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Live Reporting

By Alex Regan and John Hudson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for today

    Joe Nimmo

    BBC South

    Thanks for reading today. We'll be back on Sunday with live coverage as Oxford United takes on Coventry City in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

    Then you can tune in as normal on Monday from 08:00 for more news, sport, weather and travel from across Oxfordshire.

  2. BMW strike: Firm wants to 'protect' pensions

    BMW wants to close two final salary pension schemes from June and move staff to another scheme which new starters have been part of since 2014.

    Mini plant

    A BMW spokesperson said: "BMW Group has always prided itself in providing excellent pensions for its staff and wants to act now to protect future pension provision for its UK workforce."

    The strike was backed by 93% of employees in the Unite union who voted in the ballot.

    Union officials will meet in the coming days to discuss strike dates.

  3. BreakingBMW workers vote to go on strike

    Workers at car giant BMW, based at Cowley in Oxford, have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike in a dispute over pensions.

    Members of Unite backed walkouts by 93%, with 97% supporting other forms of industrial action. The strike will also affect sites in Swindon, Goodwood and the Hams Hall plant in the West Midlands.


    The union said closure of the BMW occupational pension scheme by the end of May could see some workers lose up to £160,000 in retirement income. 

    Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: "BMW needs to reflect on this extraordinary vote in favour of industrial action and the real possibility that its UK workforce will strike for the first time under its ownership in the coming weeks. 

    "It won't be a step which will be taken lightly, but the vote in favour of action shows a determination by workers who have contributed massively to BMW's record revenues to stand up for their pensions."  

  4. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

    BBC News Travel

    M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe disruption, at J9 for A34.

    M40 Oxfordshire - One lane blocked and very slow traffic on M40 northbound at J9, A34 (Bicester), because of a broken down vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  5. Youngest organist

    Have a listen to 12-year-old schoolboy Louis Moss, from Chipping Norton, who has become the youngest person ever to play the organ for an Oxford University college.

    Louis Moss began playing the piano when he was six and tried the organ for the first time just over a year ago.

    Video content

    Video caption: Louis Moss, 12, youngest Oxford University organist
  6. Boat Races: A potted history

    Adam Jinkerson

    BBC Local Live

    As we've been mentioning, Cambridge and Oxford go head-to-head in the 163rd men's and 72nd women's annual Boat Races on Sunday.

    Cambridge's men will be looking to build on their win last year, while the women's team will be hoping for better fortune after their boat almost sank.

    Here's some of the most memorable moments in its history.

    1829:  After Cambridge challenged Oxford to a race, the event was born. The first race took place at Henley-on-Thames on 10 June 1829 in front of a relatively impressive crowd of 20,000.

    Oxford sealed a comfortable victory, which the official record says came by 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

    First ever boat race
    Image caption: First ever boat race in 1829

    1877: This year saw the race's one and only tie amid much controversy.

    Among broken oars and high waves, Oxford believed they had been victorious, only for the race to be declared a dead heat.

    The race sparked the introduction of finishing posts and the selection of a former 'Blue' as an umpire.

    Boat race in 1877 sees dead heat
    Image caption: Race in 1877 sees dead heat

    1987 : An Oxford men's team, largely made up of reserves, beat Cambridge in a year when several American members of the squad quit after coach Dan Topolski replaced their fellow American Chris Clark.

    Oxford celebrate boat race win
    Image caption: Oxford celebrate race win in 1987

    2012:  The 2012 race saw what is deemed as probably the most controversial moment in its history.

    The race was stopped halfway through when protester Trenton Oldfield swam in front of the boats. 

    Cambridge went on to win the re-run by four and a quarter lengths.  

    Protester in the water of boat race
    Image caption: Protester in the water of the men's race

    2015:  This was the year the women's race took place on the same day as the men's, in what was seen as a long-overdue triumph for gender equality.

    The first women's race took place in 1927, but it did not become an annual event until 1964.

    Oxford women celebrate win
    Image caption: Oxford women celebrate winning in 2015

    What will 2017 bring?

  7. Oxford explosion flats to be demolished

    Flats damaged in an explosion in Oxford will be demolished, the housing association has confirmed. 

    A2Dominion said that a "small number" of the "severely damaged" properties will be dismantled after an explosion, which killed one person. 

    A three-storey block of flats fell down in the explosion on February, and others were damaged. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Oxford Mail reporter films Osney Mead explosion

    Thames Valley Police said human remains found at the scene were thought to belong to resident Guido Schuette. 

    Residents of the severely damaged flats in Gibbs Crescent, Osney, are still in temporary accommodation. 

    A2Dominion director Dawn Wightman said: "Our priority at the moment is to retrieve as many personal belonging as possible from these flats for the residents who will not be able to return.

  8. Oxford woman wins children's book award

    An Oxford-based writer has won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. 

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave won the award for her debut novel The Girl of Ink and Stars. 

    Kiran Millwood Hargrave

    The author received her award and £5,000 at a ceremony yesterday evening. 

    Waterstones children's buyer Florentyna Martin said: "It is always exciting when we see this level of outstanding talent in a new writer and Kiran has crafted a mesmerising world full of myths, magic and adventure that evokes an atmosphere akin to Pullman’s His Dark Materials."

  9. Legal challenge to Oxfordshire hospital consultation launched

    A legal challenge has been launched  into whether services should be moved away from an Oxfordshire hospital.

    Cherwell District Council has applied for a judicial review into how Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (OCCG) carried out the survey.

    Horton General

    It proposed moving some services away from Banbury's Horton General Hospital.

    The OCCG said it has to tackle a predicted £200m funding gap by 2020-21.

    Options put forward include moving stroke services and some critical care patients to the John Radcliffe in Oxford, although the Banbury hospital could see investment in other areas.

  10. Are you ready for the Boat Race?

    Alex Regan

    BBC South

    On Sunday the mighty blues of Oxford will be taking on the paler blues of Cambridge, in a blue-on-blue battle royale to the death. 

    Well, not quite to the death, a bunch of lads and lasses are going to row down the Thames. 

    Video content

    Video caption: Boat race 2017

    Anyway, Oxford's men - and women - hope to beat Cambridge to decide which university is the best, for this year at least.

    So get your boaters and blazers out and arbitrarily cheer along the banks of the Thames for some men - and women - in boats. 

  11. Travel latest: M4 to be closed over weekend

    Al Ryan

    BBC Oxford travel presenter

    Good morning, here's the latest from the Oxfordshire Travel Control Centre:

    • In Oxford city centre, there are new temporary traffic lights near the Westgate development which is causing congestion along Oxpens. 
    • Expect delays in Henley through the temporary traffic lights on Hart Street between Henley Bridge and Bell Street.
    • The M4 will be closed over the weekend in both directions for maintenance work between junction 12 Theale and junction 13 A34 Chieveley and Newbury. This might cause some issues for Oxford United fans trying to get to Wembley.   
  12. Today's weather: Risk of showers

    Video content

    Video caption: BBC South Weather: Friday 31 March

    Good morning, it's going to be milder than yesterday, it should be dry and sunny but there is still the risk of some showers. 

  13. Welcome to Oxfordshire Live

    Alex Regan

    BBC South

    Good morning and welcome to today's Oxfordshire Live page.

    As always, we'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.  


    As always send us your snaps from across the county for today's Oxfordshire's Big Picture. 

    Above is a great example from Michael Weir, taken in West Ilsley. 

    You can send us your photos by email