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  1. Updates on Monday 16 May 2016

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 Tuesday with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Oxfordshire. Join us then.

Evening TV: Dancing and music helping people with dementia

On South Today this evening at 18:30: We've got the full story on a new funding proposal for Oxfordshire's children's centres, how GWR is forcing cyclists to reserve their places on high-speed services and an Oxford-led study into how we can save on our home energy costs.


Plus, how dancing and music is being used to help people with dementia in Henley. It's hoped it will help improve the well-being of those diagnosed with the condition.

Sport headlines: Kenny praised after Premier League debut

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny, who's been on loan at Oxford United this season, has been praised by his Goodison Park boss after his Premier League debut  
  • Former Oxford United midfielder Scott Davies has announced he is joining Oxford City for next season

Weather: Dry and mostly clear night

BBC Weather

It will stay dry across the region overnight with light winds and some good clear spells. Becoming chilly in places by morning with the odd mist patch possible. Low temp 8C (46F).

Oxford weather 16 May 2016

Travel latest: Delays around the Cutteslow Roundabout, in Clifton Hampden and Banbury

BBC Travel

  • There's very slow traffic on the A40 in both directions in Oxford at Cutteslowe Roundabout in the roadworks area
  • It's slow on the A415 Abingdon Road in both directions in Clifton Hampden at the B4015 Oxford Road junction
  • And it's slow on the A361 South Bar Street in both directions in Banbury at Banbury Cross

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Latest headlines: Southern Health boss's fate to be decided in next six weeks

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this evening in Oxfordshire:

Oxford's new Lord Mayor to be sworn in

Oxford's new Lord Mayor is about to be officially sworn in. 

Mohammed Altaf-Khan has been a Liberal Democrat city councillor since 2006 and has also sat on the county council.

The bells of Carfax Tower will be rung from 17:45 by the Oxford Society of Change Ringers to commemorate the event.

Not time to 'point fingers' over Oxford fatberg crisis says curry house owner

Oxford Mail

A curry house owner with more than 25 years' experience has called for authorities to do more to stop a city-wide fatberg crisis.

Plans to spend £2m children's centre cash revealed

Oxfordshire County Council has set out how it plans to spend £2m it reallocated for children's centres, in the wake of protests against planned cuts to the service.

Campaigners have staged protests against proposed cuts to Oxfordshire's children's centres
Campaigners have staged protests against proposed cuts to Oxfordshire's children's centres

All 44 children's centres and seven early intervention hubs were planned to be replaced with eight children and families centres, in a bid to save £8m.

This was reduced to £6m at the council budget meeting in February, which now allows for eight 'outreach centres' to remain, plus two 'shared locality bases'.

This cash will be spent on:

  • £100,000 - extra services delivered at surviving children and family centres in Oxford (Blackbird Leys) and Banbury
  • £1m - provision of 30 new staff members to identify vulnerable children and act as "community coordinators"
  • £900,000 - more staff for family support teams, dealing with families who do not meet the threshold for statutory social care

Southern Health board meeting postponed over legal threat

Michael Buchanan

Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

The chairman of Southern Health NHS trust said he postponed a board meeting due to take place tomorrow because of the potential threat of legal action.

Tim Smart
Crispin Hughes

Tim Smart said he received legal advice that to proceed with the meeting would have led to a judicial review by certain managers at the trust. 

"I did not need a judicial review hanging over me to prevent me from making improvements," he added.

A meeting of the governors of the trust would be held in four to six weeks time.

BreakingSouthern Health boss's fate will be decided in next six weeks

Michael Buchanan

Social Affairs Correspondent, BBC News

The future of the embattled chief executive of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust will be decided within the next six weeks. 

Katrina Percy

Katrina Percy has faced repeated calls to resign in recent months. 

In an interview with the BBC, the new chairman of the trust, Tim Smart, said he was carrying out an internal review of the leadership of Southern Health which would include a decision on Ms Percy's future. 

Pressed on whether he had confidence in her, he refused to answer.

Man and teenager arrested over Witney GBH

A man and a teenage boy have been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm after a man was attacked in Witney in the early hours of Sunday.

The 28-year-old was attacked in Market Square at about 02:00 by three people who kicked and punched him when he was on the ground.

He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital with serious injuries.

A 17-year-old boy and a 23-year-old man, both from Witney, have been arrested and released on police bail until 14 June.

Call for public's help to save ash trees

Environmental groups are asking for the public's help to stem the tide of a disease which is threatening to wipe out the country's ash trees.

Ash tree
Millions of ash trees are at risk from the fungal ash-dieback disease

Although millions of trees are at risk from the fungal ash-dieback disease, the Living Ash Project aims to find the 1% of tolerant native ash trees from which to breed the next generation of healthy trees.

Thanks to £1.2m in funding from the government, the project leaders want to use 'citizen science' to find those trees that can ward off the disease. 

Members of the public are being asked to register for aluminium tags to fix to ash trees and record its details and photos on a special website.

Foscote Private Hospital sees 'significant improvements'

A private hospital that was told it had to make "urgent improvements" to ensure patient safety has now been rated "good" by the health watchdog.

Foscote Private Hospital in Banbury, Oxfordshire, was given an inadequate rating after a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection in July.

Inspectors said safety was compromised during surgery because staff were working beyond their skill sets.

Oxford sex exploitation girl 'locked in home' by mother

Peter Cooke

BBC South Today

A girl who was sexually exploited over a 10-year period was locked in her house by her mother to stop her meeting older men, a court has heard.

The second of two women to give evidence at the trial at Oxford Crown Court, Girl B and now aged 22, described meeting two men on Cowley Road and being given drink and drugs.

The court heard some of the activity was filmed on a mobile phone.

Seven men deny sexually exploiting two girls in Oxford between 1999 and 2009. The trial continues. 

Hot air balloon lands in Abingdon housing estate

Oxford Mail

A hot air balloon landing the middle of a street in Abingdon caused a stir last night.

Cotswolds MP criticises 'Coxit' idea

Cotswold District Council (CDC), which has proposed breaking away from Gloucestershire County Council, has been criticised by an MP.

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown
Conservative Party
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said the idea for Cotswold council to merge with West Oxfordshire District Council, dubbed "Coxit", would be "expensive".

But CDC leader Lynden Stowe said he was "shocked by the amount of flak" since the proposals were announced.

Governor insists Southern Health board meeting will go ahead

Joe Nimmo

BBC News

A Southern Health NHS trust governor says a cancelled meeting where a vote of no confidence in its leadership was expected will go ahead.

Peter Bell called for the motion to be discussed at an extraordinary board meeting on Tuesday. But on Saturday trust chairman Tim Smart cancelled it for legal reasons.

Now Mr Bell has said he is one of four public governors who are planning to hold the meeting as planned.

Meanwhile, former trust governor Mark Aspinall, who resigned last month, has set up a Gofundme web page to help Mr Bell pay for the meeting.

Latest headlines: M40 crash lorry driver held on suspicion of drink driving

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories so far today:

Lorry driver held on suspicion of drink driving after M40 crash

A lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after a crash on the M40 this morning which left an Oxford man seriously injured.

The 24-year-old had to be cut from his car after the crash on the northbound carriageway between Thame and the A40 junction for Oxford at about 03:00.

Thames Valley Police says a lorry driver was arrested further up the road in connection with the incident. One lane was closed for several hours while they investigated.

'Bigger picture' is bright for Oxfordshire after Brexit, says council leader

The leader of the Tory-run South Oxfordshire District Council says the county's long-term economic prospects are bright, despite warnings more than 1,000 clean-energy jobs may be lost if the UK exits the EU.

John Cotton, leader of South Oxfordshire District Council

John Cotton says it's the "bigger picture we have to look at", even though livelihoods are dependent on trade grants from the EU.

There was a list published which showed eight of the top 50 universities in the world are in the UK, and only one in the EU. It shows the reason we punch above our weight is not because we are in the European Union, but we have the best universities in the world. That will still be the case afterwards.

John CottonLeader of South Oxfordshire District Council

Kassam says United promotion to League One is boost to talks about fourth stand

Oxford Times

Talks about building a fourth stand at the Kassam Stadium should be brought forward again now that Oxford United have won promotion to League One, Firoz Kassam says.

Big fall in Mental Health Act police cell detentions

Thames Valley Police (TVP) has reported a 72% drop in the number of people locked up in police cells under the Mental Health Act.

In the year to 4 May 2016, 24 people were held in police custody out of the 1,095 people detained under section 136 of the law.

I am very encouraged by these figures. TVP recognised that putting people who have been detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act into police custody was not in most cases appropriate. People need to be in supportive surroundings where they are able to receive the specialist help they need.

Nikki RossAssistant Chief Constable, TVP

Sport headlines: Praise for Jonjoe Kenny's Premier League debut

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

  • Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny, who's been on loan at Oxford United this season, has been praised by his Goodison Park boss after his Premier League debut  
  • Former Oxford United midfielder Scott Davies has announced he is joining Oxford City for next season
  • Oxfordshire's cricketers lost by four wickets to Dorset in the Minor Counties Knockout trophy

Weather: Fine afternoon with sunny spells

BBC Weather

A fine afternoon with pleasantly warm sunny spells.

While cloud will build through the day, and the odd spot of rain cannot be ruled out, it should remain dry for most. Winds will also remain light throughout.

Oxford weather 16 May

Travel latest: Delays on the A34 and A40

BBC Travel

  • One lane is blocked and there's slow traffic on the A34 northbound between Weston-on-the-Green and Bicester after an accident
  • And one lane is closed on the A40 eastbound in Wheatley before the M40 J8 because of a broken-down lorry

You can get the latest on the BBC Travel site.

Latest headlines: New rules on rail passengers with bikes

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories this lunchtime:

Lorry driver arrested after early hours M40 crash left Oxford man seriously injured

Oxford Mail

A lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving after an Oxford man in his early 20s was taken to hospital.

'Smart' electricity use could save us £8bn

More than £8bn could be saved if only we were smarter about how we use electricity, Oxford researchers say.


Consumption at peak times is costing us a fortune, says Dr Phil Grunewald, deputy director of energy research at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute. 

He's asking for volunteers to log their activities in a new study to look at how we use electricity in the home.

Jonjoe Kenny makes Premier League debut

Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny, who's been on loan at Oxford United this season, has followed up the U's promotion joy with his Premier League debut.

Jonjoe Kenny
Rex Features
Jonjoe Kenny

He came on during Everton's final match of the season at home to Norwich and drew praise from the Toffees' caretaker boss.

[He] came on and was outstanding. A proper full back's performance, stopping crosses, getting forward, getting on the ball with no fear.

David UnsworthCaretaker manager, Everton

Bookies suspend betting on next James Bond after flurry of bets

Banbury Cake

Betting has been suspended on Tom Hiddleston to become the next James Bond after a flurry of bets on the former Oxford schoolboy.   

Invictus Games was 'absolutely fantastic' says Oxfordshire athlete

The Invictus Games have been hailed as "absolutely fantastic" by an Oxfordshire-based athlete. 

The Great Britain Invictus Games squad with Prince Harry
Getty Images
The Great Britain Invictus Games squad with Prince Harry

It was Nathan Jones' first time competing at the tournament which was held in Orlando. 

The flight lieutenant was injured in a flying accident while travelling to Camp Bastion and is based at RAF Brize Norton. 

He took two bronzes in the swimming just days after crashing out of the cycling event.

The Royal British Legion managed to fly friends and family out, so I had my whole family out in the stands screaming me on. It's been absolutely fantastic and it's an experience I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.

Nathan Jones

Latest headlines: Brexit clean-energy jobs warning

Chris Brown

BBC News

The top stories so far today:

Investment call for Sandford Lock hydroelectric power plant scheme

The boss of a social enterprise planning to build a hydroelectric power station at Sandford Lock is calling on local people to invest in the scheme.

Similar hydroelectric scheme plants can generate enough power for whole villages
Similar hydroelectric scheme plants can generate enough power for whole villages

Dr Barbara Hammond MBE says it could create enough energy to power the entire village of Sandford. 

She adds Low Carbon Hub has the funds already in place, but wants local people to get involved to provide new investment.

We have all the funding available to take the project forward, but clearly we want to get local people involved. It's better for us if we've got lots of new equity investment.

Dr Barbara Hammond MBECEO of Low Carbon Hub

Wisteria hysteria

BBC Radio Oxford's Lilley Mitchell is on the hunt for Oxfordshire's most glorious blooms...

View more on twitter

Depression therapy service to treat 2,500 more people in need

More people in Oxfordshire will have access to therapies for depression, following the expansion of a local support service.

Talking Space is hoping the move will let them help an extra 2,500 more people in the county each year. 

One of the treatments they can offer is cognitive behavioural therapy.

For a long while I managed on anti-depressants from my doctor, who was as helpful as he could be. But it wasn't until I was referred to Talking Space that everything changed. I had CBT and that was an utter revelation. I will still probably take anti-depressants for the rest of my life, but it doesn't mean other therapies can't help. Cognitive therapy was a brilliant help.

Carolyn MajorTalking Space patient from Banbury

Clean-energy jobs warning if Britain quits EU

More than 1,000 clean-energy jobs could go if the UK leaves the EU, the boss of the country's nuclear research agency warns.

Prof Cowley said scientific expertise would leave Oxfordshire in the event of Brexit
Prof Cowley said scientific expertise would leave Oxfordshire in the event of Brexit

Professor Steve Cowley, CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, spoke out over fears £55m in annual European funds could disappear.

But former shadow science minister and Conservative MP Adam Afriyie said Prof Cowley's claims were "absolutely ridiculous".

Get involved: Haven't got a reservation? On yer bike!

From today, railway passengers who travel with their bikes will be forced to make a reservation on high-speed GWR trains

Are you a cyclist who uses trains? Is this a reasonable policy, or is it just an added and unnecessary inconvenience?

Let us know on Twitter @bbcoxford or email us.