19/01/2017 South Today - Oxford


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The plans that could save ?100 million, but see 400 jobs go.


Claims that abolishing all six councils in Oxfordshire -


and replacing them with just one - will improve public services.


The boss trying to help homeless people after finding one


of his employees sleeping in a wartime bunker.


The campaign to put a fossil of this dinosaur on display in Oxford.


It would be the biggest political shake-up of how council services


Plans have been unveiled to abolish all six and replace them


with a nitary authority, responsible for all services.


Supporters claim millions of pounds would be saved every year,


Our political editor Peter Henley reports.


Coming soon to a letterbox near you - One Oxfordshire...


A plan to abolish six councils and replace them with one.


At the launch, councillors from three political parties called


themselves the turkeys voting for Christmas, but they said


they could save ?20 million a year to provide better services


The savings come because we are joining services together,


so Planning would join with Highways.


It would be more integrated and we would make sure


the back-office costs like HR, Finance, Collection Services,


Customer Services - all under one roof.


Labour county councillors back the plan because they say


There is a blame culture - "That is not our problem,


Or, "That's not our problem, that's the city's."


It is difficult for someone vulnerable who is looking for help.


They are offering all sorts of guarantees, particularly


to Labour-run Oxford City Council, that they won't be taken over


But there is a rival plan from the districts,


which involves a combined authority with an elected mayor,


something the government is looking for to devolve powers


The other five councils say they are more in touch


Talking to local people and businesses, they all say we need


And if we are able to get a devolution deal, we will be able


to get money out of government to put towards infrastructure


improvements, such as improving roads and rail and other services


Both plans are just draft ideas at the moment.


The government will hope agreement can be reached between them


Peter Henley, BBC South Today, Oxford.


Extra police patrols are being carried out in Caversham


after reports that two men may have tried to abduct an 11-year-old girl.


She was approached by two men near Caversham Primary School


A company boss who discovered one of his employees was sleeping rough


is encouraging firms to do more to help homeless people.


Adrian Smith runs a logistics firm in Newbury.


He's meeting his local MP to try to get support for a scheme


where companies take on homeless workers and offer guarantees


For Joe, this is a trip back to what for three


I was just having a wander one day, as you do, and I found this place.


It was empty, just a few bricks and that.


I think someone lived in here before.


They obviously got found out and they tried to bury it.


You do what you have to to survive, I suppose.


What makes this home of last resort all the more shocking is that


for much of the time that Joe was here, he was holding down a job.


It certainly came as a shock to his boss, but it was also


a discovery that the man who runs this multi-million pound business


He would turn up for work on time, I always thought he was a little bit


scruffy, but nothing, you know, he was working


And then upset, really, I guess was the underlying emotion.


Joe's tent is still pitched inside the bunker but he is now


in a hotel paid for by his boss, while he sorts out the deposit


He jokes that the pillbox here is just a short distance


"I've never liked a long commute," he says, but make no mistake,


that gallows humour was putting the bravest of faces


on what undoubtedly was a squalid existence.


Many of the 30 or so people getting breakfast from this


charity in the town could tell similar stories.


The man who helped Joe out says nobody should think themselves


immune and he is urging other bosses to do their part.


My stomach isn't strong enough to step over these


I am no Boy Scout, but in my early years, when I was 16, 17,


I spent a good few months sleeping on people's floors and sofas


because I fell out with my parents because I knew everything


He is neither a pariah nor someone to be pitied.


His boss would say he's just a person making


Joe Campbell, BBC South East Today, Newbury.


Scientists in Oxfordshire hope a new ?50 million


project will change the way energy is produced.


The team, based at Culham Science Centre, are putting the final


When finished, it will explore ways in which we can make


Whether you are sending an e-mail, charging your phone or just watching


the news, electricity powers almost every aspect of our lives.


Depleting levels of coal, oil and gas mean we need to find


And the answer to this global problem is being addressed right


We all know about climate change, about the need to find ways


of powering our world which do not produce CO2, carbon.


Fusion offers the potential to be that perfect,


It is low land use, has effectively limitless resources and is very


When you fuse hydrogen atoms together, they give out heat.


This heat is then used to turn water to steam,


It is a topic that has been researched here for decades.


Inside this complex machinery, scientists are trying to make energy


They now hope their latest project can help give an answer


Regular viewers of BBC South Today may remember in 2013


when our reporter went round the fusion experiment.


Well, fast forward four years and I am here on top


It is a third of the size, and more importantly, it is cheaper,


It is hoped this experiment might make fusion technology more


As we saw with the recent Hinkley Point fission power station,


at ?20 billion, that takes a lot to get off the ground.


If we can reduce the cost of fusion power plants,


it gives more chance to get these up and running and sited in cities


Testing will begin in autumn, when the inside of this machine


will become hotter than the sun, and the team hope the findings


will help to shine new light on their search for


A museum in Oxford's secured ?90,000 to help display the fossil


The long-necked plesiosaur roamed the oceans 165 million years ago.


The Museum of Natural History still needs another ?20,000 before


visitors will have a chance to see it.


This monster of the deep could soon be on show in Oxford.


They belong to a group called plesiosaurs...


Seen here in this reconstruction, it weighed more than 600lbs and fed


on marine animals such as fish and shellfish.


Behind closed doors, Juliet has the painstaking task


of scraping away clay, millimetre by millimetre, in order


For me, to just scrape off that clay matrix and reveal the bones


after 165 million years is quite extraordinary, like opening


Christmas presents, revealing a little bit more and a bit more.


Archaeologists discovered the 165 million-year-old


reptile bones at a quarry in Cambridgeshire in 2014.


Now, museum bosses want to display the bones next to another plesiosaur


It was a really unusual-looking animal.


It had a neck of 2.5 metres long and a body of five metres long,


with four large wing-shaped flippers and a short, stubby tail.


We don't have anything like that today.


For now, this Jurassic giant lies in waiting before the time


Alexis is coming up with the weather forecast for tonight


Very like last night we will have a widespread frost.


It will be very chilly overnight tonight with the chance also of some


freezing fog patches, and the fog will develop


during the early hours of the morning and may linger


Temperatures will fall away to around minus two Celsius


in our towns and cities but perhaps minus four Celsius or minus five


A lot of sunshine to start the day tomorrow, a little more cloud


will arrive from Northern areas in the afternoon.


Otherwise, another glorious day, a lot more sunshine than originally


thought, with temperatures tomorrow reaching a high of


It will feel cold despite the sunny spells.


Through the course of tomorrow night we will have another widespread


frost, slightly more cloud expected on Saturday, particularly


for Western parts of the region, but a weather front moving


in from the West and we may have the odd spot of rain


by the evening but most places will stay dry.


Saturday is a frosty and cold start, a cold feeling day with sunny


As we look ahead to the rest of the weekend, Sunday will have


very similar conditions to Saturday, although there will be slightly more


cloud about and temperatures will really struggle with a high


looks as though we can, a bit more cloud on Sunday. Now the national


picture. Good evening, it will gradually get


colder in the UK in the next few days, something we don't have to


worry about in Australia at this time of year. Of course it's the


Australian tennis open at the moment and there's a big storm moving


through Melbourne at the moment. Hopefully it will have cleared


through by the time of Andy Murray's match. We have high withers and


light winds and some interesting contrasts despite things being very


slow moving, with the sunshine to the south of the weather zone but


stuck underneath the weather zone, it's been another miserably grey


day. No doubt quite dreary with some patches of drizzle. This is how it


looked in Staffordshire, under the weather front. In the sunshine,


despite the Frosty start, a sparkling day and a fantastic sunset


here in the Isle of Wight. Some areas, in parts of Northern Ireland


that haven't seen much sunshine


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