20/04/2017 South Today - Oxford

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That's it from us. They will be continuing coverage throughout the


Disappointment for Labour Party members in Oxford ahead


Why the candidate who'll fight to keep Andrew Smith's seat will be


Also, a plea to protect badgers by changing planning laws.


Claims that animals are dying, as housing developments are built.


The fleet of aircraft using new mapping technology to stop


The Labour party in Oxford East will not be involved


in the selection of the candidate who'll stand in Andrew Smith's place


Instead, the person they hope will win the seat will be chosen


Mr Smith announced yesterday that he'd be standing down.


He's been talking to our political reporter Bethan Philips


about his decision, and the candidate selection.


He's been a local MP for nearly 30 years.


But the Labour candidate vying to replace him


Labour's Oxford East candidate will be chosen nationally


because of timescale of the snap election.


The party's National Executive Committee will sort


through applications, interview potential candidates


That's clearly caused disappointment in the local party.


"It's with the greatest regret that Oxford and District Labour Party


members will not be able to select a candidate."


But they add that it "will not set any precedent for future elections."


Andrew Smith gave me his reaction to that today.


Yes, it would have been nice if local members could be involved.


We have received assurances that in the selection process,


very close attention will be towards the calibre and relevant


experience to the candidates and close attention will be given


to local links and that is very important.


Would you be unhappy if someone was parachuted


into what is considered a safe Labour seat?


I have never considered anything said Seat,


They have to show people they are on their side and be


I am certain the next Labour candidate is going to do that.


So what do people in Andrew Smith's Oxford East constituency think?


It is a shame it won't be a local process, but I can see


The way the Labour Party is at the moment, I would be a bit


It doesn't bother me too much, but I think a local person has more


of an interest and someone you can go to.


I don't think it will make any difference to how


Other parties will now be looking at the Oxford East


Candidates will be announced in the coming weeks


I hope there will be a bit of time for travel,


a bit more time to gardening and I would like a new bike.


Andrew Smith talking to Bethan Phillips.


A senior prison officer from Woodhill jail in Milton Keynes


It follows the death of an inmate who was found hanged


55-year-old Joseph Travers will appear at the Old Bailey next month.


He's thought to be the first prison officer to be charged


with manslaughter after a prisoner death.


A gang of seven men has been jailed for blowing up cash machines


at banks and supermarkets, including ones in Sonning Common,


The gang stole hundreds of thousands of pounds in 13 raids across England


The members came mostly from Merseyside, and received


sentences ranging from ten years to life imprisonment.


More badgers are being killed on the roads, and conservationists


in Oxfordshire say the building of new housing developments


They're urging planners and builders to do more to protect the animals,


Badgers have lived in this woodland in South Oxford


for at least a century but parts of the countryside here,


and elsewhere in Oxfordshire, have been lost to new buildings.


Their habitat is being taken for development.


They are not being able to reach their foraging areas


because there are not enough wildlife corridors


We are seeing more of them being forced onto the roads and killed.


While badgers are a protected species, there are no accurate


figures to say for sure whether numbers of badgers


However given the evidence at Cumnor Hill in the Vale


there seems no doubt that badger setts are often destroyed


as development creeps in on their territory.


Oxfordshire Badger Group is also concerned about the impact


of hundreds of new homes at Barton Park.


But the City Council says artificial setts have been built for badgers.


As any kind of biodiversity, the council takes it very seriously


and we are committed to protecting them, as well as other wildlife.


When a development comes into the Council for proposal,


we will consider it and only permit it if we are satisfied


there will be no impact on badges and other kinds of wildlife.


There are national laws for protecting the countryside


but some authorities go further than others.


In Milton Keynes, a charity called the Parks Trust has been set up


There is wildlife corridors that have been put together


in Milton Keynes lakes, ponds and natural habitats.


We have seen a successful development, plus protection


of the environment working hand-in-hand as a new


There are some good examples in Milton Keynes that might work


The number of people living in Oxfordshire is expected


to increase by more than a quarter in the next 15 years.


The challenge is to build them homes without destroying the wildlife.


Would you let a homeless person sleep in your spare room?


That's what a group supporting rough sleepers in Oxford is asking.


Members of the Iffley Open House project have squatted


a number of empty buildings, drawing attention to the large


numbers of homeless people in the city.


Several of them have jobs and are looking


Julius has recently started working in a pub


If you are going to manage to get a job while you are on the streets,


it's going to be really hard for you to move on from that.


Because you just need a space where you can get back after work,


have a shower and get some food, get dressed and the next


One of the UK's biggest energy companies says it's


using new technology to improve electricity networks for homes


The multi-million pound investment means a special fleet of aircraft


is now being deployed to scan the networks and keep


Could this be the future of mapping our electricity networks?


This aerial scanning system is being used by Scottish


and Southern Electricity networks, surveying our power lines,


checking for trees and other vegetation, which may


lead to blockages and electricity cuts.


Obviously, trees are continuously growing and we have to manage them


on an ongoing basis and the biggest issue is trees falling


What we're able to do with this, once all the data has been gathered,


we can put it into our computer systems, we will be able to see


which trees will be a threat to the lines and which trees aren't


That lets us target the tree cutting.


This innovative mapping system is a big investment


But it wouldn't be possible without the team of engineers


With the equipment we have on board, it sends out hundreds of thousands


of flashes of light every second as we fly over the power lines


and we get a really, really accurate, 3-D record


of the line and the position of the trees.


So when we come back we can process that data,


serve it up on a 3-D platform so the guys back in the office


can see exactly where they've got problems.


Some network operators believe the technology could lead


to better maintenance work, resulting in more


The weather forecast is next, Alexis will have the details


for this part of the world before the national outlook.


The next bulletin from South Today will be during BBC Breakfast.


After a few sunny spells today, we have a lot


But there will be a few clear spells as well


and where we have the clearing skies, there is the chance of some


mist and fog patches developing during the early hours


Temperatures in the countryside will drop away to around five Celsius.


These are temperatures in towns and cities,


So, quite a cloudy date in general tomorrow.


With the cloud cover, it will stay fairly mild.


Temperatures not too higher than today but we may


There will be some sunny spells through the course of the afternoon


and temperatures will reach high of 14-15, a degree or two


Through the course of tomorrow night and into Saturday,


a cold front moves southwards, so Saturday starts on a fairly


Through the course of the day, we will see the odd shower


but generally it should be dry and sunny spells will start


to develop during Saturday evening with high-pressure not far away.


We will see a very cheap night Saturday night


with a potential a frost first thing on Sunday morning.


Now, looking ahead to next week, we can expect the air


To move its way southwards, spilling across the whole country


and with it we may have some wintry showers.


A mixture of sleet, even the odd snow shower perhaps Tuesday night


But, generally, it should stay mainly dry because we are protected


down in the south from the north of the country but we still


will have that bitterly cold northerly wind to start next week.


So, a mild day tomorrow, highest of 15, and on Saturday


there will be a good deal of cloud, especially during the morning,


brightening up for some sunny spells through the afternoon,


mainly dry with sunny spells on Sunday.


week for much of the UK and for more about that and the UK outlook, Helen


Willetts. The sunshine make such a difference


this time of year, only 12 or so degrees under the cloud today but 19


in eastern Scotland not far away from St Andrews. Also in north-east


England, where we had the majority of the decent