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  1. Updates on Wednesday 25 May 2016

Live Reporting

By Chris Brown and Michael Stoddard

All times stated are UK

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Our news coverage through the day

That's all from BBC Local Live for today.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, travel and weather updates for Oxfordshire. Join us then.

Evening TV: Restricted blood donation supply

South Today

Coming up on BBC South Today at 18:30: There could soon be fewer places to donate blood in parts of Oxfordshire.

At the moment community and village halls are some of the locations used as venues, but some could close because the demand for blood has decreased.

Blood donation
Science Photo Library

Find out more on this and all the day's top stories from our region on BBC One at 6.30pm.  

Full-strength Foxes for Oxford United friendly

Ross Heaton

BBC Oxford Sport

Leicester City are expected to field a full-strength side against Oxford United in the mouthwatering pre-season friendly announced this morning

Leicester City win the Premier League

Thanks to boss Michael Appleton's friendship with Leicester's assistant manager, the U's beat off strong competition for the summer friendly with the Premier League champions.

No news on when tickets are on sale yet. We'll let you know as soon as we do...

Weather: Dry with clear spells overnight

We're looking at a dry night over Oxfordshire, but those clear spells will mean it's chilly in places.

Weather for Wednesday evening

Some mist and fog patches are likely to form by dawn. The odd patch of light drizzle is possible too, with lows of 9C (48F).

Latest headlines: Police officers injured in Didcot discharged from hospital

Andy Jones

BBC News

Here are the top stories from across the county this evening:

Travel latest: Delays on the M40, in Grove and Clifton Hampden

BBC Travel

As we head into the full force of rush hour, the latest traffic issues are:

  • A lane is closed on the M40 exit slip road and there's very slow traffic southbound at J9 for Bicester because of a broken-down lorry
  • It's very slow on the A338 in both directions in Grove at the Grove Park Drive junction, in the roadworks area
  • And it's slow on the A415 Abingdon Road in both directions in Clifton Hampden at the B4015 Oxford Road junction

Get all the latest traffic details at @bbcoxtravel and on the BBC Travel site.

Didcot's Orchard Centre set to start this summer

Didcot Herald

The long-awaited £50m expansion of Didcot's retail park will finally take off this summer.

Bicester newsagent robbed at knifepoint as female shopkeeper threatened

Bicester Advertiser

A woman was threatened with a knife as a Bicester newsagent was robbed at knifepoint yesterday.

From Premier League champions to... Barnet

It's not quite Barcelona. Oxford United announce they'll be travelling to Barnet for a pre-season game. 

The crowd is likely to be smaller than for Premier League champions Leicester City's visit to the Kassam.

View more on twitter

If ever a 102-year-old deserved your best birthday wishes

A little update on Doris Hook, who's celebrating her 102nd birthday today.

Doris Hook has every reason to finally celebrate her birthday again
Doris Hook has every reason to finally celebrate her birthday again

She only moved into an elderly person's home in Wantage last year, and this is only her second ever birthday party.

Send her your best wishes when you get the chance... she deserves them.

Council considers relaxing laws around selling former council homes

Andy Jones

BBC News

Rules over selling former council houses are making it difficult for some South Oxfordshire locals to sell their homes, according to the district council.

"For Sale" signs

It is now considering whether or not to continue enforcing this rule, and is asking for people's opinions through its website between now and 25 June.

The rule - which dates back to the launch of the 'right to buy' scheme in the 1980s - was intended to prevent former council homes in areas of outstanding natural beauty to be sold off as second homes.

'Jihadi Jack' parents bailed again by police

The parents of a British man who reportedly travelled to Iraq to join the Islamic State group have been bailed again by police.

Jack Letts
Jack Letts

Jack Letts, 20, from Oxford, was labelled "Jihadi Jack" by some newspapers, which reported he left the UK to join the group when he was 18.

Police confirmed today that the parents had been rebailed until 1 June. They had been arrested on suspicion of sending money to Syria which could be used for terrorism.

Chinnor's heritage railway to be linked to the national rail network

Andy Jones

BBC News

The future of a heritage railway is back on track thanks to a £75,000 government competition prize.

The Chinnor and Princes Risborough Rail Association has been awarded the cash to boost tourism along its line.  

It'll extend the line from Chinnor to its former terminus at Princes Risborough, as well as reinstating a platform and loop line, so it can connect to London and further afield.

Don't expect to be able to commute via steam train to work just yet though... the line currently only operates at weekends and bank holidays.

Tribute to 'beautiful angel' who died in A420 crash

The mother of one of the victims of a fatal car crash near Shrivenham on Sunday night has paid tribute to her "beautiful angel".

Brogan Warren
Thames Valley Police
Brogan Warren

Brogan Warren, 21, was one of four victims in the crash on the A420. 

They were travelling back to Northamptonshire having visited the Vegfest festival in Bristol that weekend.

I have no words to explain the pain I'm feeling, my heart and soul have been torn away and it hurts so much I can barely breathe.

Latest headlines: Two female police officers hurt breaking up Didcot fight

Chris Brown

BBC News

Here are your mid-afternoon news headlines:

Travel latest: Delays in Eynsham and Abingdon

BBC Travel

  • There's heavy traffic on the A40 westbound in Eynsham at Eynsham roundabout
  • And there's slow traffic on the A415 Ock Street in both directions in Abingdon between the B4017 Drayton Road junction and the East Saint Helen Street junction

Get more details on the rush-hour traffic in your area on the BBC Travel site.

Police say two female officers hurt breaking up Didcot fight

Police in Didcot are now saying two female police officers were injured trying to break up a fight between two men in the town earlier today.

Police guard the scene of the fight this morning which left two female officers needing hospital treatment
Police guard the scene of the fight this morning which left two female officers needing hospital treatment

The officers were called at about 06:30 between Vauxhall Barracks and Great Western Park. 

One officer suffered a head injury while her colleague's wrist was hurt. They were both taken to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital and have now been discharged.

Two men, both aged 20 and from Didcot, have been arrested and are in custody. Detectives are now appealing for witnesses to contact them.

A pony surprise for a Wantage woman who’s 102 today

Andy Jones

BBC News

Happy birthday Doris! Get ready to blow out the candles, but take a deep breath: there's 102 of them.

Doris (centre) and the pony that turned up for a special birthday treat today
Doris (centre) and the pony that turned up for a special birthday treat today

That's Doris Hook from Wantage, who's had a birthday wish come true after always wanting to ride a pony in her younger years, and as a special treat, one turned up to see her at the Stirlings Elderly People’s home.

The presenters on Doris' favourite TV programme - Homes Under the Hammer - have also recorded a special birthday message for the 102-year-old.

Vegfest organisers' shock over fatal road crash

Organisers of Vegfest have expressed their "deepest condolences" to the families of four young people who died in a crash near Shrivenham on their way back from the Bristol festival.

VegFest Bristol

Two cars collided on the A420 at the Shrivenham bypass. All four passengers of one of the cars - thought to be from the Northampton area - died at the scene.

The three people in the other car - including a three-year-old boy - were treated in hospital for serious but not life-threatening injuries.

We are so sorry to hear such sad news after such an uplifting event. Words fail us right now.


Volunteers needed to improve Oxford’s green (and blue) spaces

Andy Jones

BBC News

Could you help maintain and improve Oxford’s rivers, canals, lakes and green spaces? If so, Oxford City Council want to hear from you.

Litter picking by a riverside

The city council is part of the Green & Blue Space Network, set up in 2013.

Every Thursday, volunteers join the Oxford Countryside Rangers, along with the council's Countryside Volunteer Coordinator and visit a local site that’s in need of some TLC.

Appeal for help after Bicester burglary

Police are appealing for help in tracing a thief who broke into a home in Bicester last Friday.

Money, jewellery and watches were taken from the home in Brashfield Road between 08:40 and 15:40.

Anyone who can help should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Taking a walk on Banbury's wild side

Banbury's Spiceball Park is to get a £90,000 makeover as part of the Wild Banbury project. 

Children from The Grange School, Banbury planting on the edge of the new riverbanks
Steve Berry
Children from The Grange School, Banbury planting on the edge of the new riverbanks

The area's being landscaped, with new banks including native wild flowers, bridges and benches.

During the past 18 months the River Cherwell has been re-landscaped so that more people can stroll beside the river, looking out for kingfishers and signs of otters. 

Fundraising septuagenarian tells how his first ever skydive didn't go to plan

Witney Gazette

What do you do when a parachute jump goes wrong? Ron Skinner found out exactly what you do when he attempted his first ever skydive at the age of 70 for charity.

How car-bon fibre could transform how we drive around

South Today

An Oxford company is hoping to transform the car industry by helping to make vehicles much lighter. 

Turning waste carbon fibre into new cars could save money and reduce vehicle emissions
Turning waste carbon fibre into new cars could save money and reduce vehicle emissions

Oxford Advanced Surfaces has received nearly £250,000 to help turn waste carbon fibre into new parts for cars.

See more about this story on BBC South Today this evening.

Lineker amazed Oxford United friendly is making headlines

BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker appears to be in shock that the news his beloved Leicester City will play at the Kassam Stadium this summer is making waves...

View more on twitter

Weather: Cloudy but dry afternoon ahead

BBC Weather

It's set to be a rather cloudy and mainly dry afternoon for most with just a chance of some light rain or drizzle in places. 

Oxford weather 25 May 2016

Feeling much cooler than recent days, thanks to the thicker cloud and easterly breeze. High temp 12C (54F).

Latest headlines: Woman police officer seriously injured in Didcot

Chris Brown

BBC News

Here are your top stories across the county this lunchtime:

Fewer places to give blood as demand decreases

As the need for blood donations decreases, there could end up being fewer places for people to donate blood in Oxfordshire. 

Blood donation

Donors in Kings Sutton near Banbury have received a letter from NHS Blood and Transplant saying its service may no longer come to the village. 

It's put this down to a reduced need for blood across the country and globally.  

Fish-keeping family told they must demolish garden ponds for safety

The Herald

A housing association has demanded that a tenant demolish his fish pond due to safety fears which were deemed "ridiculous".

One way to steal Jamie Vardy

With news that Leicester City are coming to the Kassam for a pre-season friendly, Oxford United's ground staff are preparing an audacious steal of the Foxes' Premier League-winning stars...

View more on twitter

Listen again: MP calls Didcot bodies recovery delays a 'national scandal'

One of the biggest national stories of the day yesterday was from Oxfordshire, in which we heard from the MP representing the families of the three men still buried under the rubble of Didcot power station.

MP Sarah Champion tells David Prever the recovery work at Didcot is a national scandal

Rotherham MP Sarah Champion has called the delay in finding the men a "national scandal". 

Listen to our interview with her in full...

Travel latest: Delays in Dicot

BBC Travel

Following the fight near Didcot railway station this morning, there is disruption on the B4493 between Station Road and the A4130. Avoid the area if you can while the police conduct investigations there.

Get more details on the BBC Travel site.

Latest headlines: Man held on GBH after female police officer hurt

Chris Brown

BBC News

Enjoying your morning so far? Here are your mid-morning headlines:

Will A40 dual carriageway take foot off West Oxfordshire's windpipe?

Indy Almroth-Wright

BBC Online

A £54m project to upgrade a stretch of the A40 into Oxford to a dual carriageway has been agreed.  


Prime Minister David Cameron, the MP for Witney, has previously called the A40 as "a bit of a foot on the windpipe of the West Oxfordshire economy".

Balloons, bunting and a crown conga at Bicester's Big Lunch

Oxford Times

Thousands of people are expected to flock to Sheep Street and help fly the flag for her majesty's birthday for a lunch which could rival even that on The Mall.

Police cordon off scene in Didcot after female police officer is seriously hurt

This is the scene near Didcot railway station this morning after a fight between two men led to a female police officer being rushed to hospital.

The scene near Didcot railway station where the attack took place

Police say the officer was seriously injured when she broke up the fight at about 06:30.

She is being treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital and two men are now in custody.

Crackdown on prescription drug costs criticised

Health bosses are cracking down on how much is being spent on prescription drugs in Oxfordshire.

Prescription drugs

Last year £80m was spent on medicine prescribed by GPs.

Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group is trying to save £22.4m by telling GPs to prescribe cheaper and fewer drugs.

But Pritt Buttar, a GP from Abingdon, says the short-term savings are a bit of a red herring.

While it's very straightforward to measure the financial gain by prescribing drug X against drug Y, what those counts never take into account is the cost of the GP's time in an appointment explaining to a patient why we are changing medication. That's an appointment someone else can't have.

Pritt ButtarAbingdon GP

As legal action starts, council leader defends children's centre cuts

The leader of Oxfordshire County Council has defended changes to children's centre services... despite campaigners launching legal action against the plans.

Children's centre protests in Oxfordshire

Ian Hudspeth told us the council needed to balance the budget in the face of financial cuts.

But campaigners who have fought a long-running battle against the proposals, claim the council is breaking the law by targeting children's centres for closure.

One of the key things is we've got to work within the finances we've got. But we need to provide funding for those who need it most.

Ian HudspethLeader, Oxfordshire County Council

Appleton's joy at Leicester City friendly

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton hasn't been able to contain his delight this morning at the news Leicester City are coming to the Kassam.

"The fact Leicester have gone on to win the Premier League makes it mouth watering, it's a fantastic game for us. It's maybe the only game they have in England before the start of the season," he told us.

"With the likes of Jamie Vardy at the Kassam, it'll be a fantastic occasion."

Michael Appleton on pre-season clash against arguably most talked about team on Earth