. 1905

Jane Tichener told

BBC Radio Oxford: "Pettits is a very iconic store at the heart of our town."

She added: "It's very sad that the store has to downsize, but securing it for the future is more important."

Colourful High Street

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Today's banner image brings a splash of colour, with Oxford's high street shops and buildings captured by Allan MacIver.

Oxford High Street
Allan MacIver

You can see more of his pictures of Oxfordshire on

flickr, and why not send in your pictures to
Local Live?

Witney 'sewerage' problem

Witney Gazette

Flooding hit buildings in High Street, Witney, today.

Freelance photographer Mark Hemsworth said he saw two Thames Water trucks using hoses to clear drains at noon.

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

David Cameron has announced that trains through Banbury and Bicester are to get free wifi on board.

I'll have more details at


Lunchtime TV

BBC South Today


South Today this lunchtime: The rail regulator says the industry must consider the impact on passengers when planning engineering work.

Rail delays

There was widespread disruption for passengers over Christmas in the Thames Valley when work overran.

Join Tom Hepworth at


'Dracula in charge of the blood bank'


influence of scientists advising government on the sugar industry, including an Oxford academic, is like putting "Dracula in charge of the blood bank", campaigners say.

Christopher Lee as Dracula
Warner Home Video

Prof Simon Capewell, from the University of Liverpool and an adviser for the group Action on Sugar, told the BBC that there would be an "inherent conflict of interest" between profits and public health.

A BMJ report claimed that there was a "network of relationships between key public health experts and the sugar industry", and the editor-in-chief Fiona Godlee said "these sorts of links create bias".

News on the hour

Phil Mercer

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Rail passengers from Banbury and Bicester will be able to access free wi-fi on trains run by four major operators by 2017.

I'll have all the details at


Sisters complete Thames Trot

Henley Standard

Two sisters from Henley took part in a

50-mile ultra-run that finished in the town on Saturday.

'Dedication and loyalty'

BBC Radio Oxford

The staff of Wallingford department store Pettits,

which is downsizing to stay afloat, have been fantastic, according to the store's manager.

Pettits on St Mary's Street
Rose and trev clough

The shop, which opened in 1856, is one of the oldest in the town but financial losses have forced the family business to sell its top floors to developers.

Manager Kevin Willis told

BBC Radio Oxford: "There's a lot of sadness and disappointment, and a lot of them have been here a long time, but their attitude and dedication and loyalty in the last four weeks has been fantastic."

Muslim pupils study

Howard Bentham

Presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

A new study by a lecturer at the University of Oxford has

revealed some very interesting insights into our country's Islamic population.

Dr Sundas Ali

Dr Sundas Ali found that while less than half of British Muslims were born in the UK, 73% identified themselves as British.

The number of Muslim children attending schools in England and Wales has almost doubled since 2001, and the number of pupils leaving without qualifications had fallen.

You can hear Dr Ali talking about her findings with me at


News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

A former children's doctor at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for abusing girls.

I'll have all the details at


'Not good enough'

BBC Radio Oxford

Oxfordshire County Council's response to a broken boiler at Rose Hill School, which has led to pupils receiving lessons in cold classrooms, has not been good enough, the man responsible has said.


Councillor Nick Carter oversees the council's property as part of his responsibilities.


told Phil Gayle: "It isn't an acceptable situation, if one of my children was at the school I would be just as furious as all the other parents. I can promise the situation will be fixed by the time they come back after half-term."

Indecent assaults doctor jailed

Adina Campbell

Reporter, BBC South Today

Former doctor Michael Salmon has been

jailed for 18 years after being found guilty last Friday of indecently assaulting girls at a hospital where Jimmy Savile abused patients.

Michael Salmon arriving at Reading Crown Court in January

The 80-year-old was convicted of nine indecent assaults and two rapes carried out against six girls between 1973 and 1988 at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Police said more women had contacted them with allegations against Salmon since the start of the trial.

The former doctor, of Salisbury in Wiltshire, was struck off the medical register in 1991.

News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Planned changes to adult social care in Oxfordshire have been defended by the county council after older carers complained they'll be left unable to care for their vulnerable adult children.

Join me for more on that at


How fast?

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Thames Valley Police has revealed the fastest drivers caught by its speed cameras last year.

Speed camera graphic

Briton joins fight against IS

Sky News

A former public schoolboy from Oxford, who has joined the fight against Islamic State militants, has told Sky News

he is prepared to die for the cause.

Toilet block fire death

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Mystery surrounds the death of a man who was

killed in a fire in a public toilet block in Oxfordshire.

Southampton Street, Faringdon - car park and WC

Jonathan Mills, 49, from Oxford, died in the blaze in Southampton Street, Faringdon, on Monday afternoon.

Post-mortem tests proved inconclusive and the death remains unexplained.

Police said members of the public were reported as having tried in vain to free Mr Mills from the burning toilet block, and officers are keen to speak to them and any other witnesses.

News on the hour

Sue Kinnear

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Staff and pupils face another cold day at Rose Hill Primary School in Oxford as engineers continue to attempt to fix a boiler.

Join me for more on that and the other headlines at


'Carers' needs will be met'

BBC Radio Oxford

Carers who look after their vulnerable adult children will not be adversely affected by £8.6m of cuts to the adult social care system, according to Oxfordshire County Council.

Holding hands
Science Photo Library

Councillor Judith Heathcoat

told Phil Gayle the needs of the individual and their carers will be taken into consideration.

She said: "I don't believe there will be ill affects, but the whole of the county council is going through unprecedented pressure on our budget and we need to look at how we provide services."