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Developer responds to residents' broadband complaints

In response to complaints from residents at the Kingsmere Estate in Bicester in Oxfordshire, about the lack of superfast broadband at their homes, a spokesperson for the developer Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd. issued a statement:

“We have completed the installation of all of the BT/Openreach ducting through the Kingsmere site based on a design agreed with them in 2010. It is then BT/Openreach’s decision as to whether they would run copper or fibre through the ducting.

We are aware that the Kingsmere Residents’ Association has been in direct discussion with BT/Openreach about how the provision of superfast broadband can be achieved at Kingsmere.

Unfortunately unlike with other utility suppliers we are only able to provide the ducting for BT/Openreach. It is then up to them what service they provide. We are however working with BT/Openreach and the developers and residents of Kingsmere to ensure that the situation is resolved as soon as possible to all parties satisfaction.”

– Countryside Properties (Bicester) Ltd.

Residents angry over unreliable broadband

Residents campaign for faster broadband at the Kingsmere Estate in Bicester

A group of people living on a new housing estate in Bicester in Oxfordshire say it is unacceptable that they do not have access to reliable broadband.

The campaigners say faster internet speeds were promised to them two years ago - but they are still waiting for improvements. The Kingsmere Residents' Association said members have made it clear they are very disappointed that Superfast Broadband is not available for most residents, through their representation at public forums.

The developers, meanwhile, say they area working with BT and the residents to ensure the situation is resolved as soon as possible. However, the homeowners are still unhappy, as resident Marcus Gilbert explains.


Emergency supplies leave Oxfordshire to help the victims of Ebola

Oxfam's emergency warehouse Credit: ITV news

Forty tonnes of emergency supplies have been loaded onto vans at Oxfam's emergency warehouse in Bicester, ready to be flown to Liberia to help stop the spread of Ebola. 230 thousand pounds worth of water and sanitation equipment - along with generators - will be delivered to the country. Tomorrow, a similar operation will see supplies sent to Sierra Leone. The death toll in West Africa has reached five thousand. Ian Bray from Oxfam spoke to ITV Meridian

Oxfam sends emergency equipment to tackle Ebola crisis

The loading of 40 tonnes of emergency equipment to help stop the spread of Ebola in Liberia has taken place this morning at the Oxfam emergency warehouse in Bicester, Oxfordshire.

Some £227,000 worth of water and sanitation equipment, including a drilling rig, generator, water tanks, pipes, taps and buckets, will be sent over to the country.

The aid will be vital in providing clean water and sanitation for people in Liberia and tomorrow will be sending a similar amount of aid to Sierra Leone where the crisis is getting worse.

People desperately need clean water. Clean water keeps people alive and it will help stop the spread of this horrendous disease. We're winning the battle against Ebola in Liberia but we are far from winning the war.

– Oxfam spokesman

Appeal for workers to help build UK's first eco town

Artist's impression of new eco town Credit: ITV news

Developers in Oxfordshire are holding a drop in event to showcase the jobs and training opportunities available to construct the UK's first eco town. A variety of skilled workers are needed to build 93 homes in Bicester as part of the scheme.

The drop-in event is being held in the town centre at Unit 3 Crown Walk Emporium, Pioneer Square, on Friday 26th September from 10.00am to 4.00pm. The event is open to anyone looking for job or training opportunities in construction locally. A variety of work is available from ground clearance to bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing and electrical, landscaping or painting to roofers and administrative support. The developers says they are committed to creating a minimum of 20% local labour on site during construction

Army regiment bids farewell with parade through Bicester

Crowds expected to say farewell Credit: ITV news

The British Army will bid farewell to 23 Pioneer Regiment later today - a parade through Bicester will mark decades of faithful service. The regiment is being disbanded following recent defence cuts. The Duke of Gloucester will take the Royal Salute and the Regimental flag will be ceremonially lowered for the last time.

In recent operations the Regiment has carried out force protection duties, provided Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Search teams, as well as carrying out construction tasks in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

From 1917-1921 the Pioneers were known as the Labour Corps before becoming the Pioneer Corps in 1940. Other units will take up residence at St David's Barracks. The Pioneers long association with Bicester will remain, as the town has named its new shopping centre, 'Pioneer Square'.


World War artefacts and munitions seized in Bicester

As a result of information following warrants executed in St Albans, Hertfordshire yesterday to target the theft of heritage artefacts and munitions, Thames Valley Police has arrested a 35-year-old man from Bicester this morning on suspicion of theft.

A quantity of First and Second World War munitions were located, as a result of the arrest, at a residential address in Buckingham Crescent in Bicester. The man was arrested on suspicion of theft from heritage and protected sites and is currently in police custody.

It is suspected that the arrested man obtained these artefacts through illegal metal detecting, which is a heritage crime. It is a criminal offence to retrieve artefacts from the ground through using a metal detector if the land is a protected site or without permission of the landowner.

An exact list of all the items has yet to be established by investigating officers at the address. Controlled explosions are planned to take place in order to safely remove artefacts and munitions found at the address.

“These controlled explosions pose no threat to the general public. As a precaution we have evacuated a few properties in close proximity. The seizure will take some time to process all the items recovered. We have experts in place to deal safely with the items recovered.”

– Ch Supt Amanda Pearson, leading the operation

"The practice of illegal metal detecting or stealing artefacts from the ground, particularly from conflict sites relating to the First and Second World Wars, is an issue that English Heritage takes very seriously. We recognise that the majority of the metal detecting community comply with the laws and regulations relating to the discovery and recovery of objects from the land. We are prepared to take action and do what is necessary including, working alongside the police, to bring those responsible to justice."

– Mark Harrison, National Policing and Crime Advisor for English Heritage

Investigation after GBH incident in Bicester

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses to an incident of grievous bodily harm in Bicester.

The incident occurred on the forecourt of the Gulf petrol station in Buckingham Road, Bicester, at about 3.20am on Saturday (30/8).

The victim, a man, was with a friend when they became embroiled in an altercation with a group of four or five men. The victim was hit with a golf club during the incident.

The offender who hit the victim with the golf club is white, in his mid to late twenties, about 5ft 10in, medium to stocky build, with short dark hair. He was wearing a dark-coloured jumper.

A second suspect involved in the altercation is white, in his mid to late twenties, slim, with short blonde hair. He was wearing a short sleeved T-shirt.

The victim sustained a fractured eye socket and broken jaw. He is currently being treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

If you have any information about the incident then please contact investigating officer, Det Con Joe Stevenson of Force CID via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.

If you don't want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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