Banbury Foyer gets £1m makeover

Banbury Foyer The existing flats are being remodelled into 25 self-contained bedsits

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A £1m project to refurbish accommodation for young homeless people in Banbury is under way.

Existing flats at the Banbury Foyer are being remodelled into 25 self-contained bedsits, each with en-suite bathroom, kitchen area and bed-sitting room.

Debbie Pickford, from Cherwell District Council, said it would prepare those with housing difficulties to "move on to more fixed accommodation".

In 2012 the site's communal areas were renovated, at a cost of £650,000.

The Banbury Foyer is a learning and accommodation centre, providing safe and secure housing, support and training for people aged between 16 and 25.

The council has a waiting list for the specialist accommodation and in 2013 identified 109 young people in need of housing.

Of these, 44 were 16 and 17-years-old.

Jonathan Mullins, from Sanctuary, the company responsible for the foyer, said there was "significant demand" for this type of accommodation in Banbury.

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    'life sentence' 16:23:

    Jayden Parkinson's family, including mother Samantha Shrewsbury (pictured), released a statement through police following the sentencing of Ben Blakeley.

    Samantha Shrewsbury

    They said: "We will never be able to find an ounce of forgiveness for the evil that murdered Jayden and then concealed her body in such a cold, calculated and callous manner.

    "We will never be able to celebrate birthdays, Easter or Christmas with Jayden, and we will never get to see Jayden grow up, get married and have children - this is our life sentence, it's now time for Ben Blakeley to start his."

    'TWISTED MIND' 16:10: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    On sentencing Ben Blakeley to life with a minimum of 20 years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Jayden Parkinson, Judge Patrick Eccles QC said Blakeley had spun a "web of lies" to cover up what he had done.

    Ben Blakeley and Jayden Parkinson

    He added: "It required a heart of stone to keep up that pretence and a heart of stone to deal with her body in the way that you did."

    Referring to his choice of grave, the judge said: "In your twisted mind you may possibly have thought that a graveyard was a better place for Jayden to be buried than a ditch in a field, there was no hint of respect or remorse."


    British Shooting tweets: Here's bronze medallist @danrivers_gb on the phone to @bbcoxfordsport after winning his medal! What a performance!

    Dan Rivers
    news on the hour 15:59: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 16:00:

    DAN GETS BRONZE 15:46: Ross Heaton Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There has been Oxfordshire medal success at the Commonwealth Games.

    Didcot shooter Dan Rivers has claimed a bronze in the 10m air rifle final.

    The 23-year old is also involved in two more shooting categories next week.

    blakeley jailed 15:39: BREAKING NEWS

    Jayden Parkinson's family and friends shouted "see you in hell" to Ben Blakeley as he was jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years.

    He showed no emotion as he was taken down.

    blakeley jailed 15:33: BREAKING NEWS

    Ben Blakeley was also given an eight-year jail sentence for perverting the course of justice.

    This will run concurrently with his minimum term of 20 years for Jayden Parkinson's murder.


    Ben Blakeley, the ex-boyfriend of pregnant teenager Jayden Parkinson, has been jailed for life with a minimum of 20 years for her murder.

    Ben Blakeley and Jayden Parkinson

    He strangled the 17-year-old and buried her in his uncle's grave in Didcot, Oxfordshire, last December.

    During the trial at Oxford Crown Court he described how he grabbed her around the throat with both hands like a "million" times before. He said he thought she was "joking" when she fell to the ground.

    'JUSTICE AT LAST' 15:11: Peter Cooke Reporter, BBC South Today

    The Khan family gathered for a picture outside Oxford Crown Court after the sentencing of Fiaz Munshi, who they described as "evil".

    Khan family

    Munshi, 38, was jailed for 13 years for her part in killing two children in a revenge arson attack in 1997.

    'LIVING NIGHTMARE' 15:06: Nomia Iqbal Newsbeat reporter

    A statement by Jayden Parkinson's mother Samantha Shrewsbury has been read out in Oxford Crown Court ahead of the passing of Ben Blakeley's sentence.

    Ben Blakeley and Jayden Parkinson

    "Each and everyday of the past six months continues to be a living nightmare...

    "The day I had to identify her remains will remain seared on my memory.. The sight of Jayden's bruised and battered beautiful face is an image that can never be erased.

    "I have dark thoughts of how easy it would be to end the pain and torture of Jayden's murder by ending my own life."

    NEWS HEADLINES 14:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 15:00:

    ARSON CONSPIRACY 14:43: Peter Cooke Reporter, BBC South Today

    Fiaz Munshi, who has today been jailed for 13 years, had denied being involved in the firebombing in Oxford in 1997.

    Anum Khan and Majid Khan

    She'd been in a secret relationship with Amjad Khan, the brother of the victims, eight-year-old Anum and Majid who was 15.

    But his family disapproved of her after Amjad was convicted of a drugs offence and he broke it off.

    Angered by this, Munshi conspired with others to set the fire at the house in Magdalen Road.


    A woman has been jailed for 13 years for her part in the deaths of two children in a revenge arson attack in 1997.

    Fiaz Munshi travelled with seven others to Amjad Khan's house in Oxford, which was set alight, after he broke off their relationship.

    Fiaz Munshi then and now

    Petrol was squirted through the letterbox of the family home and set alight, killing Amjad's siblings Majid, 15, and Anum, eight.

    Munshi, 38, of Oldham, was found guilty of manslaughter but cleared of murder.

    LONG AND SHORT OF IT 14:21: Ross Heaton Sports reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

    Oxford United have completed a loan signing of goalkeeper George Long from League One side Sheffield United.

    The 20-year-old joins the U's until January and will provide competition for Max Crocombe with number one keeper Ryan Clarke set to miss the start of the season through injury.

    George Long

    Hear from the new loanee in our sports bulletins this afternoon.

    DUSTY SUMMER FIELD 14:11: Indy Almroth-Wright BBC Online

    Teams of cleaners will be sent out after the early morning demolition of Didcot A Power Station on Sunday.

    Didcot Power Station

    Coleman and Company, the firm in charge of the "blowdown", says the dust cloud caused by the collapse could be blown up to half a mile from the site.

    Jet washers and road sweepers will clear the dust from roads, railway tracks and homes.

    news headlines 13:57: Bethan Phillips Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 14:00 include:


    Oxford City Council tweets: Take a virtual tour of the station, concourse and platforms in our #Oxford Station Masterplan animation

    Tomb-song 13:40:

    Did you know the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922 inspired a song?

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    The record sleeve

    It became a hit in 1923 and the exhibition featured a 1920s-themed dance display to the original recording.


    Nathaniel Mann from the Dead Rat Orchestra spoke to Malcolm Boyden from the BBC's Westminster studio earlier.

    Nathaniel Mann

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    COMING UP 13:10: Serena Martin Reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

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    news on the hour 12:58: BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 13:00 include:

    Jake blakeley sentence 12:44:

    Jake Blakeley is due to be sentenced on 22 August for his role in the death of Didcot teenager Jayden Parkinson.

    Jake Blakeley

    The Crown Prosecution Service has seven days to decide whether to bring a retrial on a charge of preventing Jayden's unlawful burial.

    His brother Ben Blakeley is due to be sentenced for her murder at 14:00.


    The Crown Prosecution Service has requested seven days to consider a retrial of Jake Blakeley.

    He denies preventing a lawful burial but has admitted perverting the course of justice.

    During the trial at Oxford Crown Court the jury heard how the 17-year-old, of Venners Water, Didcot, helped dig graves for the body of Jayden Parkinson, who was murdered by his brother.

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    JAYDEN jury discharged 12:22: BREAKING NEWS

    The jury has been unable to reach a verdict on the brother of Jayden Parkinson's murderer.

    Jake Blakeley

    Jake Blakeley, 17, of Venners Water, Didcot, was accused of preventing her lawful burial.

    His brother Ben was found guilty of murder yesterday.

    MUNSHI SENTENCING 12:10: Peter Cooke Reporter, BBC South Today

    Fiaz Munshi will be sentenced at Oxford Crown Court at 14:00.

    Fiaz Munshi then and now

    On Tuesday she was found guilty of killing two children in a revenge arson attack in the city in 1997.

    NEWS HEADLINES 11:58: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 12:00 include:

    SLOW TRAFFIC 11:45:

    There is very slow traffic on the A34 northbound between the Marcham Interchange in Abingdon and the Hinksey Hill Interchange in South Hinksey.

    VICARS BAPTISE DAUGHTER 11:35: Bicester Advertiser

    A baptism will be a real family affair on Sunday when two married vicars baptise the first baby in their new church - their own daughter.

    MR BLUE SKY 11:25:

    ChippyNews tweets: The sky above Chippy right now - not bad, eh?!

    Chipping Norton sky
    JAYDEN MEMORIES 11:11: BBC Radio Oxford

    A friend of murdered Didcot teenager Jayden Parkinson has been speaking to BBC Radio Oxford about her life.

    Jayden Parkinson

    The girl, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "She was a lovely girl. She wouldn't hurt anyone, she wouldn't bully anybody.

    "She's been brought up with very good manners and she was just genuinely a lovely girl."

    NEWS HEADLINES 10:58: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up in the news headlines on BBC Radio Oxford at 11:00:


    We asked you earlier how you will be marking the destruction of Didcot A's three cooling towers early on Sunday morning.

    Solveig Bang said: Going to a nearby hill at 3am and hoping I'll see something.

    Didcot Power Station

    Andrew Burns said: Complaining about it happening in the dark.

    Daniel Emlyn-Jones said: Wondering why they didn't get a rich arab to move it brick by brick to Saudi Arabia. They'd look fab in the desert.

    load of rubbish 10:38:

    Recycle for Oxford tweets: We're visiting the site where all your #recycling gets sorted. These good quality cans are ready for reprocessing

    Oxford recycling heap
    Your views 10:29:

    Tell us what you think of BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire.


    NME tweets: 10 amazing Radiohead tracks or live versions you might not have heard

    MARKING THE END 10:08: David Prever Breakfast presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There's just two days to go until the Didcot demolition. But what will you be doing to mark the destruction of Didcot A's three cooling towers? Get in touch and let us know.

    Didcot Power Station

    According to the demolition company the dust cloud from the blowdown could travel for up to half a mile!

    NEWS HEADLINES 09:58: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    The top stories on BBC Radio Oxford at 10:00 include:

    ABINGDON PROPOSALS 09:49: Oxfordshire Guardian

    Over 100 residents have voiced concerns about proposals for 610 houses in north Abingdon at a meeting in Long Furlong.

    ABUSE 'RELENTLESS' 09:41: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    A spokeswoman for Refuge has said deaths like that of Jayden Parkinson, murdered by her ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, are "all too common".

    Jayden Parkinson

    Jane Keeper added: "Girls as young as 15 have been killed... and women as old as 87.

    "There's a relentless stream of reports showing that when victims try to tell somebody and get help, that again and again agencies let them down."

    A NEW HOPE 09:30:

    Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill says Harrison Ford is recovering well after breaking his leg on the set of the new Star Wars movie.

    Mark Hamill

    Ford, 71, was airlifted to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after the accident in June.

    Hamill said: "I was not on set. It was really terrible but I hear he's doing really well. It will take more than that to stop Harrison Ford."

    SO SUPERNATURAL 09:20: Linda Serck BBC News, Berkshire

    Reports of witchcraft and aliens were among the emergency calls Thames Valley Police has dealt with in recent years.

    People performing witchcraft (generic)

    Our Freedom of Information request asked for reports on mythical beasts, witchcraft, extra-terrestrial beings or the supernatural. Reports included an alien climbing on a Christmas tree.

    Mental health charity Sane said it was "absolutely essential" police communicate with mental health services in cases such as these.

    ROADWORKS 'OVERRUN' 09:10: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    There are over-running roadworks on the A420 High Street in Oxford at the Longwall Street junction. They are now expected to cause congestion until 15:30.

    It's busy through Littleworth on the sensors from Windmill Lane to Wheatley, and busy into Faringdion on Park Road from the A420.

    NEWS HEADLINES 08:57: Paul Jenner Newsreader, BBC Radio Oxford

    Coming up in the BBC Radio Oxford news at 09:00:

    top headlines
    #DidcotDemolition 08:48: Liz Green Producer, BBC Radio Oxford

    On Sunday, BBC Radio Oxford will be broadcasting live as 42 years of history comes to an end when Didcot Power Station's southern cooling towers will be demolished.

    They'll be a live programme from 03:00 until 05:00 with Danny Cox on site at the power station, Ali Dawes at Great Western Park and Phil Mercer in Appleton.


    Then, from 09:00 until 11:00 David Prever will be in the studio and Sybil Ruscoe in Didcot gauging all the local reaction.

    We'd like you to share the moment with us on social media using #DidcotDemolition

    STATION FUNDING GAP 08:38: Oxford Mail

    A £50m funding gap in the Oxford Railway Station redevelopment is "bridgeable", council bosses have said.


    The former boyfriend of Oxfordshire teenager Jayden Parkinson is due to be sentenced later for her murder.

    He strangled the 17-year-old and buried her in his uncle's grave in Didcot last December.

    Ben Blakeley

    The jury has not yet reached a verdict on Blakeley's 17-year-old brother Jake, who denies preventing a lawful burial but has admitted perverting the course of justice.

    TRAFFIC BUILDING 08:22: Sara Dumbell Travel presenter, BBC Radio Oxford

    We're starting to see some delays on the A420 High Street into Oxford due to roadworks at the junction of Longwall Street.

    It's building on the A4183 Hinksey Hill towards the A34 Interchange, and temporary lights are causing northbound queues into Lechlade on the A361.

    PLENTY OF SUN 08:11:

    Plenty of sunshine as we go through the day with some warm sunny spells across Oxfordshire and temperatures responding well this afternoon with possible highs of 28C (82F).

    Weather map

    With all the heat we could see one or two showers being sparked off - if you do get a shower today it is likely to be on the heavy side, perhaps with the odd rumble of thunder.

    But most of us should escape with a dry day.

    GOOD MORNING 08:00: Dave Gilyeat BBC News

    Hello, and welcome to Local Live in Oxfordshire on this Friday morning.

    I'll be bringing you the very latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for the county today.

    Get in touch via email, Twitter or Facebook if there's something happening in your area which you think we should be covering.



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