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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

That's all from us

Alex Regan

BBC South

Thanks for joining us today, we'll be back tomorrow at 08.00 with more news, sports and weather from across the county. 

Council 'pleased' after High Court children's centres ruling

Oxfordshire County Council has said it is pleased with a decision today by the High Court to dismiss a judicial appeal brought by campaigners trying to prevent the closure of the county's children's centres.

It was the second challenge brought against the plans to close most of the centres, after an earlier legal review was dismissed in August.


Ina statement the council said: "The initial High Court decision was very clear that this was a claim without merit, and it is regrettable that further legal proceedings were necessary to bring this matter to a close.

“We are pleased with today’s decision, which provides much needed clarity and reassurance for both our staff and Oxfordshire families. 

"We are already well advanced in developing a comprehensive new service for 0 to 19-year-olds which will meet the needs and aspirations of children at risk of abuse and neglect in Oxfordshire, and ensure that families who need extra help are identified at an early stage.”

Cambridge men win Varsity match

Gary Smee

BBC Sport

Cambridge beat Oxford for the first time in seven years in the 135th men's Varsity match at Twickenham, while Oxford women win.

Read more

Children's centre campaigners vow to fight on after High Court defeat

Charlie Payne, spokesperson for Save Oxfordshire's Children's Centres, said the group was "disappointed but undeterred".


She added: "We are disappointed to hear this judgement because of the importance of children's centres to Oxfordshire's children. 

"Unfortunately this verdict really could mean that the 19,000 under fives who use our children's centres and the 11,000 under 19-year-olds who use our Early Intervention Hubs are going to be left out in the cold."

She added that the council should use the money that could be saved by combining with the county's district councils to keep the centres open.

What's the best Oxford College for veggies?

It's a question no-one has ever asked. But luckily someone has chosen to answer it. Mansfield College is, allegedly, the best Oxford University college for vegetarians and vegans. 

Two-hundred people out of the 22,900 enrolled students at the university answered the survey, performed by the Oxford University Animal Ethics Society. 

Mansfield College

It is intended to encourage other Oxford colleges to improve their vegetarian offering.   

According to the society's poll Magdalen College was the worst for providing vegetarian food for its undergraduates. 

President of the society Tobias Thorne said: "We all hope that this will encourage Oxford Colleges to improve their provision of vegetarian food. 

"After all many colleges have fixed catering fees, which means students have to pay for the food whether they like it or not."

Anyone with an Oxford email account could vote in the poll and voting was anonymised. 

More fly-tipping, this time in Headington...

Have you got your Santa suit and beard ready?

This Sunday is Oxford's annual Santa fun run to raise funds for Helen and Douglas House. Some of the streets in the city centre will be closed until 11:00.  

Oxford City Council

Severe disruption: M40 Oxfordshire northbound

BBC Travel

M40 Oxfordshire northbound severe disruption, between J6 for B4009 and J7 for A40.

M40 Oxfordshire - Very slow traffic and one lane closed on M40 northbound between J6, B4009 (Watlington) and J7, A40 (Thame), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Fly-tipping spotted by BBC Oxford's Serena Martin

Paul Wells

A man who raped a 15-year-old girl and committed a string of other sex offences is jailed for 12 years.

Read more

Knitting winter jumpers for greyhounds

Retired racing greyhounds looking for a new home won't be feeling quite so lonely this Christmas thanks to the Knitting Nannies of Oxfordshire who are looking to knit them all a new woolly jumper for the festive season.

Greyhounds in jumpers
Retired Greyhound Trust

Jenny Hebborn, lead volunteer at The Retired Greyhound Trust in Oxford explained: "Greyhounds are well known for being slender animals with very fine fur. 

"A group of local knitters from Abingdon and the surrounding areas were inspired to start crafting coats for our hounds as they - in typical grandma fashion - wanted to make sure the dogs stayed warm through the winter."

You can get involved too, even if you're not a knitter, by donating a ball of wool to the effort. There's more info here.

County council HQ

Oxfordshire County Council claims it is on "solid financial footing" as it looks to cut £7m of its services, compared to £50m last year.

Read more

Reaching for the Star Wars



Oxford musician Jamie Hyatt premieres the video for his track Sunday Song in the Independent today.

His new album, Elstree 1976, is the soundtrack to the Star Wars documentary of the same name, directed by Oxfordshire filmmaker Jon Spira.

New building for science park in new year

Plans are set to be approved for a major new office building at the Oxford Science Park.     

The 61,500 sq ft (5,713 sq m) building will be used by 500 employees and includes a roof terrace.    

The Oxford Science Park aims to begin construction on it early next year.

New building at Oxford Science Park
Oxford Science Park

Located off the southern ring road, the park was created by Magdalen College in 1991, and has laboratories that contribute to the UK's science and technology sector.

Oxford win at women's Varsity match

Adam Williams

BBC Sport

Oxford University's women have won the Varsity match 3-0 at Twickenham. 

The men's match follows at 1430 GMT. You can listen live here.

Child rapist jailed for 12 years

A child rapist has been jailed for 12 years for committing sex offences in the Oxfordshire area.

Paul Wells, from High Street in Beckley, was found guilty of 11 offences, including raping a 15-year-old girl.  

Paul Wells

The offences took place between 2011 and 2013.

The 46-year-old has also been given an extended licence of eight years. 

Investigators said the dangerous offender was "where he belongs".   

Barton Pavilion gets the go ahead at Oxford City Council planning meeting

Oxford Mail

A proposed new sports pavilion in Barton is set to be built after councillors voted through the development at a council meeting this week.  

Travel update: Slow traffic A420 westbound

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A420 westbound between the B4508 Majors Road junction in Watchfield and the White Hart Roundabout in Swindon.

Report rates Thames Valley Police as 'good'

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has released part of its annual assessment for Thames Valley Police and rated it "good" for the way it treats the people it serves and its workforce.

HMIC also praised the force's leadership noting "it has clear expectations of leadership" and that it "is aware it needs to support women and black, Asian and minority ethnic officers to progress towards, and within, leadership positions".

Chief Constable Francis Habgood
Thames Valley Police

Commenting on the report, Chief Constable Francis Habgood said: "It is vital that our communities believe that we use our powers fairly and treat people with respect in the course of our duties and that we are seen as friendly and approachable."

The final part of the assessment, on the force's effectiveness at keeping people safe and reducing crime, is due in March next year.

Some psychosis cases an 'immune disorder'

James Gallagher

BBC News Website, Health Editor

Some patients sectioned with psychotic conditions, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, may actually have a treatable immune disorder, say Oxford University scientists

A study in the Lancet Psychiatry suggests up to one in 11 cases of psychosis may involve antibodies attacking parts of the brain. 

Troubled man

Blood samples were taken from 228 people in a UK-wide trial. 

The finding is controversial, but opens up a new way of treating patients.


League One leaders Scunthorpe visit Oxford United in the last 16 of the EFL Trophy and there is one all-under-21 tie.

Read more
Matt Smith

The family of an Oxford student who died during a university ski trip in France describes him as "kind, generous and loyal".

Read more

Oxford to play Scunthorpe in Checkatrade Trophy

Medication 'could have caused ski trip student's death'

A prosecutor has told the Times newspaper medications could have contributed to the death of Oxford student Matt Smith.

Matt Smith and friend Glen Tamkin
Glen Tamkin
Friends paid tribute to Matt Smith (r) on social media

Mr Smith, 22, was found by friends at the Val Thorens resort in the Alps on Sunday morning while attending the annual Oxford and Cambridge Varsity ski trip.

Jean-Pascal Violet, state prosecutor for Albertville, said: "We believe complications from his health and medications, and possibly altitude, led to his tragic early death."  

Your pictures: Cloudscape above Abingdon

A big thank you to Tim Turan for our main image today.

He snapped it from Peachcroft Farm car park in Abingdon.

"I turned up looking for farm shop bargains and got this instead," he told us.

Tim Turan

If you have any beautiful images like this you'd like to share with us, please send them to

'No concerns' about midwife-led units

Daniel Wainwright

Data unit - English regions

Emma Hyatt is preparing to give birth at Horton General Hospital, but if something happens that requires consultant care she may have to go to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, 27 miles away, or Warwick Hospital, which is 22 miles away along the M40.

Mrs Hyatt, 40, from King Sutton, was in labour for 20 hours with her previous child and required medical intervention.

Emma Hyatt and family
Emma Hyatt

She said: "I don't have any concerns about midwife-led units at all... I haven't made my decision yet, but I have to weigh up how long it will take for me to access pain relief and other intervention, if I need it."

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said that between 3 October and 5 December there were 35 births at the Horton and four transfers of women in labour to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Student who died on ski trip to Alps 'loved the mountains'

The father of an Oxford student who died during a university ski trip in France has paid tribute to him.

Matt Smith, 22, was found by friends at the Val Thorens resort in the Alps on Sunday morning.

His father, Howard, said he "loved the mountains" and the "peace and happiness" he felt there, and "he spent hours at a time contemplating the beauty of the French Alps with his fellow snowboarders".

Matt Smith
Ellie Bagshaw

He added: "Matt was adventurous and imaginative in life, and kind, generous and loyal to his friends. Matt made friends everywhere, and seemed to capture the hearts of whomever he met. 

"He intensely wished everyone to strive to achieve all they could; he felt anything was possible, and did not believe in regrets."

Age UK Oxfordshire: 'Cuts are a deep concern'

Penny Thewlis from Age UK Oxfordshire said carers had already been hit hard by Oxfordshire County Council cuts. 

She added: "A lot of the services on which they depend to provide help and support to the people for whom they care have either been cut or reduced. 

"So carers are feeling that they're propping up the system, they're filling the gaps that are being left.

"Around 80% say their caring has a negative impact on their health so any cuts which worsen that position are of deep concern."

County council leader: 'We have to be realistic about budget'

Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, says this year's cuts - £7m compared to last year's £50m - was down to "early and difficult decisions" taken over the last 10 years. 

Ian Hudspeth

"It's given us a bit of a platform to give more longer-term thinking to where we'll be, and where we can reduce back office [jobs] rather than services, but obviously with those sorts of figures it does change services."

He added: "It's about being realistic with the budget we currently have."

County council on 'solid financial footing'

Oxfordshire County Council says it is on a "solid financial footing" despite the "many difficult decisions" it's made over cuts.

County Council sign

Lawrie Stratford, cabinet member for finance, said: "There is no denying that there has been an impact on services and service users since 2010... good financial planning means we are now able to find new ways to ensure people and communities get the support they need rather than making short-term service cuts.

"We are a completely different organisation to six years ago with 35% fewer staff and many more services delivered with partners. Over coming years we’ll continue to change to become fit for the future."

County council 'didn't have much left to cut'

Bethan Phillips

Political reporter, BBC Radio Oxford

Is the pain of making endless cuts finally over for Oxfordshire County Council? Have the most difficult decisions been made? 

The cuts in this year's budget are nowhere near what the council faced last time around, when it decided to shut children's centres, cut mobile libraries, stop bus subsidies and slash support for the homeless. 

But on the other hand - there's not much left to cut. A lot of the services left in the hands of the council, it has to provide by law.

And the savings seem like a small amount of money compared to last year but will still hit services.

Weather: Mild with light rain

Emily Wood has the forecast for Thursday

Cotswold Wildlife Park partly closed due to bird flu

One section of Cotswold Wildlife Park was closed yesterday following guidelines issued by the government on Bird Flu. 

The H5N8 strain has been found in poultry and wild birds in 14 countries including Germany and France.

There have been no cases in the UK.

The park says it's closed the bird walk-through area as a precaution - the rest of the park remains open.  

Cotswold Wildlife Park website
Cotswold Wildlife Park

County council proposes further cuts

Oxfordshire County Council is looking to cut £7m of its services, compared to £50m last year. 

Proposals include closing day care centres for elderly people and those with learning disabilities, stopping grants for carers and reducing the use of agency staff.

It brings the total amount of savings made between 2010 and 2020 to £377m.

Travel update: Slow westbound at Bicester Little Chef Roundabout

BBC Travel

There's slow traffic on the A41 westbound in Bicester at the Bicester Little Chef Roundabout.

One-in-five mums transferred from midwife units in Oxfordshire

Natalie Verney

BBC Radio Oxford

Women using midwife-led units in Oxfordshire have to be transferred to consultant-led departments elsewhere in one in five cases, according to a BBC investigation.

Nationally the figure is one in four.


But midwife units are the safest places for low risk births according to official guidelines.

In Oxfordshire there are midwife-led units in Wallingford, Wantage and Chipping Norton, while the Horton Hospital in Banbury has been temporarily designated as one due to a shortage of doctors

Weather: 'Mild day ahead'

BBC Weather

Some bright or sunny spells at first, although cloud soon thickening from the west bringing a little patchy rain through the afternoon and evening, especially over higher ground such as the Chilterns. 

It'll be another mild day for all of us. Maximum temperature 13C (55F). 

Good morning

Good morning and welcome to BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire.

Today we'll be bringing you the news as it happens from across the county until 18:00.

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