Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Today's top stories:

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all from Oxfordshire Live for today

Many thanks for joining us today, and we'll be back from 08:00 on Monday with all the latest, news, views, pictures and video from around the county.

See you then.

Masked men armed with shotgun rob G4S van

Two masked men armed with a shotgun have stolen a cash box from a G4S security van making a delivery.

An Oxfam charity shop
Google
The van was parked outside an Oxfam charity shop

The robbers struck at about 11:20 BST on High Street in Thame, Oxfordshire.

They escaped the scene in a car which police said appeared to be travelling towards the southbound M40.

A Thames Valley Police helicopter was dispatched to search for the suspects but could find no trace of them.

Didcot demolition: Industry expert says use of robots 'unproven'

The editor of Demolition News, Mark Anthony, said using robots to plant explosives was "unproven" in the industry.

He said: "The entire demolition world is watching it with interest... because it's an untried system.

The debris
Thames Valley Police

"The main concern is to get the building down, get it down safely, and allow the recovery operation to take place.

"But over and above that from a technical standpoint it will be interesting to see how it is carried out and how successful it is."

Scamper runner up in parliamentary pet prize

For those of you charmed by the image of Ed Vaizey's hamster Scamper (he's probably getting his own agent, fan club and Twitter account as we speak) you will be delighted to hear that he came second in the RSPCA's Parliamentary Pet of the Year competition.

Named in first place at the prestigious event at Victoria Tower Gardens earlier this week was Milo the lurcher, owned by Conservative MP for Castle Point Rebecca Harris.

Milo
Rebecca Harris / RSPCA

Henley festival boats starts today

Henley Standard

More than 180 boats of all shapes and sizes will be on show at this year’s Thames Traditional Boat Festival which starts today.  

'No more Oxford sales' - Appleton

Callum O'Dowda and Kemar Roofe
Getty Images

Callum O'Dowda and Kemar Roofe

No more Oxford sales - Appleton

Oxford boss Michael Appleton says no more players will leave the club ahead of their campaign in League One.

Read more

Governor calls NHS trust council 'irrelevant'

As we mentioned earlier, John Green, Public Governor for the South West, has resigned from his post at Southern Health NHS Trust.

In his resignation letter he said he had been intending to resign for some time but had delayed doing so on the assumption there would be an extraordinary meeting of the trust's council of governors (CoG) before any decisions were made by NHS Improvement or the government. 

Southern Health NHS Trust sign
BBC

He said the meeting, which had been "indefinitely prevented from taking place" had been intended to determine a resolution of no confidence in the trust's board. 

He said: "This has not occurred and it now makes such a meeting pointless, because the CoG is clearly considered as irrelevant."

'Last' Art in Action festival

Large crowds have gathered for the 40th, and potentially last, Art in Action Festival at Waterperry Gardens.

The festival has struggled in recent years to attract volunteers and visitors.

Increased competition from other events has seen the festival make a financial loss in recent years.

Organiser Simon Buchanan said the event would "pause" and his vision is for Waterperry Gardens to "develop as a centre for the arts in the years to come".

Big crowds flock to what is the 40th and potentially last event

Duck findings 'scientific quackery'

Oxfordshire's Big Picture

Here's a little loveliness to take us into the weekend...

A dandelion in the sunshine near Watlington, by Hayley Butler, aged 12, with her new camera.
Barry Smith
A dandelion in the sunshine near Watlington, by Hayley Butler, aged 12, with her new camera.

Oxfordshire's Big Picture

If you have a great image of Oxfordshire, we would love to showcase it. Send it to us with details and where the picture was taken to oxfordshire@bbc.co.uk, or post it on Twitter @bbcoxford or BBC Oxford on Facebook.

BreakingThame armed robbery

We are in High Street, Thame following an armed robbery of a van this morning. There is a road closure in place and we are investigating 1/2

Supermarket confirms store at Great Western Park

Oxford Mail

The Great Western Park development has been given a boost with the announcement a major supermarket will be setting up shop next year.  

Travel latest: Festival delays

BBC Travel

There are long delays on A4130 in both directions in Milton Hill around the Featherbed Lane junction, because of Truck Festival. 

Congestion is stretching back to Milton Interchange and to Rowstock.

Cute alert: Ducks follow 'same' shapes

If you have an aversion to cute ducklings, then look away now.

Oxford University scientists have been using different shapes and colours so show that, far from being bird-brained, ducklings have mental abilities usually associated with highly intelligent animals.

Researchers found the newly hatched birds recognised pairs of objects as either the "same" or "different".

The ability, which was recorded 15 minutes after hatching, is believed to help them identify their mother.

The finding is the first spontaneous demonstration of the skill in a non-human species.

MP's hamster makes social media debut

Wantage MP Ed Vaizey tweeted this picture of his pet hamster Scamper after they came second in Westminster's Responsible Pet Ownership Competition.

View more on twitter

Can you help spot Theresa?

Oxford Mail

The Oxford Mail asks if our new Prime Minster is among the girls in a 1973 school photograph taken at Wheatley Park School.

It is believed to feature Theresa May, who attended the school and its predecessor Holton Park Girls' Grammar School. Can you spot her?

Bird brain of Britain

Oxford scientists have discovered that ducklings have mental abilities usually associated with highly intelligent animals.

Nothing bird-brained about ducklings

Researchers found the fluffy hatchlings were able to recognise pairs of objects as either the same or different within 15 minutes of being born.

They say the spontaneous skill helps them identify their mother.

Truck Festival 2016 under way

A trucking good time

Truck Festival opens in Steventon today.

The annual independent music festival was started in 1998 by the Bennett family.

Kodaline
BBC

The line up includes, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Manic Street Preachers and Kodaline (pictured).

BBC Introducing in Oxford will be broadcasting live from the festival from 20:00 on Saturday. Tune in.

Southern Health resignation

A governor at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has resigned. The trust has been under fire since a report found it had failed to properly investigate hundreds of deaths of patients - including that of Connor Sparrowhawk in Oxford.

Connor Sparrowhawk
Sara Ryan

In his resignation letter, John Green, Public Governor for the South West, described the way in which the trust and the NHS responded to the report as "farcical".  

Sunday road closures in Didcot

On Sunday between 05:30 and 07:30 a section of the A4130 between the railway bridge and Southmead Industrial Estate will be closed, as well as Milton Road between the railway bridge and the traffic lights.

An exclusion zone for the demolition has been set up within the station’s boundary fence.

RWE Npower warned members of the public to not attempt to enter the site “for safety reasons and out of respect for the families of the three men involved in this incident”.

Didcot demolition scheduled

Didcot Power Station collapse

Didcot demolition blast will go ahead

The final section of the collapsed Didcot Power Station will be demolished in the early hours of Sunday.

Read more

Demolition operation 'extremely complicated'

In a statement released today, RWE Npower described the operation to demolish the boiler house as “extremely complicated”.

Police at Didcot collapse
BBC

“Given that the remaining structure is made mostly of steel, the explosion and collapse may be heard off site,” the company said in a statement.

“Any noise is expected to be over in less than a minute.“It is possible that there will be airborne dust from the site; this is not harmful but could cause a nuisance.”

Didcot demolition

Earlier in the week the energy company sent letters to people living nearby to inform them preparations for the explosive demolition had started.

The letter said: "The explosion and collapse may be heard off site, however any noise will be over in under a minute. It is possible that there will be airborne dust, this is not harmful but could cause a nuisance. 

"We would recommend keeping doors and windows closed to minimise noise and dust nuisance." 

Work to recover the men's bodies had been halted because contractors have reached a 50m (164 ft) exclusion zone.

Didcot power station: The recent backstory

Oxfordshire's coal-fired Didcot A Power Station was turned off in 2013, after 43 years in service.

The site was able to generate 2,000 MW of electricity - enough to meet the needs of two million households - owners RWE Npower said.

The station included six cooling towers, measuring 375ft (114m) in height, which dominated the skyline of the town.

Hundreds of people gathered to watch when three of the towers were demolished in the early hours of 27 July 2014.

A gas-burning power station - known as Didcot B - opened in 1997 on the site and continues to operate.

major fire was declared at Didcot B in October 2014, with 20 fire crews sent to tackle the blaze at its peak. The cause was later confirmed as an electrical fault.

Further demolition work took place, and then a major incident was declared in February when part of a building collapsed, killing four men.

Three of the men remain missing. Sarah Champion, MP in the families’ constituencies, called the failure to find them a “national scandal” in May.

Didcot collapse - aerial shot
AP

BreakingDidcot demolition set for Sunday

The demolition of the remaining section of Didcot Power Station will be carried out on Sunday.

RWE Npower is planning to bring down the remains of the boiler house at the Didcot A plant between 5:30 and 7:30 BST.

It partly collapsed in February, killing four men. Three bodies are yet to be recovered, despite protests by their families. 

Darryl Eales: 'We're more powerful than most'

Oxford United play the final match of their pre-season tour of Spain tonight when they take on local third division side Marbella. 

It will bring down the curtain on a week that's seen hundreds of supporters enjoy fun in the sun, while the players intensified preparations for the new campaign in League One which is just three weeks away now. 

The United owner is Darryl Eales and he spoke to our sports editor Jerome Sale in Marbella.

Jerome Sale speaks to Oxford United owner Darryl Eales

We have a plan...

It's a mystery why Chinese tourists are visiting a nondescript street in Kidlington. Will this work?

Solving the Kidlington tourist mystery

No more sales

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton says his club can't afford to let any other players leave if they're to be competitive in League One this season. 

It follows last night's move for Callum O'Dowda to Bristol City for a fee that could rise to more than £1.6 million.

Callum O'Dowda
Bristol Sport/JMPUK

Appleton says the priority is replacing the Republic of Ireland international whose departure came a week after striker Kemar Roofe went to Leeds for £3 million.

Travel latest: Collision on A34 Northbound

BBC Travel

There are problems on the A34 Northbound, with reports of a collision at Junction 13. 

The carriageway is currently blocked.

Good morning and welcome to Oxfordshire Live

Welcome to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire on this Friday morning.

We'll be bringing you the news stories in the county as they develop.

As always, you can give us your views, and let us know what's happening where you are via emailFacebook or Twitter.