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  1. Updates on Thursday 7 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Joe Nimmo

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our news coverage through the day

Joe Nimmo

BBC News Online

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

We'll bring you more about the discovery of a body in Oxford at

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

Latest headlines: Body of man found in Iffley Road, Oxford

Joe Nimmo

BBC News Online

This evening's top stories:  

  • The body of a man has been found at a property on Iffley Road in Oxford. His death is being treated as "unexplained", police say
  • Oxfordshire is to receive £1m to fill in more than 19,000 potholes, as details of how a £50m fund is to be divided up between English councils are revealed

Weather: Rain should clear away through the evening

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

The rain has been turning patchy this afternoon and should clear away through the evening.

Emily Wood

There will be some clear spells, and a brisk wind, especially towards the south. Temperature tonight will fall to a low of 5C (41F).

More updates are on the BBC Oxford Weather page.

Sport headlines: Blow to Oxford United as scan reveals Skarz groin injury

Marie Indge

Radio Oxford Sport

The top sport stories this evening:  

  • Rain prevented play on the final day of cricket in the Parks - overnight Northamptonshire were trailing the combined Oxford Universities side, but the match was declared a draw

Appeal for information over body find in Iffley Road, Oxford

Police are appealing for information after the body of a man was found in a property in Oxford this afternoon.

The unidentified man's death is being treated as "unexplained".

Thames Valley police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Evening TV: Why X-Factor contestant's mother has been advising The Archers

Geraldine Peers

Presenter, BBC South Today

Coming up on BBC South Today, we hear why the mother of X-Factor contestant Jahmene Douglas has been advising Radio 4's The Archers on its domestic violence storyline.

Geraldine Peers brings you the stories coming up at 18:30

Also, the café and bookshop set up to fight bladder cancer - by a patient who started a charity in his shed. 

And it's one of the most sought-after books in the world - why an Oxford professor was called in to confirm Shakespeare's First Folio was an original. 

Join Geraldine Peers at 18:30 on BBC One.

'Unexplained death': Body of man found at Iffley Road property

Alex Regan

South Online

The body of a man has been found at a property on Iffley Road, Thames Valley Police has confirmed.

Police cordon near the scene where a body was found
Police cordon near the scene where a body was found

Police were called to the scene at 14:58, where they found the man. They are treating the death as unexplained, and are appealing for information from the public. 

Iffley Road is currently closed to pedestrians and drivers between The Plain and Circus Street, with the road likely to be closed for "a number of hours".

Joe Skarz: 'We knew the risk' says Appleton

Oxford United left-back Joe Skarz will miss the rest of the season after suffering a ruptured groin muscle during a goalless draw at Cambridge on 28 March.

Joe Skarz
Getty Images
Joe Skarz

We knew the risk of a rupture happening but we were hoping we could manage the situation. It got to a stage against Cambridge where he was struggling to turn and that was when we knew he needed to get it looked at.

Michael AppletonOxford United head coach

Bladder cancer survivor raises money with luxury charity shop

Angela Walker

BBC South Today

When you think of a charity shop, gourmet coffee, home bakes and books might not be the first things to spring to mind. 

Why bladder cancer survivor is running a bookshop and café in Chinnor

But now a charity that started life in a Chinnor man's shed has opened up the Wee Book Shop and Cafe in the heart of the village.

It's also run entirely in aid of the charity Fight Bladder Cancer.

Travel latest: Wood Farm Road in Headington shut by police

BreakingPolice statement on closure of Iffley Road in Oxford

Thames Valley Police have made the following statement on the incident on Iffley Road. The road is currently closed: 

We are currently dealing with an incident in Iffley Road, Oxford. At this time the road is closed to both pedestrians and vehicles between Circus Street and The Plain. Diversions are in place for all vehicles, including buses. The road is likely to be closed for at least two hours.

Council chief executive outlines 'innovative' devolution plan for Oxfordshire

Sue Smith, chief executive of Cherwell District Council, has written an open letter in support of creating four new unitary councils as part of a devolution bid.

County Hall
Robin Sones

Oxfordshire County Council's political leaders have hit back at proposals to scrap the authority.

Councils would come together to coordinate services through a new combined partnership body known as a Combined Authority for Oxfordshire, where this can improve service delivery or deliver economies of scale. For example, transport infrastructure, strategic spatial planning, adult social care and health, and children and families’ services.

Sue SmithChief executive of Cherwell District Council

Looking back in time at St Aldates

Oxford City Council has tweeted this striking image of St Aldates in Oxford city centre from its archive for #ThrowbackThursday.

St Aldates
Oxford City Council History Centre.

Travel latest: Iffley Road closed

Extraordinary meeting to set Oxfordshire health budget

The public has been invited to an Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group extraordinary board meeting, where it will discuss its budget for the coming year.

Jubilee House

The meeting will be held on Thursday 21 April, from 15:15 to 16:30, at Jubilee House in Oxford Business Park South.

Chief executive David Smith said: "This extraordinary board meeting will consider our budget plans for the coming year, to ensure we continue to commission high-quality health services in Oxfordshire."

Award handed out after man's life is saved in Oxford High Street

Oxford Mail

An Oxford University employee has been awarded one of the country's top honours after saving a man's life.

Pothole fund: Oxfordshire to get more than £1m from government

Details of how a £50m pothole fund is to be divided up between English councils have been revealed.

A pothole
Getty Images

The government will give Oxfordshire County Council £1,036,000 to fill in 19,547 potholes.

The money was first announced in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement and is being split between 118 authorities.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government wanted to "tackle the blight of potholes". Devon is to receive the most cash.

Council warns of more Wolvercote roundabout roadwork disruption

Oxfordshire County Council has warned motorists that there will be a lane closure in place on the A44 southbound between Wolvercote and Peartree roundabout from the evening of 16 April until mid-July.

A map of the planned works
Oxfordshire County Council

A spokesperson said: "This could add to congestion and could increase your journey times. 

"Planning your journey and considering different travel times, alternative routes or modes of transport could help avoid the worst of delays."

Latest headlines: Woman sexually assaulted in Oxford

Joe Nimmo

BBC News Online

This afternoon's top stories:  

  • A 34-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in Oxford yesterday, Thames Valley Police says
  • The Labour Party has hit back at criticism of leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been publicly criticised by the main body representing British Jews for failing to take anti-Semitism seriously
  • Today RAF Benson is marking 100 years of 28 Squadron and the opening of their new hangar facility 

Counting penguins in the classroom

Oxford scientists who have set up a network of penguin-monitoring cameras throughout Antarctica are asking the public to help them carry out their research.

Counting penguins in the classroom

The team is today launching a new version of their ambitious citizen science project, PenguinWatch, enabling people to explore Antarctica's penguin colonies online via images captured by the remote cameras.

Cakes at RAF Benson mark 100 years of 28 Squadron and new hangar opening

Paul Jenner

BBC Radio Oxford

Today RAF Benson is marking 100 years of 28 Squadron and the opening of their new hangar facility. 

BBC Radio Oxford was invited to the celebrations, which included a  parade inside their new hangar, and found that the squadron has been hard at work making cakes for the occasion.

An RAF cake
An RAF cake
An RAF cake

Woman sexually assaulted in daylight Cowley Road attack

A 34-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in Oxford yesterday, Thames Valley Police says.

Cowley Road
Cowley Road, Oxford, where the attack took place

The woman was walking along Cowley Road, between the junctions of Stockmore Street and Marston Street, at about 17:45.

When she reached a burrito restaurant she was grabbed from behind by a man who wrapped his arm around her and inappropriately touched her over her clothing.

The victim, who fought off the offender, was not injured during the incident.

The suspect is white, in his early twenties, about 5ft 6in to 8in, slim, with collar-length ginger hair, but no facial hair, and was wearing dark clothing.

Scientists urge people in Oxford to run Town and Gown race for muscular dystrophy

Witney Gazette

A group of scientists who are working to find a cure for muscular dystrophy are backing this year's Town and Gown fundraising run for research into the debilitating condition.

Shakespeare exhibition launches this month at Bodleian Library

Oxford anti-Semitism row: Labour hits back at criticism of response

Norman Smith

Assistant political editor

The Labour Party has hit back at criticism of leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has been publicly criticised by the main body representing British Jews for failing to take anti-Semitism seriously.

Jeremy Corbyn

In a statement, the president of the board of deputies Jonathan Arkush accused Mr Corbyn of remaining "inert" and seeking to "fob off" concerns.

His comments follow allegations of anti-Semitism in the Oxford University branch of the Labour Party.

Mr Corbyn has said it is "totally fallacious" to suggest that Labour tolerates anti-Semitism. Today a Labour Party spokesman added: "It is Jeremy Corbyn who is taking action on anti-Semitism. He has consistently condemned anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and, under Jeremy's leadership, Labour is clamping down on anti-Semitism and taking clear action against offenders."

Weather: Bright spells but occasional showers this afternoon

Emily Wood

BBC Weather

There will be some brighter spells and occasional heavy showers this afternoon, with a risk of hail and thunder.

The weather

The showers will largely die out during the evening, but a few could persist through the night. This afternoon there will be highs of 10C (50F).

You can get more details on the BBC weather site.

Council criticised for Callum Best poster removal

Henley Standard

Angie Best has criticised Henley Town Council for taking down posters promoting her son’s gym.

BreakingOxford United's Joe Skarz to miss rest of season

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Oxford United defender Joe Skarz is set to miss the rest of the season after scan results confirmed he has ruptured his groin. The 26-year-old came off injured in the League 2 game at Cambridge and will now sit out the final six games of the campaign.

Hour-long rail delays between Didcot and London after person is hit by train

Latest headlines: Sixty firefighters tackle thatched cottage blaze

Joe Nimmo

BBC News Online

The top stories this lunchtime:

Didcot power station collapse: Union concern over recovery of missing workers

The Unite union has expressed concern over the amount of time it is taking to locate and recover the bodies of three missing men, following the the Didcot power station collapse in February.

Didcot Power station after the collapse

One person died and five were injured after half of the decommissioned Didcot A plant collapsed.

Unite national officer John Allott questioned "the time it is taking and whether the recovery team has enough resources".

The families of two of the three missing workers have previously criticised the rescue operation saying it has been too slow.

Shakespeare First Folio discovery: Oxford professor says reaction was disbelief

Emma Smith, professor of Shakespeare studies at Oxford University, said her first reaction on being told a Scottish stately home was claiming to have an original First Folio was: "Like hell they have."

Emma Smith
Oxford University

But when she inspected the three-volume book, she found it was authentic.

The story of the First Folio, she said, usually focuses on the literary genius of Shakespeare, but the survival of his plays depended on the practical skills of the people who produced this book.

Prof Smith added: "The vast majority of plays from this period have been lost, because they were never printed."

Labour and Green leaders visit Oxford ahead of local elections

Oxfordshire Guardian

Party leaders have been visiting Oxford to rally residents’ support in the lead up to local council elections next month.

Your chance to quiz former NASA astronaut

Michael Foale, former NASA astronaut and the first Briton to perform a space walk, will be answering questions from the public at a event in Abingdon later this month.

Michael Foale space walk

The event on 22 April at 19:00 in the Amey Theatre will be hosted by Abingdon School and the International Space School Educational Trust.

Council wants more businesses to help disabled people into work

Natalie Verney

BBC Radio Oxford

Oxfordshire County Council says more businesses need to come forward and help disabled people into work. 

The local authority has been working with the Shaw Trust to offer six-month placements to people with disabilities that allow them to learn skills with the council paying their wages.

Oxford child sex exploitation trial continues today

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

Seven men have gone on trial at Oxford Crown Court accused of sexually exploiting two girls in Oxford between 1999 and 2009.

Oxford Crown Court
Claire Ward

They deny 41 counts including rape, indecent assault, supplying Class A drugs and making threats to kill.

Yesterday the jury was told that a girl who was sexually exploited over a 10-year period was threatened with death by some of her abusers.

Fire destroys thatched cottages in village near Faringdon

A thatched cottage Oxfordshire has been wrecked in a blaze that was tackled by 60 firefighters.

Firefighters tackle the blaze at a thatched cottage in Compton Beauchamp, near Faringdon
Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service
Firefighters tackle the blaze at a thatched cottage in Compton Beauchamp, near Faringdon

The blaze at about 21:30 yesterday drew 10 fire engines to the property in Compton Beauchamp, near Faringdon.

The fire service said the fire took hold "very quickly". Fire crews are still at the scene this morning and the cause of the blaze is now being investigated.

Travel update: A420 still partially blocked after tractor overturns

BBC Travel

The A420 in Faringdon is still partially blocked because of an overturned tractor that was carrying a digger.

No right turn is currently allowed on the eastbound A417 at Stanford Road.

Latest headlines: Fire destroys Oxfordshire thatched cottage

Joe Nimmo

BBC News Online

The top headlines this morning: