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Summary

  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 February 2015
  2. News, sport, weather and travel returns from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's it for BBC Local Live for today, thank you for joining us.

The service will return at 08:00 on Thursday.

Evening news

Adina Campbell

Reporter, BBC South Today

It's exactly 10 years since fox hunting with dogs was made illegal - and today there's a call for tougher sentencing for those who break the law.

Get Sinead Carroll's report and the rest of the region's news with me at

18:30 on BBC One.

Chilly evening

A chilly evening with a slight frost possible for a time, but temperatures rising later as southwesterly winds freshen and cloud increases.

Oxford weather
BBC

Staying generally dry but outbreaks of rain may reach some western parts by morning. Lows of 6C (43F).

Check the forecast where you are.

Roads latest

There is

heavy traffic and delays on the A34 northbound between Hinksey Hill Interchange in Oxford and Peartree Interchange in Wolvercote.

Council promises

BBC Radio Oxford

Council tax is set to be frozen for a fifth year in the Vale of White Horse - while people living in Oxford City will have to pay just under 2% more.

Both authorities are setting their annual budgets tonight and say they have to face reduced funding from the government.

Oxford City's promising nearly £100m to build more council housing, but it will also increase fees at leisure centres and some car parks.

Princess Anne marks milestone

Thame Market traders showed Princess Anne around the stalls as she visited to mark its 800th anniversary,

reports This Is Oxfordshire.

The Princess Royal called in at the Tuesday market in Upper High Street yesterday, where people can buy everything from asparagus to antiques.

Seeking job stats

BBC Radio Oxford

Looking into the rise of a further 72 people claiming jobseeker's allowance in our area this month, we discussed businesses that have gone under at the end of last year that could have impacted on the figures.

Marcus Ericsson's Caterham car
Getty Images

Caterham F1 and
Marussia are clear contenders. Although our sources tell us that a lot of the workers went on to find employment elsewhere, the approximately 400 jobs that were lost when the companies went bust in October and November have possibly added to the rise in people claiming the benefit in Oxfordshire.

Problems on the A40

There is

congestion on the A40 westbound between Wolvercote Roundabout and Eynsham Roundabout and on the same road in both directions around the Thornhill Park and Ride.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

For dumping a window frame in a ditch and then lying about it, a Banbury man's been ordered to pay more than £1,000.

Nasser Younis, 35, threw it away on the side of Stratford Road near Alkerton, and claimed he planned to go back for it, but forgot.

That fly-tipping story and

more at 17:00.

Conservatives say 'no' to refund

Peter Henley

Political editor, South of England

The Tories have issued a clear response to the refund request made to MP Nicola Blackwood, saying she will not be paying the money back.

A spokesman for the Conservative Party issued a statement saying: "All donations to the Conservative Party are properly and transparently declared to the electoral commission and comply fully with electoral commission rules.

"Any suggestion of impropriety by the party is malicious and defamatory and will be treated as such."

Conservative donation refund

BBC Radio Oxford

The Oxford West Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood is under pressure to pay back a £10,000 donation to her election campaign.

MP Nicola Blackwood
BBC

The money was given to her in December by a man whose company has been ordered to pay £13m in unpaid tax.

Your views needed

BBC Local Live is a new news service for Oxford. We want your feedback on the service -

so please share your thoughts with us here.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

An Oxfordshire man will appear in court next week, accused of peering over a cubicle at Thame Sports & Arts Centre to look at a woman changing.

Lafaiette Vieira, 32, has been charged with voyeurism after the incident in December.

I'll have more at 16:00.

The hunt goes on

Claire Marshall

BBC environment correspondent

We mentioned earlier about how it is 10 years since it was made a criminal offence in England and Wales to hunt down and kill a fox with a pack of hounds.

Fox hunt and hounds
(C) British Broadcasting Corporation

The Hunting Act was approved after 700 hours of Parliamentary debate and the ban provoked violent scenes between hunting enthusiasts and opponents who said the pastime was cruel.

Watch my report on how hunting, which still goes on, has changed.

Focusing on rights fight

Human Rights will be the focus of a four-day festival at

Oxford Brookes University, which starts later.

Films, talks and workshops are aimed at raising awareness of problems around the world.

Clear, cold and dry

The temperatures are steadily dropping off from now and cloud will increase from the northwest as the evening goes on.

Oxfordshire weather
BBC

It should stay clear and cold but dry. Temperatures dropping to 5C (41F).

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Women's rights, refugees and revolutions will be discussed over the next few days at

Oxford Brookes University's
Human Rights Festival.

It's aiming to raise awareness of how violations are still happening all over the world.

I'll have more at 15:00.

Council chief loss a rush job?

BBC Radio Oxford

Councillors were "bounced into" voting to get rid of Oxfordshire County Council's chief executive, according to the leader of the opposition.

Liz Brighouse says

the decision to make Joanna Simons (pictured) redundant and axe her post has been hurried.

Joanna Simons
BBC

But leader of Oxfordshire County Council Ian Hudspeth says it's a considered move and no-one will get a pay rise when the chief executive's tasks are divided.

Town crier cries 'sorry'

BBC Radio Oxford

An Oxfordshire town crier

said he had been "very stupid" after admitting he invented a career in the armed forces.

Anthony Church, 63, had claimed he was a "regimental sergeant major".

Anthony Church
BBC

Allegations he had fabricated his military career surfaced on the internet on Sunday.

Listen again to his public apology on BBC Radio Oxford.

Being proactive against exploitation

Insp Katrina Hibbert, of Banbury police station, said: "Our hope is that Hotel Watch will deter and prevent child sexual exploitation that may be occurring now.

"Rather than dealing with the aftermath, we want people being proactive and out there now to prevent these offences happening."

Hotel Watch launched

A scheme to tackle child exploitation

has been launched in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire.

Hotel Watch aims to improve the links between police and hoteliers so information can be shared. Eleven hoteliers attended the first meeting in Banbury last night.

It comes in the wake of Operation Bullfinch, which uncovered the sexual abuse of young girls, including some at an Oxfordshire guest house.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

On the 10th anniversary of the Hunting Act a campaigner for the legislation has told BBC Radio Oxford it is working.

It follows anti-hunt activists in Oxfordshire calling for a recklessness clause to be added - meaning the accidental killing of foxes by dogs following an artificial scent could lead to prosecutions.

That story and more

with me at 14:00.

Coming up

BBC South Today

Join Tom Hepworth for the latest on Brian the horse and all the region's news and weather on

BBC One at 13:30.

Pair rebailed over stabbing

Oxford Mail

A man and woman arrested

after another man was stabbed in a Bicester alleyway have been rebailed.

A 27-year-old man was stabbed in the leg in the alleyway near Sheep Street on Wednesday, December 19.

News on the hour

Alex Dibble

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in Oxfordshire last month was the third lowest since records began in 1983.

Figures show 2,941 were receiving the benefit in January, which was a rise of 72 compared with December, when the figure was at its very lowest level.

That story and more

with me at 13:00.

Striker goes on loan

Yesterday it was announced that Torquay United have signed Oxford United striker John Campbell

on loan until the end of the season.

John Campbell
Empics

The 26-year-old moved to the Kassam Stadium in November, having impressed on trial after scoring 24 goals in 19 games for Jarrow Roofing in the Northern League Division One.

Council cuts: Your views

via Facebook

Responding to our post about

Oxfordshire County Council approving a further £20m worth of cuts to services, you have been sharing your views:

Darren Grant

said: Oh I see, got the money to give councillors pay rises and yet they don't have the money to provide the services that the council tax is there for. It is outrageous that they get so well rewarded for failure.

Hunting Act: 10 years on

BBC Radio Oxford

Ten years to the day that the Hunting Act was passed, Oxfordshire hunt supporters say the law's failing.

Patrick Martin, the huntsman for Bicester and Whaddon Chase, says it's worse for foxes now than before the ban.

Tom Quinn, from the

League Against Cruel Sports, disagrees saying: "Of course it's worked, you've now got more foxes, more hares, more stags being protected - not being chased to exhaustion and ripped apart by hounds."

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The killing of foxes with dogs will only be stopped when the Hunting Act is strengthened to penalise accidental attacks.

That's the claim from anti-hunt campaigners in Oxfordshire - on the 10th anniversary of the law being passed.

That story and more

with me at 12:00.

M40 crash victim named

The man who died on the M40 crash at the weekend

has been named as 64-year-old Robert Pilott from Woking, Surrey.

Traffic on the M40 at junction 9 following the crash
Zara Smith

A full inquest will be held at a later date at Oxford Coroners' Court.

More than 30 cars were involved in the incident, which Thames Valley Police are investigating. Fog is thought to have played a part in the accident.

'Switching not enough'

BBC Business

Energy minister Ed Davey says if the

competition authority finds any energy firms abusing their market power, one course of action could be to split them up. "If there needs to be any further action I certainly wouldn't shrink from breaking an energy company up," he told the Radio 4 Today programme.

Dieter Helm, Professor of Energy Policy at Oxford University, says: "Switching is never going to be enough. What is needed is a simple, transparent default tariff, indexed to the wholesale price, with a published fair margin, to protect the vulnerable and those who remain loyal to their suppliers."

Brian fails trials

A horse named Brian - who sparked "public outrage" when the police revealed his name might be changed if he passed the training,

has failed the trial.

Brian at stables
BBC

Thames Valley Police said Brian would have a more "god-like name" like Hercules or Thor if he became part of the mounted section, but later reconsidered.

Now Brian has failed to make it through the testing, the six-year-old will be returned to his owners.

More on jobseeker's allowance

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The number of people claiming the benefit is up 72 on the figure for December 2014.

Despite this - the quarterly figure shows a falling trend.

The percentage of claimants to residents in Oxfordshire is still better than the national average, sitting at 0.7% compared to 2% across the country.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in Oxfordshire rose last month to 2,941.

Get the full story

with me at 11:00.

Feedback

We've introduced BBC Local Live, which is written by reporters across Oxfordshire, to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place.

Tell us what you think.

Landslip line should reopen by Easter

BBC Radio Oxford

Reopening the Chiltern railway line between Leamington Spa and Banbury "will cost millions of pounds" according to Network Rail,

which has promised to get the job done by Easter.

Landslip
Network rail

The section had to be closed because of a huge landslip at the end of January.

Flood alert

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for the waterway between Marsworth and Dorchester.

Recent rainfall's led river levels to steadily rise - the wettest place is likely to be near Thame Bridge.

No homes are expected to be affected.

News on the hour

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Women's rights, refugees and revolutions will be discussed over the next few days at Oxford Brookes University's Human Rights Festival.

Get the full story

with me at 10:00.

A40 still busy

BBC Travel

BBC Travel

The A40 is

still suffering some congestion this morning around the Thornhill Park and Ride. Other than that, the roads look pretty clear.

Firefighters damping down

Clare Woodling

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

We have been told that one fire crew remains at the scene in Minster Lovell damping down.