20/04/2017 South Today - Oxford


20/04/2017

The latest news, sport, weather and features from Oxfordshire and the surrounding region.


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

:00:00.:00:00.

Disappointment for Labour Party members in Oxford ahead

:00:00.:00:09.

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

:00:10.:00:12.

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

:00:13.:00:17.

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

:00:18.:00:21.

The fleet of aircraft using new mapping technology to stop

:00:22.:00:24.

The Labour party in Oxford East will not be involved

:00:25.:00:40.

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

:00:41.:00:43.

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

:00:44.:00:48.

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

:00:49.:00:52.

He's been talking to our political reporter Bethan Philips

:00:53.:00:53.

about his decision, and the candidate selection.

:00:54.:00:59.

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

:01:00.:01:01.

But the Labour candidate vying to replace him

:01:02.:01:04.

Labour's Oxford East candidate will be chosen nationally

:01:05.:01:10.

because of timescale of the snap election.

:01:11.:01:13.

The party's National Executive Committee will sort

:01:14.:01:15.

through applications, interview potential candidates

:01:16.:01:17.

That's clearly caused disappointment in the local party.

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

:01:24.:01:30.

members will not be able to select a candidate."

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

:01:33.:01:37.

Andrew Smith gave me his reaction to that today.

:01:38.:01:40.

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

:01:41.:01:44.

We have received assurances that in the selection process,

:01:45.:01:48.

very close attention will be towards the calibre and relevant

:01:49.:01:52.

experience to the candidates and close attention will be given

:01:53.:01:55.

to local links and that is very important.

:01:56.:01:59.

Would you be unhappy if someone was parachuted

:02:00.:02:01.

into what is considered a safe Labour seat?

:02:02.:02:03.

I have never considered anything said Seat,

:02:04.:02:06.

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

:02:07.:02:15.

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

:02:16.:02:22.

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

:02:23.:02:25.

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

:02:26.:02:28.

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

:02:29.:02:40.

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

:02:41.:02:48.

of an interest and someone you can go to.

:02:49.:02:54.

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

:02:55.:02:56.

Other parties will now be looking at the Oxford East

:02:57.:03:01.

Candidates will be announced in the coming weeks

:03:02.:03:05.

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

:03:06.:03:10.

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

:03:11.:03:13.

Andrew Smith talking to Bethan Phillips.

:03:14.:03:17.

A senior prison officer from Woodhill jail in Milton Keynes

:03:18.:03:19.

It follows the death of an inmate who was found hanged

:03:20.:03:26.

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

:03:27.:03:30.

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

:03:31.:03:32.

with manslaughter after a prisoner death.

:03:33.:03:37.

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

:03:38.:03:40.

at banks and supermarkets, including ones in Sonning Common,

:03:41.:03:43.

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

:03:44.:03:49.

The members came mostly from Merseyside, and received

:03:50.:03:55.

sentences ranging from ten years to life imprisonment.

:03:56.:04:01.

More badgers are being killed on the roads, and conservationists

:04:02.:04:03.

in Oxfordshire say the building of new housing developments

:04:04.:04:06.

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

:04:07.:04:11.

Badgers have lived in this woodland in South Oxford

:04:12.:04:19.

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

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

:04:23.:04:27.

Their habitat is being taken for development.

:04:28.:04:30.

They are not being able to reach their foraging areas

:04:31.:04:36.

because there are not enough wildlife corridors

:04:37.:04:38.

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

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While badgers are a protected species, there are no accurate

:04:46.:04:47.

figures to say for sure whether numbers of badgers

:04:48.:04:51.

However given the evidence at Cumnor Hill in the Vale

:04:52.:05:00.

there seems no doubt that badger setts are often destroyed

:05:01.:05:03.

as development creeps in on their territory.

:05:04.:05:08.

Oxfordshire Badger Group is also concerned about the impact

:05:09.:05:10.

of hundreds of new homes at Barton Park.

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

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

:05:21.:05:24.

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

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When a development comes into the Council for proposal,

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

:05:35.:05:38.

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

:05:39.:05:43.

There are national laws for protecting the countryside

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but some authorities go further than others.

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

:05:52.:05:54.

There is wildlife corridors that have been put together

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in Milton Keynes lakes, ponds and natural habitats.

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We have seen a successful development, plus protection

:06:03.:06:05.

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

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There are some good examples in Milton Keynes that might work

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The number of people living in Oxfordshire is expected

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

:06:19.:06:23.

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

:06:24.:06:28.

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

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

:06:36.:06:38.

Members of the Iffley Open House project have squatted

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a number of empty buildings, drawing attention to the large

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numbers of homeless people in the city.

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Several of them have jobs and are looking

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Julius has recently started working in a pub

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

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

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

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

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

:07:09.:07:14.

using new technology to improve electricity networks for homes

:07:15.:07:17.

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

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is now being deployed to scan the networks and keep

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Could this be the future of mapping our electricity networks?

:07:27.:07:36.

This aerial scanning system is being used by Scottish

:07:37.:07:39.

and Southern Electricity networks, surveying our power lines,

:07:40.:07:43.

checking for trees and other vegetation, which may

:07:44.:07:46.

lead to blockages and electricity cuts.

:07:47.:07:52.

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

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on an ongoing basis and the biggest issue is trees falling

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

:07:58.:08:03.

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

:08:04.:08:06.

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

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That lets us target the tree cutting.

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This innovative mapping system is a big investment

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

:08:15.:08:18.

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

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

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

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of the line and the position of the trees.

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So when we come back we can process that data,

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

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can see exactly where they've got problems.

:08:43.:08:45.

Some network operators believe the technology could lead

:08:46.:08:47.

to better maintenance work, resulting in more

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The weather forecast is next, Alexis will have the details

:08:52.:09:01.

for this part of the world before the national outlook.

:09:02.:09:04.

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

:09:05.:09:06.

After a few sunny spells today, we have a lot

:09:07.:09:17.

But there will be a few clear spells as well

:09:18.:09:21.

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

:09:22.:09:24.

mist and fog patches developing during the early hours

:09:25.:09:26.

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

:09:27.:09:30.

These are temperatures in towns and cities,

:09:31.:09:32.

So, quite a cloudy date in general tomorrow.

:09:33.:09:36.

With the cloud cover, it will stay fairly mild.

:09:37.:09:39.

Temperatures not too higher than today but we may

:09:40.:09:41.

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

:09:42.:09:46.

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

:09:47.:09:49.

Through the course of tomorrow night and into Saturday,

:09:50.:09:55.

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

:09:56.:09:58.

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

:09:59.:10:03.

but generally it should be dry and sunny spells will start

:10:04.:10:05.

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

:10:06.:10:08.

We will see a very cheap night Saturday night

:10:09.:10:11.

with a potential a frost first thing on Sunday morning.

:10:12.:10:15.

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

:10:16.:10:18.

To move its way southwards, spilling across the whole country

:10:19.:10:30.

and with it we may have some wintry showers.

:10:31.:10:33.

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

:10:34.:10:35.

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

:10:36.:10:39.

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

:10:40.:10:42.

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

:10:43.:10:45.

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

:10:46.:10:48.

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

:10:49.:10:51.

brightening up for some sunny spells through the afternoon,

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mainly dry with sunny spells on Sunday.

:10:57.:10:58.

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

:10:59.:11:06.

Willetts. The sunshine make such a difference

:11:07.:11:14.

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

:11:15.:11:19.

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

:11:20.:11:23.

England, where we had the majority of the decent

:11:24.:11:24.