The latest news, sport, weather and features from Oxfordshire and the surrounding region.
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Rush to the thrush - twitchers flock to the region
as a rare visitor brings a windfall to a local charity.
The Manor Formula One team, based in Banbury,
is on the brink of collapse after being put into administration.
More than 200 staff work at its headquarters.
But the team now need to find new investors before the 2017
Just like the weather, staff here at the Manor Racing
headquarters in Banbury are likely to be feeling cold and dreary.
The team are officially in administration after failing
It means 212 members of staff are now facing an uncertain future.
Putting a Formula One team into administration is the last
resort anybody would want to do becuase when you put a team
into administration, you essentially void its entry.
What's fasincating today from a legal perspective is that
while the team itself has been put into administration,
the company that owns the entry, we found out, is a separate entry.
It's not the first time this has happened.
Back in 2015 when the team were known as Marussia,
administrators were brought in because of debts
But a new investor was found at the last minute -
that being the current owner Stephen Fitzpatrick -
and the team rebranded under their original name Manor.
The team have been in talks with new investors but so far no
It's a big blow for all those involved, with high hopes
for the year ahead after finishing bottom of the championship
In a statement by the administrators, it said no
redundancies have been made so far and all staff were paid in full up
But of course the ongoing staff situation depends
on if a new investor can be found in the limited time available.
The new F1 season starts in March, but we'll just have to wait and see
A newspaper claim that a major crime unit was investigating the death
of George Michael is false, according to Thames Valley Police.
Tributes have been placed outside the Goring home of the 53-year-old
The Sun newspaper claimed that major crime officers
Thames Valley Police say it's not a force investigation,
but detectives were working on behalf of the county's coroner.
Oxfordshire's secondary schools are seeing some of the highest rates
Some pupils are missing more than a tenth of all
There are now calls for a review of why the problem's
Our political reporter Bethan Phillips has the story.
If your child misses more than 10% of their lessons during a year,
then they're classed as being "persistently absent".
And that's a big problem in Oxfordshire.
Last year, more than 4,300 students were repeatedly skipping school.
That's nearly 14% of secondary school students in the county,
and it's well above the national average of just over 12%.
In fact, these figures mean Oxfordshire is one of the worst
counties in the country for young people repeatedly skipping school.
John Howson is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for education
He says he believes some teenagers are being put off school
because of the emphasis on academic subjects.
The concern is that, in that crucial 14-16 age range,
if they lose the desire for education, it can
affect their adult life, their working potential,
their earning potential, and because we want them to stay
in learning until they're 18 now, they won't be able to do
the right sort of courses in the further education sector.
Oxfordshire County Council has pointed out that almost
all of our secondaries are now academies - they're
independent from the council, and so responsibility for truancy
But it has said it's written to schools offering to work
with them to address the underlying causes of the problem.
It says if there's not an improvement, then there may be
a case for the Government's regional schools commissioner,
who oversees academies in our area, to step in.
A charity in Buckinghamshire is trying to raise ?15,000
to continue helping the county's young carers.
Last year Carers Bucks launched The Own Zone,
a space where young people, who look after a parents
However, the project is now in danger of closing
This may look like a normal classroom,
This is an Own Zone, run by the charity Carers Bucks,
it gives young people the ability to be themselves.
Grace is 12, her brother Callum is 11, and their
We like coming here because it's easier than being at home,
where we have to do a lot of stuff to look after our mum cos
I usually have to make mum a sandwich and in the weekends
when we need to tidy, we need to help our tidy.
But these facilities don't come for free and children
are to keep using them, the charity must now raise ?15,000.
We're funded by the county council for most of our
of young carers we work with has doubled in the past few years,
there are 800, so we need to find money from the community,
from local businesses church groups to help fund the ongoing work
It's nice to have other people to talk to who are in
Having siblings with needs or people you have to care for,
it's just kind of nice to have them talk to you and you
The former Henley MP, Lord Heseltine, has been fined
after admitting knocking a cyclist over near his Northamptonshire home.
He appeared at Northampton Magistrates and pleaded guilty
The cyclist suffered shattered knees and a broken in arm in the incident
at Thenford near Banbury in June last year.
The 83-year-old former deputy prime minister was fined ?5,000 and handed
A Reading landmark that was left derelict for decades,
is on track to re-open as a spa and restaurant.
The Edwardian swimming baths at Kings Meadow
are being painstakingly restored and transformed as
We're leaving the restaurant and we shall be heading
Far from finished, but the man in charge says his vision for this
That piece of glass I just slid sideways, it weighs
The Kings Meadow pool opened in 1902.
It was ladies only, fed by the nearby River Thames,
but it has been boarded up since the early '70s and gradually
fell into such poor repair that Reading Council announced plans
to pull it down and sell the land to developers.
It sparked a campaign to have the building listed
and a decade later it was sold to someone determined
It's totally preserved as it was, but now it is protected
by all this surrounding glass, so behind the glass wall
It's hoped the newly renamed Thames Lido,
with its restaurant, spa and open-air pool,
The Blue Rock thrush hasn't been seen in the UK for ten years.
But in recent weeks it's taken up residence in Stow
on the Wold in Gloucestershire, attracting hundreds
And a charity that allows older people to stay in their homes says
a rare bird has helped them raise much needed funds.
Trying to catch a glimpse of history in the making -
these bird-watchers have come from across the country,
all in a bid to see something rarely seen -
It's a big adrenaline rush and it's an even bigger rush
The guy who found this must have been, like, "Yes!"
It's just the seventh confirmed siting of this bird since 1985.
Bridget Jennings spotted it in her garden just before Christmas,
but didn't initially realise its importance.
It looked like a cross between a blackbird and a starling,
but in the light it was a bluey colour and we weren't
A picture was posted online and since then,
enthusiasts have been flocking to the area from
We didn't realise what a furore it was going to cause,
but with all the people coming, it was quite a surprise.
The appearance has even boosted a charity that
These volunteers have been keeping the bird watchers fuelled
with teas and coffees, raising ?2,000 in donations.
This little bird has done so much, cos it's going to help people.
This bit of money he's raised is just incredible.
No-one knows exactly how long the blue rock
Experts believe it could stay until the spring.
For now it's proving a popular attraction in this
Oxford United have announced the death of their all-time
Graham Atkinson passed way yesterday morning aged 73,
He joined United in 1959 alongside his brother Ron,
before going on to make 394 appearances for the club,
I'll have the headlines at 8 and a full bulletin at 10:30.
Now more of today's stories with Sally Taylor.
a thriller of the sort delivered in 2007. Sadly, this five goal
nailbiter ended in defeat for the Royals.
Still to come: Meet the man of many millions.
The Gosport man honoured for his charity fundraising.
Residents in a village near Basingstoke are fighting plans
for new homes on a field which they say regularly floods.
It once again highlights the dilemma of where to put new homes that
On the other side of Basingstoke, there are plans for 10,000 new homes
built as a garden town, which the Government hopes is one
way to get local people on board with new developments.
Ena Miller starts her report in Cliddesden.
This community is worried about the future of their village. An
application has been applied to build 40 homes. Locals oppose this.
The filter has already been considered by Basingstoke and Deane
council and was refused because they said it would be overdeveloped in
the village and affect the conservation area. The other thing
is about drainage. The village pond overflows and empties into the
field. Campaigners handed in a petition to Basingstoke Council. In
a statement, the say... . This is not the only field that has
been considered in the area. 15 minutes down the road in that
direction, thousands of homes there are being proposed. After an 18
month public consultation, a revised application for the first phase of
3200 homes will be resubmitted. We need to work through what the right
type of infrastructure, schools and roads, and what is the right type of
community infrastructure. The bigger plans for 10,000 homes as part of
what has been called Basingstoke's garden town. It has already received
?850,000 of government money. You can build primary schools. It is a
cheap thing to do. But where are the surgeries? Hospitals? They are
talking about children and young people. As people get older, what
happens when they get older? There is no planning will fall for the
about what that mixed population will do on that site. There is a
determination to fight for what is best for the future. Open fields or
more housing? In this corner of the world, villagers feel it is the view
that matters. A former senior NHS official has
been jailed for three and a half years at Guildford Crown Court
for accepting ?80,000 in bribes. 57-year-old Peter Lewis
from Windlesham worked He admitted receiving the payments
in return for awarding a computer contract worth ?950,000
in the first year. Surrey Police say they're now
focusing on recovering the money Mr Lewis made from his crime
and returning it to the NHS. Plans to build a 25 megawatt solar
farm in Dorset have been scrapped. Wildlife charities opposed
the development at Rampisham Down near Dorchester, which is a Site
of Special Scientific Interest. The developer, British Solar
Renewables, has decided to shelve the application,
which was approved two years ago but was then subject
to a public inquiry. A smaller farm will be built
on an alternative site nearby. A 108-year-old man living in Alton
is now Britain's oldest man. Bob Weighton inherited
the title when a man He lived in Japan in the run-up
to the Second World War. When Roger Finn went
to see him at his care home, Bob told him what it meant to be
Britain's oldest man. I do not seem to feel any different.
In myself. The everybody else I need to will remind me of the fact. Bob
was born in 1908. He spent his childhood in Hull and was part of a
large family. In the 1930s, he travelled to Taiwan and Japan where
he worked as an English teacher. He married his British sweetheart but
the couple were forced to leave as the political situation worsened.
They and their three young children felt spent the war in Canada where
Bob broadcast propaganda to the Japanese. Throughout his long life,
Bob has held Christian and left-wing principles. The most important thing
I have learnt is that it is far better to make a friend out of the
possible enemy than it is to make an enemy out of a possible friend. What
would you say is the key to finding happiness? I do not think you find
happiness by looking for it. I think happiness comes when you do certain
things. And happiness comes as a surprise. Bob moved to alter and in
1969. His wife died 20 years ago. I have got to ask the cliched
question, what is your secret for having such a long life? I am just
very fortunate. It is nothing I have actually done or a regime I have
followed at all because I have had such a varied from existence. I have
eaten all sorts of things I never thought I would eat and been to
places I never thought I would visit. I have no clear answer to
that question at all. Onto sport and it's FA Cup
third round weekend, which kicks off tonight live
on BBC One. Tony is here to look ahead
to the ties involving our clubs, starting with that date
at Old Trafford. Jaap Stam won three Premier league
titles and an FA Cup during a three-year spell
at Old Trafford. They still sing his name
there on occasion. Tomorrow, the Royals
put their promising league campaign to one side as they attempt to cause
one of the upsets of this year's competition against Jose Mourinho's
in-form United, who have It will make some changes. But our
players are all good players. I trust them all. We played against
very good opponents, I repeat, very good, but I trust my players and, if
we earn the right frame of mind, it will be difficult
but I think we can do it. A chance to contest ourselves and we can play
well in the league this season. It will be an opportunity to go there
and see what stage we are at ourselves.
And Reading's trip to Manchester United features
in a special edition of BBC Radio Berkshire Sport.
Southampton have insisted defender Virgil Van Dijk is not for sale
ahead of their trip to Norwich of the championship.
Bournemouth also face second tier opposition as do Oxford United,
Once again, it's Eastleigh who fly the flag for the non league teams.
They've come through replays at both Swindon and Halifax
to reach round three for the second consecutive season.
Tomorrow boss Martin Allen revisits former club Brentford
The Spitfires are taking their largest away following ever
to a game with 1500 fans travelling to West London.
Going back first time with the team to walk out there in that tunnel
will be special to me but my job is to look after my players and put a
good performance on for our supporters and of course my boss,
good account of ourselves on the pitch. I am not worried about the
reception I will get from the Brentford supporters.
Brighton and Hove Albion's main target is promotion
They're top of the championship so the FA Cup is likely to take
It is quite difficult to sit here and speak about the values of the FA
Cup and your feelings on it. Perhaps, some people might feel, why
are you making changes? Our main focus is the league.
All the goals from the FA Cup will go online shortly after 5
o'clock tomorrow on the BBC Sport website.
Portsmouth missed out on the chance to close the gap
They lost 3-1 on a freezing night at top of the table Doncaster.
Former Pompey striker John Marquis opened the scoring before
But the home side restored the advantage when Tommy Rowe
blasted in a second approaching the hour.
Then Marquis pounced to settle the game.
Double Olympic rowing champion Alex Gregory has
announced his retirement from the sport.
The 32-year-old, seen here in the bow of the boat,
rowed to gold alongside Pete Reed in the coxless fours in 2012.
Yesterday Reed announced he was returning for Tokyo 2020.
Gregory then took gold last summer in Rio.
British rowing describe him as one of the greatest the sport has
Last week, the New Years Honours list recognised the achievement
of sports people, celebrities and those from other walks of life.
But there's another honour which is also announced this time
of year that you might not have heard of.
The British Citizen Awards recognise ordinary people who work
tirelessly to make a positive impact on society.
60-year-old Les Heyhoe from Gosport is getting one
He's raised almost ?12 million helping dozens of charities.
Earlier he joined me on the sofa to explain his first big fundraising
idea as a sixteen year old Navy recruit.
It was collecting aluminium from tin cans because in those days, they
were ten counts. Aluminium at that time was expensive so I expend to
the wrinkles and came up with the idea to give less a ring. How many
did you collect? 380 million. How much did that raise? ?1.2 million.
So you got a love for it from their? It was a nice feeling. I started
fundraising from then on. Why do you do this? Over the years, you have
raised ?12 million for so many different charities. It is the
sincere thank you. If I receive a sincere thank you, that means
everything. Give me a flavour of the things you have done. I have become
the Tango man, abseiled down the Norwich house. I organised that.
Cycled from Buckingham Palace to Cardiff Castle with a good friend
who was a blind veteran. Close race evenings. So you arrange and
organise events as well? I am the man they call the man who can! Do
you think over the years, the wave fundraising is change? Yes, it
certainly has. In my days, it was a case of doing it because you want to
do it and be part of the community. Now, fundraising is a business. Is
that a business? It is good in some instances but bad in others. When I
say good, everyone gets noticed is out there the community. But it is a
business so some people will say, what is in it for them? The money is
then is persuading people to donate. You clearly have got a knack. What
is the secret? I am a great believing fundraising, so it is the
fun. I am blowing my own trumpet here. But they know they will have
fun first and the money will follow. I think you should blow your own
trumpet because you deserve it. Congratulations on your British
citizens award. You must feel proud. It is a delight to meet you.
Raymond Slack caught some blue skies on camera,
And Robert Bigwood sent us this photo of a deer in the rain
Those outbreaks of rain are still with us. The band of rain is pushing
its way out across the south coast. We will start to see them clearing.
Gloomy conditions the round of the night. That band of rain will come
and go and be patchy in nature and there will be one or two hefty
bursts in the mix. Clearing through as we enter into those early hours
but drizzly spells and hill fog. Temperatures, a stark change. Loads
of three or 4 degrees. A grey and gloomy start. Still some of that
hill fog lingering and patchy outbreaks and is the first thing.
But as the day draws on, things dry out. That cloud could be big enough
to produce rain at times. There may be one or two brighter breaks and
that will be limited. Temperatures ten or 11 degrees. As we take a look
ahead to tomorrow night, a quiet night to come. We will stick with a
fair amount of cloud. Some hill fog and patchy drizzle as possible as
well. Temperatures holding at five or 6 degrees. To round up the
weekend, for Sunday, another quiet day. Staying predominantly dry. We
are still with a fair amount of cloud. Murky conditions at times but
there may just be one or two brighter breaks here and there.
Let's take a look at the summary. Through the weekend, we stay with
cloud. Breaks are possible. Hill fog murkiness at times. But as we go
through the new working week, a breezy affair and a band of rain
arriving. Tuesday, we will finally see more in the way of brightness
before we return to the unsettled theme head into the middle part of
this week. Have a good weekend. Enjoy the FA Cup. Very good luck to