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  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Sue Paz

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our news coverage through the day

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

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

Latest headlines: Cotswold Hunt horse-riding victim 'died from cardiac arrest'

This evening's top stories:

Weather: Cold and windy

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

Any showers will clear through this evening to leave many places dry overnight. 

Emily Wood in front of the the BBC Weather chart for Oxford for Wednesday 6 April 2016

It will be windier and colder than recent nights, with some patchy frost possible by dawn. Lows of 3C (37F).

For a full 10-day forecast visit the BBC Weather site.

Sport headlines: Oxfordshire rowers dominate Team GB selection

Marie Indge

Radio Oxford Sport

The top sport stories this evening:

Travel latest: Queues on the A415, A34 and A4142

BBC Travel

  • There's queuing traffic on the A415 Faringdon Road westbound in Kingston Bagpuize at the Faringdon Road junction, due to roadworks
  • Traffic is heavy on the A34 northbound in Oxford at the Hinksey Hill interchange
  • It's also very slow on the A4142 Eastern Bypass Road westbound in Oxford between the Cowley junction and Littlemore roundabout  

For all the latest on the roads near you visit the BBC Travel site.

Resignation demands over damning NHS trust report

The mother of a Connor Sparrowhawk, whose death sparked an inquiry into Southern Health NHS trust, has called for its leadership team to resign.

Sara Ryan
Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan said she was "angry" and "upset" after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report, published today, found the safety of mental health and learning disability patients cared for by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust needs

Her son drowned in a bath while in Southern Health's care in Oxford. 

We're just astonished they haven't improved. They have again demonstrated a failing leadership, they have said repeatedly they had improved ever since Connor died, and they clearly haven't. I'm absolutely bewildered the board and the chief executive haven't stood down today. The public don't have any confidence in their ability.

Sara Ryan

Classicist Mary Beard awarded Oxford Bodleian Libraries' highest honour

One of Britain’s best known classicists has been awarded the Bodley Medal, Oxford Bodleian Libraries’ highest honour, at a special event at the Sheldonian Theatre.

Professor Mary Beard
Bodleian Libraries

Professor Mary Beard holds a chair of classics at the University of Cambridge and is classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

As they say at the Oscars, I am accepting this on behalf of myself and on behalf of the Romans.

Professor Mary BeardProfessor of classics at the University of Cambridge

Nine-year-old hunt riding victim 'died from cardiac arrest after horse kick'

A nine-year-old girl died from a cardiac arrest after she was kicked by a horse as she rode her Shetland pony, an inquest has heard.

Bonnie Armitage, from Wantage, was struck in the chest by the blow while riding with the Cotswold Hunt near Stroud, Gloucestershire, on Saturday.

The schoolgirl's parents, Nick and Polly Armitage, did not attend the brief opening inquest in Gloucester but assistant coroner David Dooley told the hearing they were "distraught".

Watch: Southern Health NHS trust chief executive 'will not resign'

The chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has insisted she will not resign from her post.

Under-fire boss of Southern Health NHS trust speaks as critical CQC report is published

It follows a report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) today which has found "significant improvement" needs to be made into the safety of the mental health patients cared for by the trust.

Earlier this year the trust said there will be no resignations, and Ms Percy maintains that her job is to oversee change into the way the trust records and investigates patient deaths.

Travel latest: Broken-down horse box on A34

BBC Travel

  • A lane is closed on the exit slip road on the A34 Western Bypass Road southbound at the Botley Interchange because of a broken-down horse box
  • There's heavy traffic on the A40 westbound in Eynsham at Eynsham Roundabout
  • There are also delays on the A415 Ock Street in both directions in Abingdon between the B4017 Drayton Road junction and the East Saint Helen Street junction

For all the latest on the roads, visit the BBC Travel site.

Sport headlines: Combined Oxford Universities cricketers all out on day two of first class game against Northamptonshire

Marie Indge

Radio Oxford Sport

This afternoon's top sport stories:

  • Oxfordshire's rowers have once again dominated the Team GB selection for the upcoming European Championships next month
  • The cricketers of the combined Oxford Universities resumed this morning on 201-7 on day two of their first class game against Northamptonshire. They were all out for 271
  • Oxford United beat North Leigh 1-0 at Court Place Farm last night in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-finals

Under-fire NHS Trust 'has made good progress'

Under-fire Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which has been told today to significantly improve the protection of mental health patients, has made "good progress" since a previous report showed it failed to investigate hundreds of deaths, its chief executive has said.

Katrina Percy
Katrina Percy

Katrina Percy said her "main priority" was the safety of patients.

The trust provides services to about 45,000 people across Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Buckinghamshire.

I have been very clear and open that we have a lot of work to do to fully address recent concerns raised about the trust. Good progress has been made, however we accept that the CQC feels that in some areas we have not acted swiftly enough. My main priority is, and always has been, the safety of our patients. We take the CQC's concerns extremely seriously and have taken a number of further actions. I want to reassure our patients and their families that I, and the board, remain completely focused on tackling these concerns as quickly as possible.

Katrina PercyChief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Southern Health NHS trust faces 'further regulatory action'

Further regulatory action is to be taken against Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Improvement has announced.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust sign

The regulator said the move aimed to ensure urgent patient safety improvements were made following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report which highlighted a number of improvements that needed to be made at the under-fire trust.

Last year a separate report blamed a "failure of leadership" for a lack of investigation of the deaths of hundreds of patients.

Patients and service users at Southern Health expect to get safe and good quality care, and it is worrying to see that the CQC has identified patient safety concerns which have still gone unaddressed at the trust.

Dr Kathy McLeanExecutive medical director at NHS Improvement

Latest headlines: Under-fire health trust 'must significant improve'

This afternoon's top stories:

Oxford scientists dial up male/female phone habits

BBC Radio Oxford

It's official - women actually do spend more time on the phone, according to scientists at Oxford University. 

Woman on phone

Researchers have discovered they rack up about 130 hours a year in calls - that's around 30 hours more than men.

The analysis of mobile phone bills also showed we call fewer people - and by implication have fewer friends - as we get older.

Southern Health NHS trust patient safety 'requires significant improvement'

The safety of mental health and learning disability patients cared for by an under-fire NHS trust which failed to investigate hundreds of deaths needs "significant improvement", inspectors have found.

Connor Sparrowhawk
Sara Ryan
Connor Sparrowhawk

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said its inspection at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in January found "long-standing risks" to patients and "did not operate effective governance arrangements to ensure robust investigation of incidents, including deaths".

A report by audit firm Mazars, published in December, said the deaths of hundreds of mental health and learning disability patients between April 2011 and March 2015 were not properly examined.

It was ordered following the death of 18-year-old Connor Sparrowhawk, who drowned in a bath following an epileptic seizure while a patient at Oxford's Slade House.  

We found long-standing risks to patients, arising from the physical environment, that had not been dealt with effectively. The Trust’s internal governance arrangements to learn from serious incidents or investigations were not good enough, meaning that opportunities to minimise further risks to patients were lost.

Dr Paul LelliottCQC deputy chief inspector of hospitals and lead for mental health

Lunchtime TV: Oxfordshire solar farm bid

South Today

Coming up on BBC South Today: More than 1,000 homes in Oxfordshire could be powered by green energy if £3m can be raised to help set up a new solar farm. 

The project is in the middle of David Cameron's Cotswolds constituency and already has his support.

More on that and other stories with Alan Sinclair from 13:30.

Proportion of students regularly missing school in Oxfordshire rises

The Herald

The proportion of pupils who were persistently absent from schools in Oxfordshire has risen slightly compared to the previous year.

Travel latest: Problems continue on the A4260 and A40

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

  • There's queuing traffic on the A4260 Banbury Road northbound in Kidlington at the Langford Lane junction, because of temporary traffic lights and telecommunications work
  • It's also slow on the A40 in both directions in Oxford around Cutteslowe Roundabout, with congestion to the Cassington traffic lights and to Marston  

For the latest on the roads near you visit the BBC Travel site.

Weather: Sunshine and showers

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

This afternoon there will be a mixture of sunny spells and showers.

BBC Weather chart for Oxford for Wednesday 6 April 2016

Some of the showers may be heavy with a risk of hail and thunder. It will also be quite windy which will make it feel colder. Highs of 10C (50F).

For a full 10-day forecast visit the BBC Weather site.

Sport headlines: Oxfordshire rowers dominate European Championships Team GB selection

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

This lunchtime's top sport stories:

Latest headlines: Proposals for £2m council funds 'will be outlined in May'

The top headlines this lunchtime: 

  • The county council says proposals for £2m of funding, which campaigners say were earmarked to save Oxfordshire's children's centres, will now be outlined in May

Chicken pox vaccine trialled in Oxford

A new vaccine for chicken pox is being trialled in Oxford.

Chicken pox

While the condition is usually mild, it can sometimes cause serious problems such as pneumonia or swelling of the brain.

Dr Matthew Snape, from the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, said it was enrolling 100 children aged between 12 and 24 months to take part.

Trials are also taking place in Bristol, Southampton and London.

Proposals for £2m council funds 'due in May'

Oxfordshire County Council says proposals for how it will spend £2m of funding will be outlined at a cabinet meeting in May.

Save Oxfordshire Children's Centres campaigners protesting in November 2015
Desmond Brambley

Campaigners said they were led to believe at the time the saving was solely for children's services, and are calling for the cash to be spent on saving those centres.

In February, the council said it agreed £2m of extra funding for "a proposed new 0-19 model within children’s services – incorporating children’s centres, early intervention hubs and elements of children’s social care in to a brand new service". 

The council statement at the time said the "total of £2m of savings relating to Early Intervention hubs and children’s centres will now not take place".

In May, the way that the extra £2m will be spent will be proposed to cabinet. That detail is currently being worked on by officers and is therefore not currently available. It will be proposed through the normal democratic process.

Oxfordshire County Council spokesman

Call for £2m to be spent on saving Oxfordshire children's centres

Campaigners are calling for £2m to be spent on saving Oxfordshire's children's centres.

Demonstrations outside County Hall in February before the pivotal budget meeting
Demonstrations outside County Hall in February before the pivotal budget meeting

Following an agreement by the county council in February, they believed the money would not be removed from the authority's budget for children's centres and early intervention hubs. 

However, councillor Melinda Tilley, head of education and families, said at a meeting yesterday the cash was for "children's services" and not just centres. 

The statements put out by the council themselves made it very clear that there was going to be a £2m reprieve in the budget for children's centres. And the words children's centres is quite specific.

Jill HuishCampaigner

Sport headlines: Oxford United beat North Leigh in Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

This morning's top sport stories:

  • Oxford United's first team coach Chris Allen said the squad has put their Wembley defeat behind them and are ready to continue their push for League One promotion
  • Oxford United beat North Leigh 1-0 at Court Place Farm last night in the Oxfordshire Senior Cup semi-final
  • The combined Oxford Universities cricketers resume their first class match against Northamptonshire this morning - the students are currently 201-7

Latest headlines: New chicken pox vaccine trialled in Oxford

The top headlines this morning: 

  • As junior doctors begin another 48-hour strike, cancer specialists in Oxford say they're worried about how the government's new contract will affect medical studies
  • A new vaccine for chicken pox is being trialled in Oxford
  • Campaigners say £2m of council funds should be spent on saving Oxfordshire's children's centres

Travel latest: A4260 and A40 delays

  • There are delays on the A40 in both directions in Oxford at Cutteslowe Roundabout, due to ongoing roadworks
  • Traffic is also very slow on the A4260 Banbury Road in both directions in Kidlington at the Langford Lane junction, because of temporary traffic lights and telecommunications work

For all the latest on the county's roads visit the BBC Travel site.

Oxford United vie for League One promotion

Oxford United have put the disappointment of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy final defeat behind them and are ready to finish the job of earning promotion to League One, first team coach Chris Allen says.

Oxford United lose at Wembley

The players returned to training yesterday following Sunday's 2-3 defeat against Barnsley.  

We know we've got a season now of six games - really important cup finals if you want to call it that - to pick up as many points as possible. But they are in training and bouncing in tempo in the training sessions, and we're ready for Saturday.

Chris AllenOxford United first team coach

Listen: Is The Archers 'just a bunch of moaning old farmers'?

David Prever

BBC Radio Oxford

Can a fan of The Archers convince BBC Radio Oxford's David Prever to try the soap opera?

Michele Paule, from Oxford Brookes University, on why she loves The Archers.

West Oxfordshire council leader to step down over ill health

The leader of West Oxfordshire District Council has said he is stepping down from the position after 15 years due to ill health.

Sir Barry Norton
West Oxfordshire District Council
Sir Barry Norton has suffered from a heart condition and diabetes

Sir Barry Norton said it was with "great sadness" he had decided not to seek re-election to the district council for the North Leigh Ward in May.

He has served on the North Leigh Parish Council since 1973 and first served on the district council in 1983.

I have been struggling of late due to a heart condition and the effects of diabetes, and these have been further exacerbated with spinal problems. My health issues have made life much more difficult in carrying out my duties and responsibilities as leader of the district council to the extent that, while intending to see out my present term as leader, I am unable to commit to a further four years on the council where I am up for election this time round.

Sir Barry NormanLeader of West Oxfordshire Distrct Council

Steel removed during recovery at Didcot Power Station collapse site

Banbury Cake

About 200 pieces of steel have been removed from the collapsed boiler house at Didcot Power Station as the search for three men continues.

New junior doctor contract 'would lead to longer waiting lists and treatment delays'

As junior doctors prepare to take part in their fourth walkout in their long-running contract dispute, cancer specialists in Oxford say they're worried about how the government's new contract will affect medical studies and patient care.

Demonstrators at a rally and protest march for junior doctors in London

They're warning the reforms will make it harder to recruit junior doctors to research positions. 

Professor Adrian Harris, a research oncologist from the Weatherall Institute in Oxford, said junior doctors working weekends would miss out on key learning during the week, and would also lead to delays for patients.

If you take the doctors that help run our clinics Monday to Friday and move them all onto the weekend we would see less patients, and we already know how pressurised the health service is... ultimately [it would] build up waiting lists and delay treatment.

Professor Adrian HarrisResearch oncologist at Oxford's Weatherall Institute

Travel latest: A4 congestion and Chiltern Railway delays

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

  • Traffic is slow on the A40 in both directions in Oxford at the Cutteslowe Roundabout, with congestion to the Cassington traffic lights
  • There are also delays of up to 15 minutes on Chiltern Railway southbound between Princes Risborough and Saunderton, due to a fault on the train

For all the latest travel news near you, visit the BBC Travel site.

Weather: Risk of hail and thunder

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

It will be a rather cloudy start with some rain possible for a time.

Emily Wood brings you the forecast for today

The cloud will clear to leave a rather cool, blustery afternoon with sunshine and scattered showers. 

Some of the showers are likely to be heavy with a risk of hail and thunder. Highs of 11C (52F).

For a full 10-day weather forecast, visit the BBC Weather site.