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  1. Updates on Wednesday 30 March 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Hannah Bewley

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our news coverage through the day.

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

That's all from BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire this Wednesday. We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow. Join us then.

Latest headlines: Safety of motorway questioned

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

The top stories this evening:

  • Thames Valley Police has been called to deal with problems at children's homes more than 600 times in three years
  • A man suffered head injuries after being attacked in Oxford by four men on Friday night
  • Labour county councillor Mark Cherry says he's concerned by the number of accidents - as well as the number of tailbacks - on the M40

Weather: Clear but cold night ahead

Remaining showers should die away to leave a mostly dry night with clear spells. Frost is possible in some rural areas by dawn.


South Today tonight: Early years development

South Today

Geraldine Peers presents South Today tonight with more about academics in Oxford warning that a failure to properly stimulate the minds of toddlers could set them back for life. 

View more on twitter

Also, find out if researchers think you are getting enough sleep. 

All this and more on BBC One at 18:30.  

Oxford United's road to Wembley - Southern quarter-final v Dagenham & Redbridge

Oxford United secured a comfortable win in the southern area quarter-final at Dagenham & Redbridge - thanks to goals from Pat Hoban and Alex MacDonald.

Pat Hoban and Alex MacDonald give the U's a comfortable win at Dagenham and Redbridge

The November win set up a regional semi-final showdown with Yeovil Town... and we'll bring you memories of that match tomorrow.

You can relive the 2-0 win against Swindon in the previous round here.

Allotment holders breath a sigh of relief in Didcot - for now

Oxford Mail

Allotments holders are breathing a sigh of relief after Didcot councillors promised to safeguard the five sites in the town.

Safety of M40 questioned by councillor

BBC Radio Oxford

The safety of the M40 will be discussed by councillors in Oxfordshire next week. 

Labour county councillor Mark Cherry says he's concerned by the number of accidents - as well as the number of tailbacks. 

Mark Cherry
Banbury Labour Party

You have got to do something to relieve the pressure. It is not safe enough as it is.

Mark CherryLabour county councillor

Travel latest: Avoid Botley Road due to long delays

BBC Travel

There's very slow traffic on the A420 Botley Road out of town in Oxford at Oxford station mini roundabout. Congestion is building back on A4144 Beaumont Street to the A4165 St Giles' junction.

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Spring is coming in Wallingford

Police called to children's homes 600 times in three years

Thames Valley Police has been called to deal with problems at children's homes more than 600 times in three years. 

The data has been released by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which says the figures show young people living in care are being criminalised at "excessively high rates". 

Francis Crook, the Chief Executive of the Howard League, said she thinks it's down to the children's homes.

No tickets left for Oxford United's Wembley showdown

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Oxford United have no further tickets for Wembley on sale at the Kassam Stadium after the club sold the allocation sent to the club, except single tickets. 

Wembley Stadium

The total number of U's fans attending the JPT final on Sunday is now more than 33,000. 

The club are hoping more tickets will be on sale to United fans at Wembley on the day and will make an announcement over any further availability at midday tomorrow.

Flywheel Festival returns to Bicester

The Flywheel Festival is returning to Bicester Heritage on 2 and 3 July. 

The event, now in its second year, will feature classic cars and bikes on show, with historic road and racing cars in action on the demonstration track.

Intensive noise problem at intensive care researched

Researchers have been trying to solve the problem of the loud ambient noise in intensive care units. 

Intensive Care Unit

Although they are shown on television programmes as quiet places, the team from Oxford University said they are more similar to a busy restaurant in terms of noise. 

Duncan Young from Oxford’s Kadoorie Centre for Critical Care Research and Education said: "High levels of noise make it harder to sleep, sleep deprivation leads to confusion, and confusion is thought to complicate the healing process and slow recovery."

The research is being used by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to help make changes to reduce the noise levels in its units.

Latest headlines: Police called 600 times in three years to children's homes

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

The top stories so far today:

Directors of beleaguered power plant scheme say there is still a ray of hope

Witney Gazette

Two directors of Abingdon's beleaguered hydro power plant scheme have revealed they are in talks with a company which believes the project could still go ahead.

Oxford United get dressed for success with new clothes for Wembley

Oxford United's players have been preparing for their big day at Wembley in the most traditional way - getting kitted out in new suits.

Players are fitted with new suits for Sunday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy final

The team headed to a city centre tailor, and hope their look will be as sharp and dazzling as their performance in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on Sunday.

Fiver for unlimited swimming in south Oxfordshire

People living in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse are being offered a month's unlimited swimming at Better leisure centres for £5. 

The offer is open to residents at the Abbey Sports Centre in Berinsfield, Didcot Wave, Faringdon Leisure Centre, Henley Leisure Centre, Thame Leisure Centre, Wantage Leisure Centre and at the White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre in Abingdon.  

Register for the offer which is available from 1 April to 31 May. 

Banbury office block to become council housing

Roz Tappenden

BBC South

A 1980s office block in Oxfordshire that has been empty for several years is to be turned into council housing.

Banbury offices

Cherwell District Council has entered into a long-term lease on Town Centre House in Southam Road, Banbury, which will be converted into 39 one- and two-bedroom flats.

Series filmed in Oxfordshire gets Bafta nod

Wolf Hall, parts of which were filmed in Chastleton House in Oxfordshire, has been nominated for a Bafta award. 

Wolf Hall filming

The historical drama has picked up four nominations, including best drama series. 

According to the National Trust website, the stone courtyard at the house near Moreton-in-Marsh was used as the location for dramatic scenes from Cromwell’s childhood while interiors were used for Wolf Hall itself, the Seymour family seat.  

Best and worst GP surgeries as rated by patients

Banbury Cake

Patients have passed judgement on the county’s GP practices rating the best and worst for waiting times, appointments and quality.

CCTV images released after purse theft

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Police want to speak to two women after a purse was stolen from a woman's handbag in WH Smiths, Castle Quay, Banbury between 13:30 and 14:00 on Thursday. 

WH Smiths

Oxford United's road to Wembley - Round 2 v Swindon Town

Each day this week we are looking back at Oxford United's road to Wembley, as they prepare for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Barnsley.

Two goals from Kemar Roofe against old enemy Swindon kick off cup run

In round two, a brace from Kemar Roofe kicked off United's cup run in fine style, defeating old rivals Swindon Town at the Kassam Stadium.

Check back throughout the week as we plot the U's path to Sunday's final.

Lunchtime weather: Showers to come later

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

The day started dry with hazy sunny spells but there will be showers moving in later.


Hail and thunder are possible in the heaviest showers.

You can get more details on the BBC weather site.

Sport headlines: Loan extension for right-back

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Oxford Utd have confirmed the loan extension for right-back Jonjoe Kenny from Everton until the end of the season
  • Oxford City will bid to regain their place in the National League South playoff places tonight as they play Truro City 
  • In the Southern League, North Leigh are at home to Marlow in their rearranged fixture in Division One South and West. 

Lunchtime headlines: Kidlington plan 'long overdue'

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

The top stories in Oxfordshire this lunchtime:

  • A new plan - expected to shape the identity of Kidlington over the next 15 years - is long overdue, according to a councillor
  • Labour county councillor Mark Cherry says he doesn't think the M40 is safe
  • Thames Valley Police were called to attend problems at children's homes more than 600 times in just three years

Man kicked and hit in robbery

Police in Oxford are appealing for information after a 28-year-old man was hit and kicked by a gang of four men. 

At 03:30 on Friday four men approached the victim at the junction of Woodstock Road and Clarendon Street and stole his money and iPhone. 

He was taken to John Radcliffe Hospital with bruises and swelling on his head but has since been discharged.  

Two of the men were white and two were black, all are thought to be in their 20s.

'We shouldn't have gone on the raid that night'

Rahil Sheikh

BBC News Oxford

We've been hearing from Nuremberg raid veterans this morning on BBC Radio Oxford, on the anniversary of the fateful night.

We realised things weren't going to plan when we crossed closer as we had no cover whatsoever. They said we would have cloud above and below. But we had nothing. It was just broad moonlight. A big machine like ours, you could see it from miles away. Our advice was to not send us up that night. I don't think we should have gone that night at all.

Anthony MonkVeteran of Bomber Command

Academics warning about early years stimulation

BBC Radio Oxford

Academics in Oxford are warning that a failure to properly stimulate the minds of toddlers during their nursery years could set them back decades.

Nursery school

They're suggesting every nursery in England should employ a qualified early years teacher. 

Save the Children and Oxford scientists worked on the Lighting Up Young Brains study. 

Ministers say they are making major investments in the sector, working with the profession to improve its status.

Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire named in top 20 most visited world heritage sites

Oxford Mail

Blenheim Palace has been named in the top 20 most visited world heritage sites, a new poll has revealed.

Mother accused of murdering child in court

A mother accused of murdering her 20-month-old child has appeared in court. 

Angela Whitmore
Thames Valley Police

Angela Whitworth was arrested in Uganda on 9 March and is charged with the murder of Sarah Dahane.  

The child was found dead on 16 May 2013 in Bicester after the family raised concerns about her welfare to police.

Angela Whitworth was remanded in custody at Oxford Crown court. She has not yet entered a plea. 

Loan extended for Jonjoe Kenny at Oxford United

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Oxford United have extended the loan of right-back Jonjoe Kenny from Everton until the end of the season.

Jonjoe Kenny
Rex Features

Jonjoe, 19, has been a regular in the U’s back four since signing in January and will return to the squad for Sunday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley against Barnsley after missing the Easter games to join up with the England under-20 squad.  

He has done really well for us and is enjoying his football. He is highly thought of at Goodison and has a big future, and we are happy to have him here until the end of the season.

Michael AppletonOxford United head coach

Ancient fossil was 'nearly a spider'

Jonathan Webb

Science reporter, BBC News

Scientists say a 305 million-year-old fossil is the closest relative to "true spiders" ever discovered - but is not itself a spider.

Spider fossil
Garwood et al 2016/MNHM, Paris

The specimen was dug up decades ago in France but never identified, because its front half was encased in rock.

Now, researchers have made a detailed reconstruction using CT scans.

It has been christened Idmonarachne brasieri to commemorate Martin Brasier, an Oxford palaeobiologist who died recently in a car accident.

Latest headlines: Kidlington vision for the future unveiled

Hannah Bewley

BBC News Online

Councillor calls for more safety improvements to M40

Oxford Times

Urgent improvements to the safety of the M40 must be made before there are any more serious accidents on the route, according to a Labour county councillor.

Nuremberg raid veteran: You never get over missing your friends

BBC Radio Oxford

Anthony Monk, 93, told BBC Radio Oxford: "You never get past the mark where you miss your friends. 

"We drank together, ate together and slept in the same place. We were family really."

Mr Monk was on the Nuremberg raid in which 800 heavy bombers set off for the German city. 

His full story is on BBC Radio Oxford now.

M4 lanes now reopen

Vision for Kidlington's future goes on display

BBC Radio Oxford

Plans that lay out how Kidlington might look in 15 years go on public display today. 

Kidlington green lock
Michel Van den Berghe

Ideas include more shops, better access to the canal and River Cherwell, new park and rides, and safer routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

The aim is to make Kidlington a thriving village community and stop it becoming a suburb of Oxford.  

The public exhibition is taking place today from 14:00 to 20:00 at Exeter Hall in Kidlington and online.

Architecture celebrated in Oxford

EDL protest cost police £120,000

BBC Radio Oxford

It cost Thames Valley Police nearly £120,000 to police an English Defence League (EDL) protest in Oxford last year. 

Two men were charged with public order offences following the EDL march in the city in March 2015. 

About 150 demonstrators took part with a counter march also held by Unite Against Fascism.