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Summary

  1. A man arrested following a Didcot flat fire has been released on bail.
  2. The squatters group occupying a former power station at Osney Mill has left.
  3. A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Oxford in November.
  4. Oxfordshire County Council will vote today on whether to press ahead with controversial devolution plans.

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Football

Oxford United are unable to achieve a sixth successive away win in League One as they go down at Oldham Athletic.

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Good evening

Dave Gilyeat

BBC South

Local Live for Oxfordshire returns tomorrow at 08:00. We hope to see you then.

2017 Boat Races: Cambridge weigh in with heavier crews

BBC Sport

Cambridge will have the heavier crew for both the men's and women's Boat Races against Oxford on 2 April.

The Light Blues men's crew, who include two members of the  winning 2016 team,  weighed in at 747.6kg (117.7 stone), while Oxford were 721.7kg (113.6st).

Cambridge will attempt to win the race, which will be broadcast live on the BBC, for a second successive year.

Their women's crew weighed in heaviest as they try to avenge their 2016 defeat.

Cambridge women almost sank in terrible conditions 12 months ago.

Cambridge celebrate victory in the 2016 men's Boat Race
Rex Features

Tonight's weather: 'Mild with light winds'

BBC Weather

Fine at first with some clear spells in places. 

However, while cloud with thicken overnight, most parts will stay dry. 

Remaining mild with light winds everywhere. 

Some mist or fog patches may form in the Cotswolds towards dawn. 

Minimum temperature: 7C (45F).

County council to submit bid for unitary plans

Oxfordshire County Council will submit its bid to the government for a unitary council for the county instead of six, following a cabinet meeting today.

Leader Ian Hudspeth called it a "hugely important decision", saying it would "improve services and get the investment in roads and infrastructure that Oxfordshire urgently needs".

Oxfordshire County Council cabinet meeting
Oxfordshire County Council

The plans are supported by South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, but opposed by Cherwell, West Oxfordshire, and the city council. 

The city council said "vital services" were at risk if decisions were taken out of its hands.

Marsh Road closed over fear for welfare incident

Marsh Road in Cowley was closed at about 14:25 today in what Thames Valley Police is calling a fear for welfare incident.

It said: "Officers attended the scene where a man had sustained minor injuries. He has been taken to hospital by the ambulance service.

"The road was closed while officers were on the scene and has since been reopened."

ATA pilots Mary Ellis and Molly Rose honoured

Mary Ellis, 100, attended a ceremony at RAF Brize Norton today honouring her and her late Air Transport Auxiliary colleague Molly Rose.

They flew planes from factories to RAF airstrips during World War Two.

The plaque says the two women helped provide a "vital link to the aircraft industry without which frontline squadrons could not have operated".

Plaque for Mary Ellis and Molly Rose
BBC

Ms Ellis said: "We were kept very busy and would fly every day for a fortnight, and then we were allowed two days off... but it was so exciting and exhilarating.  

"We never knew when we went to work in the morning what we were going to fly and where we were going to fly to."

Mary Ellis
BBC

Terminally-ill Oxford United fan added to team

A terminally-ill Oxford United fan has been made an honorary member of the team for the rest of the season.

Steve and his son
Dyer family

Steve Dyer was admitted to a hospice on Friday, prompting messages of support from fans and club chairman Darryl Eales. 

The 59-year-old was given four months to live when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in November 2015. 

Now a club statement has said Mr Dyer will be number 12 on the official team list and match programme at every game.

60 influential women in the Cotswolds

Cotswold Life has listed the 60 most influential women in the Cotswolds , women it says are "pushing boundaries, winning hearts and, and trailblazing as never before". 

It includes Experience Oxfordshire chief executive Hayley Beer-Gamage, academic and TV presenter Dr Janina Ramirez (pictured), writer Jeanette Winterson, and chief executive of Oxfordshire Community Foundation Jayne Woodley.

Dr Janina Ramirez
BBC

Council criticism for shake-up plans

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

South Northamptonshire Council is urging residents to sign a petition against plans to create a new single council to run services across Oxfordshire.

If Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC) plans for a new unitary authority go ahead, all the county's existing councils would be scrapped. 

That's a problem from South Northamptonshire Council (SNC), as it shares many staff and services with one of those threatened authorities - Cherwell District Council. 

ian mccord
BBC

The two authorities share not only a chief executive, but many officers.

Ian McCord (pictured), Conservative leader of SNC, said: "It is not possible to pull one council off the see-saw and jettison the other in the air - OCC must come clean and make their plans clear."  

OCC says its plans could save £100m over five years and are supported by 70% of people in Oxfordshire.

Backshall and Glover in 125-mile race through Oxfordshire

Double Olympic champion Helen Glover and her TV presenter husband Steve Backshall are set to take on a 125-mile kayaking challenge.

The couple plan to travel non-stop on the Thames through Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey before reaching the Houses of Parliament in London. 

They are undertaking the challenge on the Easter weekend to raise funds to save a section of rainforest in Malaysian Borneo.

Lilley Mitchell shows off her moves

Blenheim Palace wins wedding award

Blenheim Palace has won the UK’s Best Stately Home Venue category at the UK Wedding Awards.

Hosted by Immediate Media’s Wedding Network brands Hitched, Perfect Wedding and You & Your Wedding, the awards featured 22 categories taken from more than 83,000 votes.

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace

Zoe Jobson, Immediate Media Weddings publisher, said: "Our aim was to celebrate and showcase the excellent companies and individuals who make the wedding experience such a memorable one for thousands of UK couples – and we’re thrilled to recognise their commitment, creativity and exemplary service as we announce the winners list."  

RAF war heroes to be honoured

Sue Kinnear

BBC Berkshire

The RAF will honour two women who flew planes in and out of White Waltham during World War II today. 

A plaque will be unveiled at RAF Brize Norton to mark the contribution of Molly Rose and Mary Ellis. 

Molly Rose died last year. Mary Ellis is 100 years old and is being flown into the base later. 

Professor Marion Wooldridge, deputy chair of the British Women Pilots' Association, told the BBC that the women were role models. 

She said: "They flew without radio, without navigation aids - and still did a fantastic job."

Marylebone goes multi-lingual after surge in Bicester Village tourists

London's Marylebone station is to make platform announcements in Arabic and Mandarin. 

It follows a surge of tourists passing through the station on their way to find designer bargains at Bicester Village in Oxfordshire.

Australian company sells stake in Thames Water

Toby Wadey

BBC South

The last remaining stake held in Thames Water by Australian group Macquarie has been sold, ending more than a decade of its investment in Britain's biggest water company. 

Macquarie has offloaded its 26% shareholding in the company to the Canadian pension fund investor Borealis Infrastructure and the infrastructure investing arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority.

Thames Water
BBC

It brings to an end Macquarie's share ownership in Thames Water, which supplies around 2.6 billion litres of drinking water a day and has some 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley. 

The stake was sold for an undisclosed sum, but Macquarie had reportedly been looking for between £1 billion and £1.5 billion for the holding. . 

Councillor Van Coulter dies

Van Coulter, Labour councillor for the Barton and Sandhills ward at Oxford City Council, has died.

Council leader Bob Price has called the "tragic death" a "complete shock" and a "real blow to the city".

Among his many duties for the authority Mr Coulter chaired the East Area Planning Committee, the Health Inequalities Scrutiny Panel, and the Association for Public Service Excellence.

Van Coulter
Oxford City Council

Mr Price said: "He will be very widely missed by all of us... he was a passionate advocate for social justice and equalities, and chaired a very successful scrutiny enquiry into the social and economic inequalities across Oxford that delivered a set of practical recommendations for tackling the causes. 

"He had established a national reputation as an expert on climate change and how to tackle it and spoke regularly at international meetings on the subject.

"Van was a hard-working and committed ward councillor for Barton and Sandhills and was closely involved in the planning of the new Barton estate. His kindness and courtesy were legendary."

Terminally-ill Oxford United fan thanks club and supporters

Terminally-ill Oxford United fan Steve Dyer thanks the club from his hospice bed for its message of support.

'Large amount of cash' stolen in Didcot robbery

A 20-year-old man was robbed in Glebe Road, Didcot, at about 20:15 on Sunday, Thames Valley Police said.

He was walking when a dark blue car slowed down next to him and the passenger tried to grab his bag.

Police said he fell to the floor and the passenger opened the car door, kicked him, and took the bag, which contained a large amount of cash, a passport and bank cards.

The car - which was a 2002/2003 dark blue Ford Focus with a registration plate beginning with E23 or E33 - drove off towards Newlands Road.

The suspect was wearing a black balaclava and black gloves. The victim sustained cuts and bruises to his legs.

Flat fire residents speak of 'trauma'

Residents of a blaze-hit block of flats say they are lucky to be alive thanks to the quick thinking of neighbours.

Rachel Tyler
BBC

Mum Rachel Tyler roused residents after running out of the building on Harrier Drive, Didcot, after hearing a smoke alarm. 

"Luckily everybody got out safely and that's the main thing, but it was very traumatic," she said. 

A 21-year-old man arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life has been given police bail.  

How do you explain Brexit to kids?

Bethan Phillips

Political reporter, BBC Oxford

County council to vote on Oxfordshire devolution plan

Today Oxfordshire County Council is set to vote on whether to press ahead with a plan to replace the county's six councils with one.

The leaders of three of Oxfordshire's councils
OCC
The leaders of three of Oxfordshire's councils launched the updated plan

The proposal was  unveiled in January  and is supported by two of the district councils, South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse, but opposed by the other three. 

If approved today the plan will be considered by the government's Department for Communities and Local Government.

Horse racing trainer gets death threat

An Oxfordshire racehorse trainer has spoken out about abuse in the sport.

City council opposes devolution deal

Man charged with sexual assault

A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman in Oxford in November.

The O2
Google

A 20-year-old woman was attacked at the O2 Academy, Cowley Road, in the early hours of 3 November.

Following an investigation by Thames Valley Police, a man has been charged with assaulting a woman by penetration. 

A 21-year-old man will appear before Oxford Crown Court on 7 April.   

Today's Oxford Mail front page

Oxford Mail
Oxford Mail

Travel update: Traffic building on Oxfordshire's roads

Al Ryan

BBC Oxford travel presenter

Traffic is slow at the Swinford Toll Bridge and it's very busy on all approaches from the B4449/B4044 at Eynsham.

And on the A40 London Rd there is congestion from Wheatley to the Headington roundabout. Travel time is about eight to 10 minutes. 

Good morning

Morning and welcome to Oxfordshire live on Tuesday 14 March.

Throughout the day we'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel from across Oxfordshire.

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