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  1. Updates on Friday 1 April 2016

Live Reporting

By Andrew Humphrey

All times stated are UK

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Our coverage through the day

That's all from BBC Oxfordshire Live for today, thanks for joining the conversation.

We'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for the county.

Dying Oxford United fan's Wembley wish

Steve Dyer loves Oxford United, but moved away from the city in 1986 and has only seen them play once since.

United fan Steve Dyer, who has been diagnosed with cancer, will be at Wembley.

He was recently diagnosed with a rare form of terminal cancer and, despite now living in the US, has travelled to London to watch them one last time.

Tonight's TV: Oxford United players dressed for success

South Today

On South Today this evening: Dressing for the occasion - Oxford United players prepare for a trip to Wembley in what promises to be one of the biggest games of the season.

Oxford United suit fitting

And have you been handed a pay rise today? If so, you join thousands of employees in our region who are benefiting from today's introduction of the National Living Wage.

But some businesses though say they might struggle with the higher rate.

Join Tom Turrell for all the region's top stories at 18:30.

Sport headlines: Oxford countdown to cup final clash

Robyn Cowen

Presenter, Radio Oxford Sport

This evening's top sport stories:

  • Oxford United players are taking part in training at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre ahead of the JPT final on Sunday
  • In the second day of the cricket match between the combined Oxford Universities and Worcestershire, the visitors are continuing to increase their total against the students who were bowled out for 190, and are now trailing Worcestershire by 202 runs
  • Oxfordshire rider Bradley Smith finished ninth fastest in first practice at the MotoGP in Argentina

Weather: A cloudy and cold evening

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

There will be some more cloud in the west of the region, but it will remain clear to the east.

Emily Wood

Where it is clear parts of the countryside will see lows of 0C (32F), but it will be a few degrees warmer for most.

You can get a full 10-day forecast on the BBC Weather site.

Latest headlines: Police appeal to dead baby's mother

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

This evening's top stories in Oxfordshire:

Headington Quarry food wrap car 'had been parked for two months'

A car that was covered in food wrap in a protest at the position it was parked had been in the location for two months, residents say.

Headington car

Kerry Bowen, who lives in the area, said at first people thought the parking position, which was deliberately done to force drivers to slow down, was a joke, but obviously someone's patience had been stretched too far.

Travel latest: A34 congestion and Botley Road delays

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

  • The A34 is looking very heavy northbound from Abingdon up to Botley, and further north from Peartree to the M40
  • In Oxford, the Botley Road outbound route is queued all the way back to Beaumont Street
  • The A415 Faringdon Road is slow moving through the temporary traffic lights at Kingston Bagpuize

You can get the latest where you are on the BBC Travel site.

Upgrade to Windrush Tower phone mast could boost Oxford coverage

Oxford Mail

An upgrade to telecommunications equipment on top of Windrush Tower is planned that will boost internet speeds in the Blackbird Leys area.  

Getting a slice of the cup final action

BBC Radio Oxford's resident baker Christine Wallace has created a commemorative cake to celebrate Oxford United's trip to Wembley.

View more on twitter

You can watch a video of the cake baking on our Facebook page.

When I was challenged to make this I did ask for an hour before I said yes! I knew it had to be good.

Christine Wallace

Measures needed to tackle sleep deprivation, says charity

Scientists in Oxford are among a team who have found we're under sleeping by an hour every night on average

Couple in bed
Science Photo Library

A poll of 2,000 adults by the Royal Society for Public Health discovered the average sleep time is 6.8 hours - compared with the 7.7 hours people feel they need.

We ought to think, as a nation, a bit more about our sleep and sleep deprivation. There's mounting evidence that if you don't get enough sleep you're more at risk from a raft of chronic conditions including cancer.

Shirley CramerChief executive, Royal Society for Public Health

A40 roadworks 'costing bus company £1m'

Roadworks around Oxfordshire are costing Stagecoach buses £1m a year, according to its managing director.

Roadworks sign
Getty Images

Martin Sutton says that roadworks mean extra buses have to be put on routes so timetables can be stuck to.

We've had to put extra buses on the routes from Witney via the A40 and also via Eynsham and the toll bridge because when there are roadworks a lot of the ordinary traffic is displaced and people find alternative routes. We're presently running about six extra buses which is getting on for about £1m a year.

Martin SuttonManaging director, Stagecoach

Latest headlines: Oxfordshire bus companies counting roadworks cost

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

The county's top stories:

  • A company which runs buses in Oxfordshire claims roadworks are costing the business in excess of £1m a year
  • The decision on the future headquarters for two councils hit by an arson attack last year will probably have to wait until after a decision is made about devolution in Oxfordshire
  • Scientists in Oxford are among a team who've found we're sleeping an hour too little every night on average

Car covered in cling film in Headington parking row

A row over parking in a street in Headington Quarry has resulted in a car being blanketed in food wrap.

Car wrapped in cling film

BBC Radio Oxford understand that the owner of the car parked in a deliberate attempt to slow traffic on the street, which they felt was being used as a rat run.

However, it appears a fellow neighbour was so incensed by the unofficial chicane that they decided to slap a sign on the vehicle declaring "worst parking ever". 

Former family farm will become eco-friendly development

Bicester Advertiser

The Phipps family worked hard to maintain a sustainable lifestyle and now 6,000 more families will be doing the same but in a very different way.  

Dead baby mother appeal

Police are continuing to appeal for the mother of a baby found dead in Oxford last month to come forward. 

Forensic officer at the scene
Police cordoned off a large area to gather evidence on Monday 29 February

The body of the baby girl was discovered on a footpath off Edgeway Road in Marston.

In a video message from the head of midwifery at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the mother was encouraged to contact them for emotional and any medical support she needs.

Man assaulted in Kidlington street robbery

A man was hit on the head, received a bruised chest and was robed of his watch and £510 in a robbery on Tuesday in Kidlington.

Between 15:00-16:00 the 28-year-old man had just withdrawn some cash from the NatWest bank and was walking along the alleyway between School Road and Mill Street when two men approached him.

Police have appealed for information.

Behind the scenes at Bisham Abbey

Coverage of Oxford United's preparations for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is continuing right up until kick-off, and you can get closer to the action here online, on Radio Oxford and South Today.

View more on twitter

Appeal for more first responders in Oxfordshire

BBC Radio Oxford

A shortage of volunteers has left some parts of Oxfordshire without potentially life-saving first responders, who are called out to medical emergencies to give first aid to people before an ambulance arrives. 

South Central Ambulance Service first responder
South Central Ambulance Service

There are 135 first responders in the county at the moment, but places like Eynsham and Cholsey have none. 

They can be anybody, they can be somebody that's retired or in full-time work, people that have children that maybe are at school during the day that have got a few hours and they are able to cover their local area.

David EnglandCommunity liaison and training officer, South Central Ambulance Service

Extra police firearm officers welcomed

Thames Valley Police has said additional firearms officers will allow them to better protect the public.

Armed police officer

Police forces in England and Wales are to train an extra 1,500 firearms officers as part of a £143m boost to the UK's armed response capability.

This increase in national funding is welcome as it will put us in an even stronger position to respond quickly and effectively to protect the public.

Assistant Chief Constable Scott ChiltonJoint Operations for Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police

Manor livery liked in Bahrain

The paintwork of the Banbury-based Manor F1 team has received appreciation at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with its bright and colourful run-off areas.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Banbury businessman appeals for mixed race stem cell donors

Banbury Guardian

A Banbury businessman has won a $120,000 commitment from Google in his bid to help find stem cell donors for mixed-race leukaemia victims.

Dickie Bird backs Barnsley in JPT final

Former test cricket umpire Dickie Bird, a lifelong Barnsley fan, has backed his side to triumph over Oxford United when the sides battle it out in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

Dickie Bird

The 82-year-old says he would prioritise promotion over cup glory, but hopes his side can manage both.

I've been a Barnsley supporter for about 75 years. I think Barnsley will win comfortably. I think Barnsley should win 2-0. I don't bet, I'm not a betting man, I don't bet at all. I just think Barnsley will win 2-0.

Dickie Bird

Lunchtime TV: Thousands to make their way to Wembley

South Today

On South Today this afternoon: As more than 30,000 Oxford United supporters head to Wembley this weekend the new Oxford Parkway railway station is preparing for its biggest test so far.

Oxford United t-shirt

We'll have all the build-up from the club, the transport providers and of course the fans getting ready for a busy weekend at 13:30.

Weather: Clouding up

BBC Weather

High cloud will thicken from the west through the afternoon making the sunshine hazy, but it should remain dry.  

Weather graphic

You can get a full forecast on the BBC Weather site.

Sport headlines: United chairman looking forward to royal view

Robyn Cowen

Presenter, Radio Oxford Sport

This afternoon's top sport stories in Oxfordshire:

  • Oxford United executive chairman Darryl Eales says he will be sitting with his parents in the Royal Box at Wembley to repay the faith they showed in him
  • Oxfordshire's F1 teams are taking to the track as practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix begins today

Latest headlines: Fatal crash in Banbury

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Oxfordshire's top stories this afternoon:

  • A man has died in a collision with a lorry in Banbury this morning
  • The site of local authority offices devastated by an arson attack could be sold and used for retirement apartments, a council leader says
  • There are renewed calls for more community first responders in Oxfordshire to fill a gap in some areas

Travel latest: A34 lane closed at Abingdon

BBC Travel

  • A lane is closed on the A34 northbound at Abingdon North because of two broken-down vehicles
  • There are temporary traffic lights in Woodstock on the A44 at Brook Hill

You can get the latest where you are on the BBC Travel site.

Revised plans for Thames Farm unveiled

Henley Standard

Revised plans to develop disused farmland between Henley and Shiplake have been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.  

Oxford United supporters wave players on the way to Wembley

Oxford United fans were out in force as the squad departed the Kassam this morning, as filmed by The Yellow Army.

View more on twitter

Oxford United's road to Wembley - Southern area final v Millwall

It's just over 48 hours until Oxford United take to the Wembley pitch for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Barnsley.

A 2-1 aggregate win over Millwall sends the U's to Wembley, sparking wild celebrations

The cup run has featured some memorable wins, including the two legs of the Southern final against Millwall.

You can follow all the build-up on BBC Radio Oxford, and we will be running a special live page on Sunday.

Sharks spreading up the Thames in 1 April migration

Following our earlier reports of a dorsal fin being spotted in Wallingford, it appears the police helicopter from Benson has also been playing the fool.

View more on twitter

'Cat unit' launched by Thames Valley Police on 1 April

In an announcement that is in no way linked to today's date, Thames Valley Police has unveiled a new weapon in its crime fighting arsenal - cats.

View more on twitter

United players board bus on road to Wembley

People have gathered at the Kassam Stadium to bid farewell to the Oxford United squad ahead of their trip to Wembley.

View more on twitter

BBC Radio Oxford's sport editor Jerome Sale reports the atmosphere is like a school trip, with some of the younger players even being dropped off by their parents!

Latest headlines: Arrest after Banbury crash death

Andrew Humphrey

BBC Local Live

Oxfordshire's top stories this morning:

  • A man has been arrested after a person was killed in a crash in Banbury this morning
  • The location for a permanent base for South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils will not be decided until proposals for new unitary authorities in Oxfordshire are worked through
  • A fire in Goring was probably started by a mirror directing sunlight on to a box of tissues

'Shark' spotted in Wallingford

Footage has been taken of what appears to be a large shark's dorsal fin in the River Thames at Wallingford...or perhaps a piece of wiggling driftwood...

View more on twitter

Oxford United players depart the Kassam

The Oxford United squad are on their way to their training camp at Bisham Abbey ahead of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final on Sunday.

Oxford United team bus

Arrest over Banbury crash death

A man has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving after a crash in Banbury this morning.

A man was declared dead at the scene after a collision involving an HGV at about 04:35.

Beaumont Road, where the crash happened, has now reopened.

Man killed in Banbury crash

Beaumont Road in Banbury is closed after a man died in a crash involving a lorry there this morning.

View more on twitter

Unitary authority plan delaying new council building decision

The proposal to form four unitary councils in Oxfordshire and abolish the county council has meant South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse councils have put off a decision on a new headquarters.

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse offices in Crowmarsh Gifford
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse offices in Crowmarsh Gifford were gutted by a fire last year

Staff have been based out of a temporary building near Didcot after the council offices in Crowmarsh Gifford were destroyed in an arson attack, and a decision on a permanent base was expected to be made this spring. 

The fact that the government is paying such close attention and taking the bid so seriously means that we have to consider if that were to go ahead, what kind of office block would we need for a new South and Vale Council.

John CottonLeader, South Oxfordshire District Council