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  1. Updates on Wednesday 20 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Chris Brown

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our news coverage through the day

That's all from BBC Local Live for today.

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

Evening sport: Skarz could be rushed back from injury lay-off

The top sport stories tonight: 

  • Oxford United boss Michael Appleton says it isn't out of the question that left back Joe Skarz could be called into action, despite injury
  • North Leigh have their second game in three days as they entertain Bishops Cleeve in Division One South & West of the Southern League this evening

Latest headlines: Academy director 'wouldn't recommend' setting up academy schools

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories in Oxfordshire this evening:

Oxfordshire plans a right royal knees up for Her Majesty's birthday

Oxford Mail

Street parties, beacon lighting and a concert in a historic hangar will mark Her Majesty's 90th birthday with thousands of events taking place across the county.  

Weather: Dry and sunny evening, with a clear night

BBC Weather

Dry and sunny this evening. Overnight, it will remain dry across the county with some good clear spells, and the breeze dying down. Low temp 5C (41F).

Oxford weather evening

You can get more details on the BBC weather site.

Travel latest: Accident blocks A34 Western By-Pass

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

The A34 Western By-Pass Road in Oxford is partially blocked and there's queuing traffic northbound between Botley Interchange and Peartree Interchange, because of an accident involving a lorry and a car.  

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Schools academy director: 'I wouldn't recommend setting up an academy to anyone'

Chris Brown

BBC News

A director of an Oxfordshire schools academy company put into financial special measures says she wouldn't recommend setting up an academy trust to anyone. 


Dr Marcella McCarthy, from the Dominic Barberi Multi Academy Company, told the BBC the company was now balancing its books.

Last week it emerged it had been put into financial special measures after running up a deficit of £879,000.

It makes good sense for academy trusts to learn the lessons from cases like ours, to make sure they do have financial expertise... It is very hard to run an academy trust - I wouldn't recommend it to anybody

Dr Marcella McCarthy

Wantage hospital to close indefinitely after legionella risk

An Oxfordshire hospital will close indefinitely because of an increased risk of legionella.

Wantage Community Hospital
Wantage Community Hospital

Wantage Community Hospital is scheduled to shut early this summer after "raised levels" of the disease were detected in its hot water system.

An NHS spokeswoman said this was because the site's pipework is old, corroded and water circulation is poor.

Work will not start until after a county-wide consultation this autumn determines the future of the hospital.

Oxford streetlights

Repairs to streetlights in Oxfordshire will only be made in emergencies after the company which maintained them ends its contract with the county council.

Read more

Latest headlines: Didcot recovery teams have 20,000 tonnes of material to move

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this afternoon:

Primary school pupils sowing space station seeds

Pupils at Chadlington Primary School near Chipping Norton have been lucky enough to get their hands on seeds which have been on board the International Space Station with British astronaut Tim Peake.

Pupils at Chadlington Primary School prepare their galactic seeds for sowing
Pupils at Chadlington Primary School prepare their galactic seeds for sowing

It's all part of a national project in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society. 

The pupils have sowed the seeds and will need to carry out scientific experiments, sending their findings to a national database.

Former Oxford United star meets fans to celebrate Milk Cup triumph

Peter Rhoades-Brown was in the city centre today with a replica of the trophy, to show off the proud history of the club on the 30th anniversary of the club's win at Wembley.

Former player Peter Rhoades-Brown was in the city centre with replica trophy

Abingdon cancer charity takes steps in Westminster for Skye

Oxfordshire Guardian

The plight of a mum whose five-year-old son died from side effects of brain cancer treatment has been championed in Westminster.  

New radio stations set to hit Oxfordshire's airwaves

Two new radio stations are coming to Oxfordshire's airwaves. 


Ofcom has granted FM licences for community radio stations for the Witney area and for Thame. 

Witney Radio already exists online, while Red Kite Radio will launch from a studio at Haddenham Garden Centre.

After four years of proving that we have what it takes to provide a service to our community, we can finally begin to bring local radio back to Witney.

Barry ClackWitney Radio station director

Oxford United show off Milk Cup on 30-year anniversary

A replica of the Milk Cup, which Oxford United won at Wembley 30 years ago today, is on show in the city centre this lunchtime.

What are you memories of the day? Let us know via email.

View more on twitter

Video shows scale of Didcot Power Station recovery operation

Dave Gilyeat

BBC News

Recovery teams at the site of the collapsed Didcot power station boiler room still have 20,000 tonnes of material to sift through to find three missing bodies.

Video released of Didcot operation

The operation by RWE Npower began in March but the standing structure remains in an unsafe condition, Thames Valley Police said.

One month on, a video has been released showing the scale of the operation.

'Fed up with diktats'

The councillor who heads education in Oxfordshire, Melinda Tilley, got a mention from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in today's Prime Minister's Questions. Watch the moment.

Criticism of central government 'diktats' by cabinet member used to attack academies plan

Chipping Norton pool closed due to 'boiler issues'

Oxford Mail

The swimming pool at Chipping Norton Leisure Centre is closed today due to issues with the boiler. Repairs are taking place now and it is hoped the pool will be open again on Saturday.

Sport latest: Skarz could be rushed back to action

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton says it isn't out of the question left-back Joe Skarz could be called into action in the next three games, despite initially being ruled out for the rest of the season

Joe Skarz
Getty Images
Joe Skarz

Skarz might be hurried back from a groin injury after defender Jordan Evans was forced off during last night's 1-1 draw at Newport with a suspected broken rib. 

Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram were also casualties during the trip to South Wales. 

Weather: Sunny and warm afternoon

BBC Weather

The day will be dry across the county with long sunny spells. 

Weather for Oxford, April 20

It will feel pleasantly warm with a slight breeze, with highs of 14C (57F), and will stay dry into the evening.

You can get more details on the BBC weather site.

Lunchtime headlines: New images of Didcot power station recovery work released

The top stories in Oxfordshire this lunchtime:

Travel latest: Slow traffic around Cutteslowe roundabout

BBC Travel

Despite a lane reopening this morning, there is still slow traffic on the A40 in both directions in Oxford at Cutteslowe Roundabout. 

Congestion is stretching to Cassington, on the Northern Bypass almost to Marston, and on A44 Woodstock Road to Peartree Interchange.

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Didcot Power Station collapse

A 40m (131ft) pile of rubble has been cleared from the collapsed Didcot power station site but finding the three missing men will take time, police say.

Read more

Gun owners take aim at licence delays

Adina Campbell

BBC South Today

Gun owners are calling for the government to deal with a backlog in processing firearms licences, saying some are having to wait nine months.

They say they're having to wait up to nine months for licences because of police delays

The firearms and shotgun licences are dealt with by Thames Valley Police, but staff cutbacks has caused the delays.

Oxford health trust brings in pay and display parking charges

Pay and display parking charges are to be introduced for the first time at sites operated by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Pay and display

The trust, which operates sites including the Warneford Hospital in Headington, says parking in and around its sites has become "increasingly problematic".

Free parking will be available for 30 minutes, but a £1 charge will be in place for every hour after that, enforced by a car park management company who will issue penalty fines. 

Many of our estate locations are very old and not designed for the volume of traffic we are experiencing; therefore we have to take action to ensure we manage parking safely at our sites.

Mike McEnaneyDirector responsible for estates and facilities

Chipping Norton rugby club vows to face the consequences after fixing a result

Witney Gazette

A west Oxfordshire rugby club has vowed to face up to the consequences after being slapped with a heavy points deduction for fixing a result.  

More than 1,000 runners finish OX5 run around Blenheim Palace

Banbury Cake

The 1,160 runners who pounded through the scenic grounds of Blenheim Palace may be still recovering, but hospital bosses and organisers of the OX5 run are already setting out plans for next year’s race.

New image and video of Didcot power station work released

Images released by the emergency services show more than 40 metres of twisted steel and rubble at the Didcot A power station has now been cleared

View more on twitter

But the effort to clear the site and recover the bodies of three missing workers "will still take some time".

In a statement released by Thames Valley Police, the agencies say the "absolute priority" is the recovery of the missing workmen.

Up to 20,000 tonnes of material needs to be moved and work is "ongoing seven days a week, from dawn to dusk".

'Time running out' for Southern Health NHS trust, says MP

A Hampshire MP who called the boss of Southern Health NHS trust to appear before a committee of MPs says "time is running out" for the trust's under-fire management.

Southern Health NHS Trust

Suella Fernandes, who leads on health issues for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hampshire, said following the meeting last night that a debate in Parliament should take place once the Care Quality Commission (CQC) releases its report into the investigation of deaths that took place under Southern Health's care.

While I appreciate Katrina Percy’s willingness to answer our questions, I told her that I still have serious concerns about the failings in the trust’s governance which have now been highlighted by two investigations. The CQC’s warning notice is a serious matter, and time is running out for the trust to demonstrate that it has the right leadership to make the changes required.

Oxford United hero relives Milk Cup glory

Howard Bentham

Radio Oxford presenter

On the 30th anniversary of the U's win, Jeremy Charles came into Radio Oxford to talk about his Wembley goal.

On the 30th anniversary of the U's win, Jeremy Charles talks about his Wembley goal

Police 'very worried' and appealing to trace missing Peter Maidment from Didcot

Oxford Mail

An appeal has been released this morning by Thames Valley Police for the public's help in tracing a missing man from Didcot.

Oxfordshire County Council

An independent review looking into the options for a "devolution deal" for Oxfordshire is to go ahead, despite concerns from the county council.

Read more

Get Involved: Your memories of Oxford Utd's Milk Cup win

Appleton: Dressing room looked like an A&E department

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton has spoken of his half-time dressing room last night resembling a scene from Casualty.

The U's drew 1-1 at Newport to cling on to an automatic promotion place in League Two, and Appleton believes his side can hold - despite the injuries and illnesses blighting his side.

Oxford United vs Newport County
Huw Evans Picture Agency

It's still in our own hands. If we can go into the Wycombe game in that position I think we'll get over the line. The amount of injuries and illnesses we have picked up over the last week, it was like an A&E in the dressing room at half time.

Michael AppletonHead coach, Oxford United

Didcot power station collapse contributed to extra £500,000 fire and rescue costs

The collapse of part of the Didcot A power station contributed to extra “one-off costs” of about £500,000 for Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue in February and March this year.

Emergency service workers at the power station site in Didcot
Emergency service workers at the power station site in Didcot

The service says it was a “very early estimate of a busy period”, which included the collapse at Didcot A power station.

Four men died in the collapse of the 10-strorey building on 23 February – three of the workers remain buried under the rubble.

There is no final figure for Didcot. The £500,000 figure is a very early estimate of a busy period for fire and rescue during February and March, including Didcot.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue

Oxford pupil's coded music wins space station competition

A piece of music composed by an Oxford teenager as part of an international computer coding competition will be heard by British astronaut Tim Peake on the International Space Station.

View more on Soundcloud

Jamie Andrews, aged 14, is a pupil at Bartholomew School and entered a competition being run by Raspberry Pi and NASA to create music using Sonic-Pi.

This coding platform allows people to learn to code by composing or performing music.

His code was judged the best in the 14 to 16 age group by the group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and British/French film composer Ilan Eshkeri.

Jamie is a budding programmer and we are delighted for him that he has won such a prestigious competition.

Craig ThomasOperational headteacher, Bartholomew School. Oxford

Milk Cup memories: 'Overwhelming' feeling to step onto pitch, says Wembley hero Les Phillips

BBC Radio Oxford

One of the heroes of Oxford United's Wembley win in 1986, centre midfielder Les Phillips, has been speaking about his memories of the day.

Jeremy Charles and Les Phillips (centre) celebrate with former U's owner Robert Maxwell after their victory in the Milk Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at the Manor Ground
Getty Images
Jeremy Charles and Les Phillips (centre) celebrate with former U's owner Robert Maxwell after their victory in the Milk Cup semi-final against Aston Villa at the Manor Ground

We walked out an hour and half before and that was daunting... when we got out there the hairs on the back of your neck really stood up. From that day on we all knew that it would be the biggest game we would ever play in. It was overwhelming to walk out on to the pitch and the Oxford Utd fans were superb. Arguably it was the best day in the club's history, but I am holding hope out for the team now - they look very good and I hope they're on the way back up.

Les Phillips

Oxford United mark 30th anniversary of Milk Cup glory

It's 30 years today since Oxford United won the biggest trophy in their history... the Milk Cup. 

Oxford United take on QPR at Wembley in 1986
Getty Images
Oxford United take on QPR at Wembley in 1986

All U's fans will of course know their glorious side of the 1980s beat QPR 3-0 in the Wembley final.

The club is opening a pop-up shop in Oxford today to mark the occasion - with the actual trophy on display.

What are your memories of that sunny day in 1986? Send them in to us via email.