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  1. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume at 08:00 on Friday

Live Reporting

By Chris Brown

All times stated are UK

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Our news coverage through the day

That's all from BBC Local Live for today.

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

Evening TV: A gin-aissance in the Cotswolds

South Today

Coming up on South Today:

The number of new distilleries opening in England increased by a third last year. 

Cotswolds Distillery gin

One of the 56 that's opened is the Cotswolds Distillery in Shipston-on-Stour making gin. 

The new business has been started with the help of a million pounds of financial help from the public, through crowd funding.

For that and all the day's top stories, watch on BBC One at 18:30.

Junior doctor welcomes new contract talks

A junior doctor from Oxford has welcomed news that the government and the British Medical Association will return to talks over the controversial new junior doctors' contract.

Junior doctors on strike

Ministers said they would pause the introduction of the contract in England for five days from Monday to allow for new negotiations.

Nicola Lovett, a junior doctor from Oxford who works at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, says she is "hopeful".

Through discussions and negotiation we can get a contract that's safe for both the patients and the staff, because the current contract as it stands is not fit for purpose.

Nicola LovettJunior doctor

Sport headlines: U's Hylton 'can't wait' for chance to secure promotion

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Oxford United striker Danny Hylton says he "can't wait" for a chance to secure League Two automatic promotion
  • Top scorer Kemar Roofe was back in training today for the first time this week - in fact, every member of the U's first team squad trained this morning
  • Wycombe have fewer than 200 tickets left for their section of the Kassam Stadium, so with all tickets for home areas snapped up days ago the match is heading for a complete sell-out

Weather: Dry evening, chilly in some rural parts

BBC Weather

It will stay dry across the region this evening and overnight, with some good clear spells. 

With light winds it will become rather chilly in some rural parts by morning. Low temp 8C (46F).

Oxford weather 5 May 2016

Latest headlines: Man held over Drayton post office ram-raid

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories in Oxfordshire this evening:

Travel latest: Delays on the A4144, Western bypass and A415

BBC Travel

  • The A4144 Abingdon Road in Oxford is partially blocked and there's very slow traffic inbound at the Western Road junction, because of emergency repairs
  • There's slow traffic on the A34 Western Bypass Road northbound between Peartree Interchange in Oxford and Islip turn-off in Islip
  • And it's slow on the A415 Abingdon Road in both directions in Clifton Hampden at the B4015 Oxford Road junction

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Phone box gets homely makeover as mystery prankster makes dig at Oxford rents

Oxford Mail

A political prankster crammed a phone box with home comforts and stuck up a to-let sign advertising it as a studio flat.  

Oxford University rejects call for expulsion of Rhodes Must Fall scholar

The Daily Telegraph

A petition to have Rhodes Must Fall activist Ntokozo Qwabe sent down from Oxford or stripped of his scholarship for verbally abusing a white waitress has been rejected by the university, which said it would violate his “free speech”.   

Phone app helps neighbours share spare food

A new phone app is letting people in Oxford share their unwanted food in the hope of wasting less.

Waste food

Smartphone users can access the free Olio app to tell neighbours if they have any surplus food.

It's also being used by local independent shops and cafes. 

Across the UK households throw away more than £12.5billion worth of edible food every year.

Six-storey car park at Didcot Parkway looks set for summer start

Oxfordshire Guardian

A £23 million six-storey upgrade of Didcot Parkway station’s car park will begin this summer.

Tim Smart confirmed as chairman of Southern Health NHS trust

Health regulator NHS Improvements has confirmed it is appointing Tim Smart as the interim chairman of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

His appointment comes after the resignation of Mike Petter last week, following a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report that found the trust was "continuing to put patients at risk".

Mr Smart retired as Chief Executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust last year. He was at King’s for seven years, having previously worked for Shell and BT.

The people that rely on our services and their families will be at the heart of everything we do. Two of my immediate priorities are to make sure that the quality and safety of our services improve and to make sure the Board functions more effectively.

Tim SmartInterim chairman of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Weather latest: 20C in Brize Norton!

Data from the Met Office shows the mercury hit 20C (68F) in Brize Norton - making this the hottest day of the year. 

Weather Watcher picture from Mandy & Polly in Witney

And it's always nice to see the 20C barrier breached... our Weather Watchers Mandy & Polly clearly enjoyed the glorious weather in Witney earlier.

Jobs at risk at Banbury Academy

Jobs are at risk at an Oxfordshire school as falling pupil numbers in recent years has meant reduced funding. 

The associate principal at Banbury Academy says he hopes most of the reduction in staff would be through natural turnover rather than through redundancies.

Pravahi Osman adds student numbers are expected to go up again next year, but "does not anticipate [job cuts] adding to teachers' workload".

Bride forced to go down aisle in wheelchair after car crash on A44

Witney Gazette

A bride was forced to go up the aisle in a wheelchair after a man crashed head-on into the car she and her fiancé were travelling in during the run-up to their wedding.  

BBC Sport team keeping the competition cool

Latest headlines: Police arrest man after Drayton post office ram-raid

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this afternoon:

A glimpse into the future of mental healthcare?

Fergus Walsh

Medical correspondent

Testing out Oxford team's virtual reality treatment for people with severe paranoia, typically associated with a mental health disorder such as schizophrenia.

A team from Oxford University has used virtual reality to help treat severe paranoia.

Man arrested on suspicion of exposure after incident near school

Oxford Times

A man has been arrested on suspicion of exposure after an incident near Rose Hill primary school this morning.

Man arrested over ram-raid on Drayton post office

Police have arrested a 35-year-old man after a car was rammed into the post office in Drayton, near Abingdon, early this morning.

Calls were made to police at about 03:00 of a car being reversed into the shop front.

The driver of a a silver Honda Accord left in the direction of Wooton, forcing a motorcyclist to stop, before he was stopped by police in Ducklington.

He has now been arrested on on suspicion of dangerous driving and burglary other than in a dwelling. He remains in custody.

Oxford hotel spring break joint-second most expensive in Britain

Oxford hotels come joint-second in a list of the most expensive places in Britain to stay this spring, a survey has suggested.


Visitors will need to spend on average £112 per night for double room in a city centre hotel with three stars or above.

St Andrews comes top of the table, charging £119 a night, with Bath joining Oxford in second place.

Travel latest: Oxford Eastern Bypass blocked

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked on the A4142 Eastern Bypass eastbound in Rose Hill, Oxford at Heyford Hill Roundabout, because of a broken-down tractor.

Businesses shortlisted for the 2016 Oxfordshire Business Awards

Banbury Cake

Finalists from across the county have been shortlisted for the 2016 Oxfordshire Business Awards.  

Man arrested after car smashes into village post office

Oxford Mail

Police have cordoned off Drayton Post Office this morning after a car smashed into the front of the shop. Thames Valley Police arrested a man on suspicion of burglary following the crash which happened at around 3am.

Hylton 'cannot wait' for promotion shot

"It's the biggest game that I've ever played in," Oxford United striker Danny Hylton told BBC Radio Oxford.

Danny Hylton

Hylton 'cannot wait' for promotion shot

Oxford United striker Danny Hylton "cannot wait" for a chance to help secure League Two automatic promotion.

Read more

Sport headlines: Hylton says U's squad aren't nervous ahead of season finale

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Oxford United striker Danny Hylton says the squad aren't feeling any nerves ahead of Saturday's season finale, which could see them promoted to League One
  • Top scorer Kemar Roofe is in training for the first time this week, and says he is "desperate" to play this weekend
  • Former Oxford United boss Gary Waddock is back in management, having rejoined Aldershot Town for a second time

Weather: Warm, dry and sunny afternoon

BBC Weather

A warm, dry and sunny afternoon with temperatures reaching as high as 19C (66F). It will remain dry moving into the evening, with light winds.

Oxford weather 5 May 2016

Latest headlines: Family tribute to man killed in Oxford road crash

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this lunchtime: 

'Oxford United stars must know they have what it takes to claim promotion'

Jerome Sale

BBC South Today

Sport editor Jerome Sale previews the U's date with destiny on Saturday.

Sport editor Jerome Sale previews the U's date with destiny on Saturday

Gymnastics clubs struggling to keep up with demand

BBC Radio Oxford

More than 1,000 children are on waiting lists for some gymnastics clubs in Oxfordshire.

Gymnastics clubs

Dave Marshall, from British Gymnastics, says there has been a 25% increase in club memberships in Oxfordshire in the last 12 months.

While he says they're doing all they can to improve the situation, they are struggling to keep up with demand. 

How the BBC reports polling day 2016

Ever wondered what rules the BBC applies to reporting on election day?

Polling station

We have to be fair and impartial, of course, but we also need to think about how our stories appear on our website and what we can say on polling day itself. 

Click here to find out more...

UK universities slip in world rankings

Oxford has moved down two places to number five.


UK universities slip in world rankings

The UK has 10 universities in the top 100 of the world's best when it comes to global reputation, but many have slipped down the rankings in the past year.

Read more

Oxford scientist figures out how to count cheetahs in the wild

David Prever

BBC Radio Oxford

David Prever spoke to Dr Femke Broekhuis from Oxford University's Department of Zoology.

This content only works in the UK.

Oxford zoologist Dr Femke Broekhuis on the problems with counting cheetahs.

Dr Femke is director of the Mara Cheetah Project, which has discovered that previous cheetah counts have been little more than guesswork - and they've come-up with a better way to do it.

Latest headlines: Firefighter urges understanding of 999 staff mental health problems

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories so far today:

Travel latest: Accident blocks A44 in Woodstock

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A44 Oxford Road northbound in Woodstock, between Bladon Roundabout and the Vermont Drive junction, because of an accident involving two cars.

You can get the latest travel info on the BBC Travel site.

Mental health problems 'nothing to be ashamed of', says firefighter

A firefighter in the South, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, has urged people to understand that emergency service workers are facing mental health issues.

Fire engine
Science Photo Library

His call comes as it emerged a quarter of all emergency service staff surveyed by the charity Mind said they had thought of taking their own life.

We need people to understand and accept that mental health issues occur in the emergency services, and it's not anything to be ashamed of.

Mark HairFirefighter

Oxford United prepare for day of destiny

Oxford United's players are training at the Kassam Stadium today, rather than the usual training ground, just 48 hours before their date with destiny.

Oxford United players celebrate
Getty Images

They take on Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, with a win guaranteeing them promotion to League 1 - their highest place in the league ladder for 15 years.

Oxford team treats paranoia with virtual reality

Fergus Walsh

Medical correspondent

A team from Oxford University has used virtual reality to help treat severe paranoia.

Virtual reality help for paranoia: Patients were encouraged to get into this virtual lift
Oxford University
Patients with severe paranoia were encouraged to get into this virtual lift

Patients who suffered persecutory delusions were encouraged to step into a computer-generated London Underground train carriage and a lift.

The simulations allowed the study's 30 patients to learn social situations they feared were actually safe.

At the heart of paranoia is the unfounded belief that people are under threat. With virtual reality we can help the person to re-learn that they are safe.

Prof Daniel FreemanClinical psychologist, Oxford University Department of Psychiatry

Family tribute to Sheldon Thomas

The family of a man who died after the car he was driving hit a tree in Oxford has thanked friends and family for their support.

Sheldon Thomas
Thames Valley Police
Sheldon Thomas

Sheldon Thomas, aged 30, died after the incident in Parks Road at about 05:00 on Monday.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call police on 101 quoting URN 189 2/5.

The family of Sheldon Thomas, who was aged 30 years old, said he was a loving son and is sadly missed. The family wish to express their thanks to all the family and friends that have shown their support during this sad time.

Thames Valley Police

'It wasn't my daughter's fault... something was wrong'

Firefighter Mark Hair has talked about his experiences struggling with mental health issues.

Mark Hair speaks out as charity Mind reveals pressures faced by 999 staff across the UK

He says he broke down crying and his three-year-old daughter told him: "It'll be alright, it's my fault, you'll be OK". 

That was the moment he realised something was wrong and he needed help.