07/03/2017 South Today - Oxford


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In tonight's programme: From threats to kill,


The extent of the verbal abuse ambulance call


handlers are subjected to, and claims the law should be


I don't give a bleep about those other people, the only people I care


about is my daughter. Please stop swearing at me, I understand it is


upsetting but I am only trying to help you.


Also: trying to tackle the shortage of spaces.


Plans are announced to build five new multi-storey car parks


And later on, the small space showing new art


There are claims the law needs to be tightened to protect 999 call


handlers after a BBC investigation revealed the extent of abuse


Call handlers working for South Central ambulance service


have received threats to kill, as well as racist and sexist abuse.


They say abuse from members of the public is part


David Lumb's been to the service's main control room, and has


There's nothing allocated yet because we are very busy.


What do you mean there's nothing allocated yet?


Just tell me and I'll take her to hospital myself


Just a normal shift for 999 call-taker Josie Wass.


The 22-year-old's been doing the job about a year and says she's


Yes, I've been called the B-word and told to eff off


and a few of the S-words thrown in there as well.


Sometimes sexist, "Oh, you're just a woman.


You're just sat there listening to them giving


feel like you are the smallest person in the world,


It just makes you feel very small and very useless


The staff in this control room take more than 1,000 999 calls a day


from across Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire


At the minute I don't give a BLEEP about them other people,


the only person I care about is my daughter.


Sir, sir, sir, please stop swearing at me.


I understand it's upsetting but I am only trying to


Figures obtained by the BBC show call-takers in England,


Wales and Scotland logged hundreds of abusive calls in three years.


They include sexist and racist abuse, and even threats to kill.


At the end of the day, workplace should be a safe


You come to work to help people here, we should


not have too put up with anybody talking to you like that.


At the moment this kind of abuse is covered under


2003 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.


Both carry a maximum sentence of six months.


But the union Unison says it's not enough.


It wants harsher penalties and a greater requirement


The government do need to look at the law surrounding prosecuting


people that have threatened and threats of violence.


I don't think the law in itself is enough.


It will send out a strong message to people that we take ambulance


and NHS staff health and safety seriously and we will prosecute.


A Government spokesman said sufficient laws were already


For now it seems abusive calls will remain something


David, just how widespread is this problem?


Well, Geraldine, it's certainly not soemething that's


I spoke to Ambulance Trusts across the UK and many of them


reported this as a concern. Interestingly not all of them


could give specific or significant statistics, I should say,


but I think that may be reflective of the fact that a lot of workers


The union Unite, as you heard in my report there, wants


a specific law to tackle this, or at the very least


harsher sentences to try and deter offenders.


It also wants employers to have a greater requirement


Self Central Ambulance says is takes these incidents very seriously.


South Central Ambulance says is takes these


It gave me a number of interesting examples,


including one call handler who, would you believe, was accused


It does encourage staff to report incidents.


Police have launched a murder inquiry following the death


of a woman in Ludgershall near Aylesbury.


Samantha Blake-Mizen's body was found in a house


A post mortem examination has revealed she died


A 43-year-old from Thame has been arrested and is being questioned


The singer George Michael died of natural causes,


The star was found dead at his home in Goring


in South Oxfordshire on Christmas Day.


An initial investigation had failed to determine what led to his death.


The coroner has now concluded George Michael died from heart


disease and a fatty liver, and that any further


A gay couple who were beaten up by a gang of men on a train


from Reading say they're now afraid to travel by rail.


It happened on Valentine's Day, with horrified passengers


Images have now been released of the men that


They knocked these two teeth down here out and I had a lot of bruising


and cuts all around my face and Zbynek, you had


a lot of bruising around the eyes and the head.


Phil and his boyfriend Zbynek had fallen asleep on a train home


after celebrating Valentine's Day in Reading, when they were set


One guy just wake me up and say something nasty to us.


I just said leave us alone and all the attack started.


I think they didn't like me laying on Zbynek.


I was laid over him I think that's what caused the issue.


But I've never gotten a fight in my life so to suddenly be


punched in the face, oh, I just want to think about it.


Police have now released these images of four men


they want to speak to in connection with the incident.


They got off the train at Ealing Broadway moments


Police say this was a prolonged, very nasty attack,


which the victims believe would be motivated by homophobia.


They say hate crime of this kind will absolutely not be tolerated


and they are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.


At the moment I'm just a bit scared to go on the evening train.


You know, I try to have a look where I am sitting and who is coming.


So many things in the world, bad things happening and why


are picking on people because of their sexuality?


I don't know, but I'm glad the police have got those images now


because it makes people aware of what they look like,


in case they see them, contact the police.


Plans to build five multi-storey car-parks at hospitals in Oxford


Patients and visitors currently face lengthy delays at peak times


The car park plans have been revealed amidst discussions


about radical changes to the NHS in Oxfordshire.


Our political reporter Bethan Phillips has this report.


Today was a chance for councillors and campaigners to put


their concerns to health bosses about plans to save ?200 million


One of the main worries to come up was parking.


The plans include centralising some services in Oxford,


including making a so-called downgrade of the maternity unit


at Banbury's Horton hospital permanent, meaning women with higher


risk pregnancies will have to go to the John Radcliffe.


And that's with huge pressure on parking there already,


with some patients missing appointments because they simply


Today Chief Executive of Oxford University Hospitals,


Dr Bruno Holthof, addressed these concerns, saying they want to treat


more patients at home, and offer more outpatient


appointments at the Horton hospital, which would help ease


But he said the Trust was also set to put planning applications


in for five multi-storey car parks in Oxford - two at the John


Radcliffe, two at the Churchill and one at the Nuffield Orthopaedic


That will be a relief to many patients who have struggled


But it's unlikely to set the minds of campaigners here at ease,


who have much wider concerns about the health plan,


saying overall it will mean cuts and closures.


A Labour councillor said today there simply wasn't a safe way


to make ?200 million worth of savings to health


And that was a sentiment echoed by protesters.


in Oxfordshire is based on taking out ?200 million a year over the


next few years, that is 20% of the budget, we all know that things are


very pressured right now and people are on trolleys we have lost people


who don't have enough hospital beds or GPs or nurses but what will


happen when 20% of that is taken out? People will die.


The Clinical Commissioning Group, which is the organisation behind


this plan, insist it will mean better, joined -up services


Today councillors decided they needed another meeting,


and another chance to question health bosses about the plan.


If their concerns aren't addressed, the plan could be referred


An activity centre in Buckinghamshire which has helped


thousands of disabled children has expanded.


Thomley, in Worminghall, also supports parents and carers.


A new pavilion will mean more performances to


Watching them being drawn is a real treat.


There's always some thing that you can find a way to what someone


If you draw a dinosaur you've got somebody.


Thomley was set up 15 years ago by a group of parents whose


Children and teenagers from all over the country now come here.


We get some children who have no disabilities and some that have


clearly got a huge range of disabilities, for example


they might be in a wheelchair full-time, they might be peg fed,


and it's actually really beneficial for all the children that come


here to learn about different types of abilities.


Thomley is firmly established at a nine acre site in Worminghall.


Visitors can get a bite to eat and enjoy all


What we plan to use it for is putting on film shows,


little theatre events, training events.


So it is just providing all different opportunities


for families to try something new, something different.


Keeping Thomley going is a challenge.


There's no government funding, and it costs more


The good news is visitor numbers have shot up 80%


The Olympic rower and chancellor of Oxford Brookes University,


Katherine Grainger has become a Dame.


She's been honoured at Buckingham Palace for her services


Dame Grainger was the first British woman to win medals


She has one gold and four silver medals, winning the last one in Rio.


She's now retired from international rowing.


The annual boat race is under a month away,


and for Oxford preparations are underway in earnest.


The team's taken to the water this morning


We will have more from them tomorrow night.


I'll have the headlines at 8.00pm and a full bulletin at 10.30pm.


Now more of today's stories with Sally Taylor.


And there are 80 art works on display in this very small space. In


fact, it is so small, they call it the Tight Modern!


There're fears the reopening of Reading's Edwardian swimming


baths as an outside pool could be delayed, because the local


sewer network might not be upgraded in time.


Thames Water insists the sewers will be ready for the opening.


But the man behind the ?3 million project says they've been


Originally built for the ladies of Reading, King's Meadow baths


But after a successful campaign to save them,


Arne Ringmer and his team have been breathing new life into


But the local sewerage system running through the park outside has


a history of flooding and needs to a history of flooding and needs to


be upgraded, just as the Thames Lido team wants to transform this into a


landscaped park. Pathways, lighting, benches and that opportunities for


the people of red and enjoy this section of the park. Hopefully it


will open up the rest of the park. And the last thing I want is to have


all of that team dug up again by Nu sewerage installation. So I am


begging Thames water to come and activate this process now. They will


have two years to do this process and they are dragging their feet and


dragging their feet, saying next dragging their feet, saying next


week, but nothing ever happens. Thames water declined our request


for an interview but said that they would be walking a good distance


away from the Lido. The sewerage network will be prepared in good


time to the planned opening, but can be prepared at short notice, should


be Lido open earlier than land. The park and lido must


be finished and open by September at the very least,


if this historic riverside gem is to star in the very first


Thames Festival to celebrate Onto sport and it's a big


Tuesday night of football Tony is at the Madejski stadium for


Reading's game against Newcastle. But first tonight, Tony,


tributes to a legendary athletics coach and a figure many of us


here at the BBC knew very well, too. A lovely man. Yes, Mike Smith, at


the age of 88, has passed away. He was a broadcaster with BBC local


radio for more than 30 years. I have my own personal memories, I joined


the BBC has a raw 21-year-old and the port me how to be calm in the


fraught world of monthly broadcasting. He presented the


non-league show and commentated on football on local radio for many


years. He will be best remembered as an athletics coach guiding the


careers of some of the greatest sprint athletes Great Britain has


ever seen on track and field, leaving a lasting legacy. Here is


Steve Humphrey. When you are sprinter, 21, 22 is not passed. He


was the athletics coach with the Midas touch. Mike Smith turned


talented runners into Olympic, world and Commonwealth champions. Amongst


them, Roger Black, Chris Akabusi and Iwan Thomas. Everything I have in my


life is because of Mike. All of the good memories I have from athletics,


Mike was by my side. Today, he left flowers in Mike's memory at least


without an athletics track where the master coach prepared is at to


an old teacher. And he was very an old teacher. And he was very


strict with his training. And that is exactly what I needed.


First-time... He cheered on Iwan in the 1988 Commonwealth Games from the


BBC studio in Southampton. Come on, you've done it, you've done it! He


said success was based on simple ingredients. They can do repeat runs


and repeat runs and get iron hard bit. It is iron hard fitness, hard


work in the gymnasium and so on. He created an environment where many


talented athletes, not just Olympic athletes but club athletes came


together in the power of the group, and under his guidance, worked


incredibly hard and then ran fast. If I hadn't met Mike Smith I would


not have been a world-class quarter-mile runner. He said, if you


want to run fast, you have got to run fast! And he made me run fast.


For many years, Mike was an important part of the BBC radio


Solent sports team. One of those people who had a real genuine love


of sport. Like all of the freelance staff who are so important to the


programme, he did it for what it meant, not for the money, and he did


it very well. In a statement, Mike Smith's family said that the


88-year-old had "Crossed the finishing line" last Sunday. He


Talent plus hard work is a recipe Talent plus hard work is a recipe


for success. A fine man, Mike Smith. Condolences to his family. I know


that Mike is watching now and he's saying, come on, Husband, get on


with the sport. Tonight, Reading take on the leaders, Newcastle. It


has been a good week for their opponents. 11 games to go now and


in the hunt for promotion to the in the hunt for promotion to the


Premier League? Let's bring in our BBC radio Berkshire presenter. This


is a massive one. I am nervous. The players will be nervous. We have the


best on show, championship leaders Newcastle, they have won seven and


drawn three. Reading have won nine of their last 11 matches here on the


me. Lots of Reading families expect me. Lots of Reading families expect


Newcastle to win, W but I don't think like that at all. Jaap Stam is


tempering expectations. This is better than everyone expected


Reading Doody. Everyone knows that he has done a brilliant job.


Overachieving. Leeds, Reading and Huddersfield are overachieving being


continue. You have a statistic about continue. You have a statistic about


refereed Newcastle twice this season refereed Newcastle twice this season


and they won those games 6-0, 4-0. A week ago we mentioned that Brighton


were top of the table and things were looking good. Tonight they are


facing rock bottom Rotherham and they know that they have fallen off


the pace of Newcastle as they try to stay in that second automatic


promotion spot. Chris Hughton is without Shane Duffy who's had foot


surgery. He will miss six weeks. A big game for brighten up in


Yorkshire. The Kassam Stadium hosts a big game


in League One tonight. Oxford United host


the leaders Sheffield United. There's full commentary


on BBC Radio Oxford. Meanwhile Portsmouth are in action


tonight in League Two. Last night the club's


community work was recognised in parliament, with the award


of the Football League's Checkatrade Community Club of the Year


for the south-west region. On the field, matters


are pretty serious now. A trip to Crawley


tonight, and fifth-placed


Pompey need to bounce back after two home games


which produced only a point. We want to do our best and get


promoted. But you bring that type of stuff on yourself. We backed


ourselves and we know that we can keep going. We believe in one other


and you want to show people, but we needed a performance and we are


it. These final Tuesdays of the it. These final Tuesdays of the


season as we get into the running are super Tuesdays. Lots of


ramifications for the league tables tonight. We will wrap it all up in


our update at 10:30pm. Reading against Newcastle beer, Brighton on


the road at Rotherham and other important matches in League 1 and


two. If no-one sees your artwork,


are you still an artist? Many people with disabilities


struggle to get recognition Now a pop-up exhibition


the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth is challenging that with a display


by artists whose work You have heard of the Tate Modern,


this is the Tight Modern. 86 pieces of art is squeezed into the world's


smallest pop-up gallery, or by artists who often go unseen. They


have social issues, disabilities, and perhaps have not had an


opportunity to show their artwork in this way. Lots of people beaver away


and nobody but their family and closest friends get to see the work.


But many artists, in order to flourish, need to put their work out


there in the wider world. It symbolises the way that it had gone


through the city and out onto the motorway and then arriving. This


piece, the 700, chart is a journey from Portsmouth to the arts centre


in Emsworth, a simple trip for some, a huge undertaking for him, as is


having his work on display. I use the art as my therapy to get over my


ME, and it pushes me to produce the work, and being at this exhibition


and into the previews, it just pushes me that little step, it gives


me that carrot to get it. And there's a precedent for work shown


at the Aspex Gallery to reach a wider audience. The Aspex Gallery


has supported local artists for 35 years, some of whom have gone on to


display at the Tate Modern and other galleries. Let's hope at the artists


on display here today can go on to do the same. The pop-up is in place


until next month, opening the door for little-known artists. A lot of


talent there. It is definitely worth a look.


Onto the weather now and Sarah Farmer will be


here with the forecast in just a moment.


The sun was shining earlier today - but it seems a cold front


has descended on Portsmouth this evening.


It has been a glorious day across the south of the day. There's a bit


of a chill in the air at Southsea. There is a special performance


running at the King 's Theatre all week. They are going to have a


specially destructed ice Rink on the stage. An extreme setup for an


extraordinary performance and the producer joins me now, Julian. What


agreement set up. We're excited to be here in Southsea. And it has been


pretty to get the logistics setup. Yes, it has not been the easiest.


One of the biggest headaches is this stage, which is raked, so we had to


get a specialist team to produce a scaffolding platform. It has been an


interesting few days. But we are ready for the opening night tonight.


As well as the practical challenges you are going all out with planes,


with acrobatics. Yes, we will be going to set fire to the ice rink at


some point. We don't want to give too much away. You will have to pop


down to the King 's Theatre to see us, hopefully enjoy the show. It


promises to be a terrific performance. As you raise your


garden tomorrow morning, the curtain will be going up here at half past


seven so you need to be clear. Wow! Is she good or a see good? And


she is here. Not too far to go. Not so much of a frosty forecast for


today. We have some above average temperatures to look forward to in


the coming days. It's going to be a beautiful -- it has been a beautiful


day today with lovely, sunny spells. The cloud beginning to picking


through the afternoon. Then we have rain arriving later on this evening


and tonight. About ten o'clock we will see that band of rain working


its way in from the West. Outbreaks of drizzle, then some heavier pulses


will tend to come and go. Not with will tend to come and go. Not with


us consistently but there will be some downpours through the overnight


period. Temperatures around six Celsius but climbing through the


overnight period, so by dawn, temperatures up towards around 10


Celsius. So are mild, I'll damn, dreary start tomorrow. Looks like we


will have that rain coming and going through the course of the day. And


easing away through the afternoon. The northern part of the region seen


the best of any dry weather. Limited brightness on offer. You might just


catch a glamour to the north of our patch. Temperatures around 12, 13,


so above where they would normally be for this time of year. Tomorrow


night we will see further rainfall for southern parts once more.


Probably not quite as heavy as through the course of the night. But


there will be the odd burst here and there. Overnight we will see


temperatures down to around eight Celsius. Through the course of the


day on Thursday, a quieter day with things settling down. The best of


any brightness to the north of the M4 corridor. A largely dry day but


we could see one or two bits and pieces of drizzle. Here is your


summary for the next few days. Outbreaks of rain through much of


tomorrow. Some good brightness further north, but cloudy for


Thursday. Some drizzle for Friday and showers at the weekend. Thank


you very much, Sarah. Tomorrow, of course, the Budget, and we explore


ancient Rome through a model created by Reading University. Good


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