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Summary

  1. Council leaders pause devolution plans
  2. Trident: Oxford East MP attacks 'colossal waste of money'
  3. Oxford United sign striker Rob Hall; keeper Sam Slocombe leaves
  4. Accident at Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts
  5. Anger at hospital plans to reduce bed numbers
  6. Philip Pullman novel is brought to life in bookshop

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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First day of children's centers judicial review

Bethan Phillips

Political reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Today I've been in Birmingham hearing the first day of a judicial review into Oxfordshire County Council's decision to close the majority of its children's centres to save millions of pounds.

Protestors
Desmond Brambley

The plans have sparked protests ever since they were announced - David Cameron's mother even signed a petition against them.Essentially lawyers for two families were arguing today the decision wasn't made in the proper way - the consultation wasn't carried out correctly and the local need for the centres wasn't properly assessed.The county council has said those claims were legally and factually misconceived.       

Sara McDonald died after 'worrying text' to colleague

Oxford Mail

Ambulance worker Sara McDonald was found dead after sending a "worrying text" to a colleague, Oxfordshire's coroner said.

Councils accused of 'mind-boggling' waste of money

Councils who paid for two rival devolution studies have been accused of a "mind-boggling" waste of money after they agreed to work together.

County Hall
ROBIN SONES

The reviews cost about £100,000 each and examined different ways of organising services in Oxfordshire.

But the publications of both have now been postponed while the opposing sides "discuss areas of common ground".

Green party leader David Williams described the councils as behaving "like kids in a playground".

Travel latest: Broken-down car on Eastern Bypass

Streaks of summer

Can you guess what type of clouds we're seeing here over Henley-on-Thames?

We're going with 'extremely high cirriform', but perhaps you can correct us?

Whatever the name, it's a beautiful sight on the hottest day of the year.

Sky
BBC
Weatherwatcher Jess in Henley on Thames

Cool, calm and collection

It's a good day to be a solar panel, particularly if it's your job to keep Oxford's Bodleian Library book storage facility cool in near 35C (95F) heat.

View more on twitter

New Oxford bishop takes seat in House of Lords

The new bishop of Oxford, Rt Rev Steven Croft, has taken his seat in the House of Lords in a ceremony full of old English tradition. 

The Rt Rev Steven Croft swore allegiance to the Queen in ceremony

He was flanked by supporters the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, and the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, as he swore the oath of allegiance to the Queen.

Big rise in number of criminal cases dropped

The number of criminal cases dropped in the Thames Valley region due to lack of evidence has risen by more than 50% - despite a fall in the number of cases brought.

Court
Thinkstock

There was a fall of 21% in the number of prosecutions brought between 2012 and 2015. 

But in the same period, the number of cases dropped due to a lack of evidence fell by 52%.

Council leaders pause devolution plans

Council leaders across Oxfordshire have agreed to delay the publication of a study into plans to devolve powers to the county's local authorities.

Oxfordshire County Council
Robin Sones

In a joint statement, the leaders of Oxfordshire County Council and the four district councils said they wanted to "pause plans for consultation until these plans have been jointly developed".

The district councils had proposed abolishing the county council, with its powers transferred to new unitary authorities.

The county council said this ruled out the benefits of having a single unitary council across Oxfordshire.

Oxford United keeper leaves

Trident: Oxford East MP attacks 'colossal waste of money'

MPs have voted overwhelmingly to renew Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system, but Oxford East MP Andrew Smith was one of the 117 to vote against.

Andrew Smith
BBC
Andrew Smith

Mr Smith has consistently campaigned against nuclear weapons and said he was "reflecting the overwhelming views of his constituents".

This is a colossal waste of money and not effective in defence terms. The threats the country faces are from terrorism and cyber attack, far from anything that would be appropriately responded to with nuclear weapons.

Andrew SmithOxford East MP

Parliament backs renewal of nuclear deterrent with support of five Oxfordshire MPs

Oxford Mail

Britain’s controversial nuclear deterrent will be renewed after a landmark House of Commons vote last night.

Trident: Smith sees day when all MPs will back his view

Andrew Smith says it is right the Labour Party is reviewing its policy over Trident, and believes one day MPs from all parties will support scrapping nuclear weapons.

There were protests inside and outside Parliament during the five-hour debate
PA
There were protests inside and outside Parliament during the five-hour debate

The world has moved on from the Cold War, when you could see a certain logic with mutually assured destruction, as obscene a concept as it is. The Labour Party conference last year supported the renewal of Trident. Labour is now reviewing its policy, and it makes sense to review. It's illogical and irrational to pay for this obscene international status symbol.

Andrew SmithOxford East MP

Tips to keep cool in the heatwave

Oxfordshire GP Kiren Collison has provided this handy guide to deal with the heatwave today.

Temperatures are set to peak at 33C (91F) in the county, so...

  • Try to avoid the sun between 11:00 and 15:00
  • Always wear a hat and sunscreen
  • Try to stay in the shade as much as you can
  • Try to avoid exertion
  • Take on plenty of cool drinks
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can make you more dehydrated

Oxford United prepare to face Premier League champions

Oxford United face their most difficult test of pre-season tonight when they host Leicester City at the Kassam Stadium. 

Leicester City confounded the odds by winning the Premier League in May
Getty Images
Leicester City confounded the odds by winning the Premier League in May

Boss Michael Appleton says "friends in high places" helped secure the friendly against the Premier League champions.

BBC Radio Oxford will have full match commentary tonight, coverage starting at 19:00 on 95.2FM, digital radio and online.

Oxford United sign striker Rob Hall

Oxford United have signed the former West Ham and Bolton forward Rob Hall on a two-year deal. 

Rob Hall
Rex Features
Rob Hall

The 22-year-old, who is currently recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee, had a successful loan spell at United in 2011 where he scored six times in 14 appearances. 

He's since been at West Ham, Birmingham, Bolton and MK Dons.

Oxford United's new striker tweets his appreciation

Rob Hall has joined the club today for a second time...

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Judicial review into children's centre closures

Bethan Phillips

Political reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

A judicial review into the closure of children's centres in Oxfordshire begins today.

Demonstrations about children's centre closures have taken place
BBC
Demonstrations about children's centre closures have taken place

A High Court judge is set to decide whether there's any legal reason why Oxfordshire County Council can't close 44 children's centres and seven early intervention hubs. 

The council is setting up a new network of support involving keeping 18 centres open and is particularly targeted at vulnerable children. 

The case is being brought by two families. Evidence will be heard over the next two days, but a decision is not expected until next week at the earliest.

Too hot for the studio

BBC Radio Oxford's Breakfast programme team have had enough of missing out on the sun.

Presenter Howard Bentham and news reader Paul Jenner have upped sticks and are broadcasting live from their deckchairs. 

Time for a pedicure gentlemen? 

Howard Bentham and Paul Jenner are broadcasting live from the BBC deckchairs
BBC
Howard Bentham and Paul Jenner are broadcasting live from the BBC deckchairs

Oxford sign ex-Bolton forward Hall

Rob Hall
Rex Features

The former West Ham trainee had a loan spell with the U's in 2011 when he scored six goals in 14 appearances.  

Rob Hall

Oxford sign ex-Bolton forward Hall

Forward Rob Hall signs a two-year deal with Oxford United following his release by Bolton Wanderers.

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Travel latest: Accident causing big delays at Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts

And in Chipping Norton

Sensible measures are being taken to beat the heat...

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Pullman brought to life in bookshop

Bestselling author Philip Pullman will be in the audience at an unusual theatrical venue - the world-famous Blackwell's bookshop in Oxford.

Philip Pullman will be in audience at a rather unusual theatrical venue

Hospital plans to reduce bed numbers

Proposals to reduce the number of beds at an Oxfordshire hospital have been described as "shocking" by campaigners. 

Horton Hospital
BBC

Staff at the Horton General Hospital were told the hospital plans to "reconfigure" some wards in a bid to provide more home-based care. 

The NHS trust said 28 beds could be lost on F Ward, which is for trauma and orthopaedics patients, but 10 "short stay" beds would be added elsewhere. 

A trust spokeswoman said no jobs would be lost if the changes go ahead.

Weather: Mercury rising

Make the most of the heatwave while it lasts, but take care to keep yourself safe.

There will be clear blue skies and sunshine, with the mercury likely to reach 33C (91F).

BBC Weather July 19
BBC

Travel latest: Accident causes delays on A420 into Oxford

Get up-to-the minute details on this and the rest of the county's travel news on the BBC Travel site or follow @BBCOxTravel.

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Welcome to Oxfordshire Live

Good morning on what's going to be a "super scorchio" day, according to the BBC's own Carol Kirkwood.

Dawn breaks between Witney and Burford, captured by Mark Bentley
Mark Bentley
Dawn breaks between Witney and Burford, captured by Mark Bentley

We'll be here until 18:00 with the latest headlines for you, as they happen.

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