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  1. Updates from Wednesday 8 April 2015

Live Reporting

By Dave Gilyeat

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all from BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire today.

The service resumes tomorrow at 08:00. In the meantime you can get in touch with the team

via email.

Tonight's television

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today

On tonight's BBC South Today in Oxford, we look at the London School of Economics report that says thousands of people are missing out on the right care and support they need

towards the end of their lives.

We look at how it may affect people in south Oxfordshire, where nearly 3% of the population are over 85.

Palliative care

Plus the rail union RMT is to ballot its members over the

introduction of new trains by First Great Western.

More on

BBC One at 18:30.

'Dry and clear'

Tonight will be dry with clear spells, and with light winds it could turn quite chilly particularly in the countryside, where we may have one or two mist and fog patches.

Temperatures overnight will drop to around 3C (37F).

Palace in the Spring

A host of daffodils have come out in front of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.

Daffodils at Blenheim Palace
Blenheim palace

Have you got a picture you'd like to share of any of Oxfordshire's sights in the springtime?

Feel free to share them with us.

Emergency gas repairs

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

In Moulsford there are temporary traffic lights for emergency gas repairs on the A329 Reading Road in both directions at Halfpenny Lane. The works are not due to be completed before Thursday.

The A420 is closed westbound between the Botley Interchange roundabout and the B4017 Abingdon Road junction.

Traffic's diverting using the A34, A4183 and B4017.

Driver boards wrong train

Stephen Stafford

BBC News Online

A rail company has apologised after a train crew boarded the wrong train and

took passengers back in the direction they had come from.

First Great Western logo

The First Great Western (FGW) driver and train manager boarded the Paddington to Swansea train at Banbury, instead of the London-bound service.

FGW confirmed they soon realised their mistake and returned to Banbury as it was "the simplest thing to do".

The mix-up, on Monday evening, caused knock-on delays to other services.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

An Oxfordshire charity has launched a photo competition and wants your images of the natural world.


Open Spaces Society in Henley is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

I'll have more details at 17:00.

Signalling problems

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

There's some disruption on First Great Western trains between London Paddington and Slough due to a signalling problem at Southall.

Being 'blue light aware'

South Central Ambulance Service has posted a
video giving motorists advice on what to do when an emergency vehicle is making a "blue light" journey.

Eyes in rearview mirror

A spokesman said: "Too many members of the public are putting themselves in danger, breaking the law or risking damage to their cars while trying to assist an emergency vehicle on a 'blue light' run."

The Blue Light Aware video aims to reduce the confusion, so drivers know what manoeuvres to make - if any - when an emergency vehicle approaches them on the road.

Like a standing stone

The Ardington stone circle and sundial may prove a nice place to visit whilst this pleasant weather continues.

Ardington stones
keith wilkinson

Keith Wilkinson sent in this picture. Have you snapped any views of the county?

Send them in.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

A new hydroelectric scheme generating electricity on the River Thames in Oxford is now fully operational.

It's hoped the plant at Osney Lock, near the Botley Road, will generate enough power for 60 homes.

I'll have more at 16:00.

Charity receives £300,000 grants

Banbury Guardian

Banbury-based Adoption UK has been awarded two government grants totalling £300,000

to support its life-changing work.

Sunrise in Little Baldon

David Bainbridge has sent us this atmospheric picture of the sun rising in Little Baldon.

Sunrise in Little Baldon
david bainbridge

Have you got a picture you'd like to share with Local Live?

Send it our way.

'Exciting and achievable'

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Oxford United are a club capable of reaching the Championship in the near future, according to midfielder Michael Collins.

The U's management are already working on their summer recruitment targets and have shown current players the plans for the club over the next few years.

Collins told BBC Radio Oxford that he was impressed and believes united's ambitions are exciting and achievable.

"There's not many teams in the division that will have the ambition that this club have," he said.

Abingdon faces

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

A photographer has decided to create a mural out of the faces of 2,000 Abingdon residents.

When completed in six months, Martin Wackenier's work will morph into a picture of the town's market square.

Collage of Abingdonians
Martin Wackenier

Martin's first session saw more than 70 Abingdonians come out to have their photo taken but he is still looking for volunteers.

The next session will be on 2 May in the market square from 10:00.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Sales of the Oxford-made Mini have increased by 60% in the past year.

March saw the highest monthly sales since the brand launched in 2001.

I'll have more at 15:00.

Jurassic spark

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Oxford palaeontologist Dr Roger Benson has been telling us about the

decision to bring the Brontosaurus name back from extinction.

Dr Roger Benson with Brontosaurus

The giant dinosaur had gone the same way as Pluto and was erased from our text books and replaced with the Apatosaurus.

"Brontosaurus has a wider, slightly flatter neck whereas Apatosaurus has a higher, slightly narrower neck," he explained. "I think it's likely that Brontosaurus' neck went up and down more."

He added: "We didn't expect to find this result but I'm quite excited on a personal level because I think everyone has some connection with Brontosaurus. It's a dinosaur we all love."

Here be dragons

Oxford Times

A dragon-like excavator took on the concrete mass of the Westgate Centre car park,

as its demolition continued yesterday.

Union in dispute over train jobs

Indy Almroth-Wright

BBC Online

The RMT union has declared a dispute over First Great Western's plans to axe guards and buffet cars

on the new Hitachi Inter City Express trains.

The union said it was taking action to retain a guard on every train, "not a diluted customer service role" and full buffet car facilities.

An artist's impression of the new high-speed trains

First Great Western denied claims that jobs would be lost but said having drivers operating the doors using in-cab CCTV was safer and quicker.

The new trains are being introduced under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) on routes between London Paddington and Oxford, Bristol and South Wales.

Feathered friend

Keith Wilkinson in Abingdon has sent in this picture of a

blue tit clinging on to a branch.

Blue tit
keith wilkinson

Have you got any pictures of Oxfordshire's wildlife you'd like to share?

Email us.

Lunchtime TV

BBC South Today


BBC South Today at 13:30, the luxury conversion of a former hospital is nearly complete despite a vigorous campaign to stop it.

The King Edward VII Hospital near Midhurst closed nearly a decade ago.

King Edward VII Hospital restoration

The first phase of the restoration is finished but protesters still oppose the rest of the development.

Eco-town apprentices announced

The 6,000 homes planned for Bicester's eco-town will be partly built by local apprentices, Cherwell District Council has said.

An artist's impression of how North West Bicester might look

The authority has been awarded a £50,000 grant from the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership to set up at least 300 apprentices for the project.

Karen Curtin, Cherwell's commercial director (Bicester), said: "By involving apprentices we will be able to provide essential on-the-job training and educational opportunities to hundreds of local people and subsequently enhance their future employment prospects upon completion."

Accident recovery

There is still a lane closure in place on the M40 northbound between junction 8a (Oxford) and junction 9 (Bicester) because of an accident and recovery work.

News on the hour

Lucy Bickerton

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

Plans to use new powers to outlaw some activities in Oxford city centre will help improve the quality of life.

That's according to council leader Bob Price after nearly 1,000 people signed a petition opposing the so-called public spaces protection order.

More headlines at 13:00.

Morning swim

Hinksey Outdoor Pool has
tweeted this picture of BBC Radio Oxford presenter Phil Mercer on location this morning.

Phil Mercer at Hinksey Outdoor Pool
Hinksey outdoor pool

I wonder if he was tempted to have a dip?

Brackley still in danger zone

Robyn Cowen

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Brackley Town remain in the

Conference North relegation zone after they drew 1-1 at Worcester City last night.

They took an early lead but conceded a stoppage-time equaliser. They're now a point from safety with three games left.

Find your voice

Oxfordshire's libraries are celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta by giving youngsters the chance to debate with politicians at the Houses of Parliament.

Magna Carta
Getty Images

Oxfordshire County Council successfully bid for £96,000 from Arts Council England to help fund

Find Your Voice, a project which will see 13-to-21-year-olds write, design exhibitions and make music, films and dance.

Participants will also get to visit the Bodleian's new Weston Library to see the 1217 Magna Carta in the flesh.

Jillian Southwell, head of the library service, said: "We hope this will be a new way of attracting young people into libraries."

Hydro goes live

Osney Lock Hydro is due to go into operation today.

The small hydroelectric plant on the River Thames will constantly monitor water levels and flows and make the data available to lock keepers.

Design for Osney hydro plant

Director Barbara Hammond called its telemetry system a "first for the whole country".

Barry Russell, Environment Agency area flood defence manager, said: "We hope to be able to roll this out to other locks on the Thames where there are hydro schemes, so the hard work done here should benefit many others over very many years to come."

Castle trips

Banbury Cake

Garden lovers will get the chance to visit a castle's grand grounds, along with more humble plots,

and raise funds for an Oxfordshire hospice.

'Cheapskates' try politics

Sue Paz

BBC News

A couple who completed a World Cup sticker album with their own drawings of players have turned their hands to politics -

sketching party leaders ahead of May's election.

David Cameron drawing
Panini Cheapskates/PA

Dubbed the "Panini Cheapskates", Alex and Sian Pratchett, from Oxford,

created all 639 stickers of the World Cup Panini album last year.

Mr Pratchett said their latest project was inspired by

ITV's Leaders' Debate. He admitted the couple's artistic talents had not improved.

News on the hour

Paul Jenner

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

The operators of Whitchurch Bridge

have applied to put up their toll charges.

They say the extra revenue is needed to pay for a recent £6m reconstruction project but residents have called the 40p to 60p increase "outrageous".

I'll have more at 11:00.

Accident on M40

There's been an accident on the M40 northbound, with a lane closed between junctions 8a and 9.

Bridge toll increase 'greedy'

Indy Almroth-Wright

BBC Online

A bridge operator has been branded "greedy"

over plans to increase toll charges by 50%.

Whitchurch Bridge

The operators of Whitchurch Bridge, between Oxfordshire and Berkshire, have applied to increase charges from 40p to 60p.

Residents and campaigners have objected to the increase and have called for the bridge over the River Thames to be taken over by a local council.

The Secretary of State will decide whether to approve the rise next month.

Planning meeting

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Today's planning meeting between the TV, radio and online teams included the words "Jurassic", "bugs", "dire", "fluid", "election" and "quacks".

Squirrel painting on BBC Oxford wall

But as none of the producers present fancied being photographed this morning, here's a nice picture of a red squirrel that adorns the wall of our meeting room instead.

Clarkson back on BBC

Tim Masters

Entertainment correspondent

Jeremy Clarkson is set to

make his first appearance on the BBC since losing his job as co-presenter on Top Gear.

Jeremy Clarkson on HIGNFY

The controversial broadcaster, who lives in Chipping Norton, will appear as the guest host of Have I Got News for You on 24 April.

"Jeremy's contract has not been renewed on Top Gear but he isn't banned from appearing on the BBC," a BBC spokesman said.

Clarkson has hosted the satirical news quiz on numerous occasions.

News on the hour

Paul Jenner

Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

It's claimed more needs to be done to help tackle loneliness in Oxfordshire.


Campaign to End Loneliness is calling for maps to be drawn up to help charities and public services find and support those most at risk.

I'll have more at 10:00.

Train delays

Sara Dumbell

Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

First Great Western is reporting signalling problems between Hayes & Harlington and Ealing Broadway which is causing some delays on our Paddington trains.