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  1. Slough and Reading are homeless 'hotspots'
  2. Appeal after racist flyers posted in Newbury
  3. All fifteen floors of the Thames Tower in Reading will being lit up tonight
  4. Muse have been announced as the first headliners for next year's Reading festival
  5. Slough could become major wine producer by 2100 according to researchers
  6. Defender Liam Moore will miss Reading's Championship fixture this weekend through suspension
  7. Windsor and Maidenhead council has welcomed Blackberry Limited to the neighbourhood.

Live Reporting

By John Hudson and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

Thank you for joining us again today. We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with all Berkshire's latest news, travel, weather and sport. 

Stay in touch via our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Latest Berkshire headlines

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

  • Police are appealing for information after racist flyers were posted in Newbury
  • Muse have been announced as the first headliners for next year’s Reading festival
  • Slough and Reading's homelessness rates are among the 10 worst in towns outside London, new figures suggest
  • Library services in West Berkshire face cuts of up to £645,000 under new council proposals
  • Slough could become a world-leading wine producer by 2100 because of climate change, according to a new study
  • Thames Valley Police has launched its Christmas campaign against drink and drug-driving. 

Reading's own 'live' advent calendar

Countdown to Christmas with dance, music and theatre as Reading launches its first living advent calendar. 

Reading Rep, the town's resident professional theatre group are behind the project, and they told BBC Radio Berkshire's Sue Kinnear what people can expect.

Latest Berkshire weather: Not as cold as last night

After temperatures dipped to -7C in parts of Berkshire last night, conditions are expected to get milder. 

It will remain dry with fog developing later on. 

However cloud cover is likely to spread in from the north, perhaps reducing the extent of fog by the morning. 

It will also turn rather cold, with frost possible.

Berkshire weather forecast
It will remain dry with fog developing later on.

A significant rise in the number of ambulance call outs

BBC Radio Berkshire's Phil Kennedy was joined by BBC South Today's Health Correspondent David Fenton as figures obtained by the BBC reveal an increase in the number of ambulance calls in Berkshire compared with three years ago.

South Central Ambulance have struggled to meet with response time targets.

All lanes on M4 now open after earlier crash

The eastbound lane of the M4 after Junction 8 for Maidenhead has re-opened. 

Traffic in the area remains heavy following an earlier crash. 

BBC travel latest
Traffic in the area remains heavy

What to expect from a Chinese owner

Huge amounts of Chinese cash are being pumped into the English game and apparently, Reading are next.

Four clubs; West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Aston Villa, are now all owned by Chinese investors.

Chinese football investment: the West Midlands experience

Notice the similarity? They are of course, all within the West Midlands. So no better person to ask on what to expect from Chinese owners than BBC WM's breakfast host, Adrian Goldberg.

"We haven't seen the promised tens of millions of pounds coming in," he said. "It's been a steady as she goes operation."  

Severe accident: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe accident, after J8 for affecting J10 for A329.

M4 Berkshire - Very slow traffic on M4 London-bound after J8, because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J10 A329(M) Wokingham.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Christmas on the Windsor Estate

Are you putting up your Christmas tree now we've finally reached December?

BBC Radio Berkshire's Anne Diamond has been finding out why it's become tradition for Windsor Castle to receive a tree from Germany.

The alpacas protecting 24,000 Christmas turkeys

BBC Business News

Tom Copas's farm in Maidenhead uses alpacas to guard its 24,000 free-range turkeys.

The 10 alpacas protect against fox attacks, as they naturally see them as a threat and chase any away.

How alpacas keep turkey off the menu

Libraries facing cuts of up to £645,000

Toby Wadey

BBC Berkshire Online

Library services in West Berkshire face cuts of up to £645,000 under new council proposals.

West Berkshire Council has presented residents with three cost-cutting strategies to consider as part of a public consultation

Each option would result in Wash Common Library in Newbury closing and the increased use of volunteers for roles currently filled by paid employees. 

The council also wants town and parish councils to contribute £150,000 from their budgets to help with running costs. 

Councillor Dominic Boeck, executive member for culture, said: "We have no choice but to ask because demand for council services is rising."

On your head, son

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

Every football fan has had the dream of heading in a last minute winner for their team.

This Maidenhead United supporter has got half way there, from the stand.

Watch as a Maidenhead fan gets his head on a wayward shot, launching it back on the pitch.

Watch as he launches himself at a wayward free kick, getting amazing contact on the ball, and protecting another fan in the process...

Nicely done...

Police appeal for help tracing man with ties to Reading

Thames Valley Police is appealing for help in tracing a 26-year-old man missing from Naphill, Buckinghamshire.

Thomas Birks was last seen at his home in Naphill this morning.

He is known to frequent the areas around Naphill and has links to Reading and is believed to be driving a black BMW.  

Sgt William Stockwell from High Wycombe response team said "We would urge anyone who recognises Thomas from the description and picture and think they may have seen him to please contact us as we are concerned for his welfare." 

Thomas Birks

Excited doesn't quite describe it

Council welcomes mobile phone giant to town

Rob England

South Online

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has welcomed the European Headquarters of Blackberry Limited to the neighbourhood.

The technology company, famous for developing the Blackberry mobile phone, now occupies three floors of the Pearce Building in Maidenhead town centre.

Councillor Simon Dudley, leader of the council said "Maidenhead is on the move and BlackBerry's arrival is a great step forward in our vision of achieving the dynamic future the town deserves as we build a borough for everyone."

Blackberry sales executive Florian Bienvenu said " Maidenhead is offering us an excellent business environment." 

A Blackberry mobile phone

Historic wedding dress exhibition at West Berkshire Museum

Sarah Lee

South Online

West Berkshire Museum is celebrating the changing fashions of wedding dresses and traditions in a new special exhibition Something Old, Something New.

This exhibition features some of the dresses from the museum’s collection that have all been worn at weddings in West Berkshire to illustrate the changing styles, colours and materials throughout history. 

Dresses from the 1860s to the 1970s, including a dress worn by Sue Hopson when she married David Hopson of the famous Newbury store Camp Hopson in 1957, will also feature in the exhibition. 

The exhibition will run until December 2017.

West Berkshire Council

“We are very pleased to be able to show these beautiful dresses, they are associated with weddings from parishes all around West Berkshire, it has been fascinating to research the brides who wore them. We would love to see your West Berkshire wedding dress, just upload and join the discussion on our West Berkshire Museum Facebook page.”

Ruth HowardMuseum Officer

Cold alarms set to be installed in 500 Berkshire homes

Alarms which alert elderly people to dangerously cold temperatures are set to be installed in 500 homes across Berkshire.

Mike Allen, of Age UK Berkshire, said the devices sound when it falls below 12C to encourage residents to move to a warmer room or turn on the heating.

He said: "In previous years Reading has been one of the worst areas in England for excess weather deaths."

The alarms have been supplied by the Chief Fire Officers Association and distributed to Age UK by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service. 

The fire service and Age UK are issuing cold alarms to the most vulnerable.

New health guidance says routine HIV tests should be offered in Reading and Slough

Rob England

South Online

Around 11 million people in high risk regions of England, including Reading and Slough, should be routinely offered an HIV test, according to new health guidance. 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said doctors should use their clinical judgment to offer HIV testing "opportunistically" at each patient consultation in extremely high-risk areas. 

This means even when patients come in seeking help for another problem, A&Es, Hospitals and GPs should consider offering an HIV blood test.

High prevalence is regarded as two to five diagnosed infections per 1,000 people aged 15 to 59.

It is easier than ever before to access testing for HIV, but with thousands living with undiagnosed HIV we know there is much more to do. We want to normalise HIV testing so it isn't viewed any differently from any other blood test. There are now highly effective treatments for HIV and it should no longer be seen with fear or stigma.

Professor Gillian Lengdeputy chief executive of NICE

Why would Chinese business invest in Reading?

Adam Whitty

BBC Berkshire

With a takeover bid backed by Chinese money rumoured to be looming for Reading, the question is - why would Chinese investors want to pump money into the English game?

There are currently four clubs owned by Chinese businessmen in the English game, all of them, funnily, are in the West Midlands.

Three of those investments were made this year.

"The new Chinese President Xi Jinping has come in and made a priority of it," says the BBC's Beijing Correspondent John Sudworth.

"Businessmen are picking up on those political signals. They will use the political goodwill to reinvest back in China."

Appeal to find Coco the lost parrot

Sarah Lee

South Online

A "distraught" woman from Slough is asking for help in tracing her lost parrot Coco.

The African Grey parrot went missing from the Cippenham area in Slough on Sunday.

Owner Jennifer Harris said: "Coco says hello, clicks, wold whistles, squeaks like a squeaky toy and bleeps." 

Jennifer Harris

Appeal after knife attack in Reading

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following an assault in Reading.

At around 12.10am on 21 November, three men in their early thirties were walking along Imperial Way near to the junction of Worton Drive when they were approached by two male offenders.

The offenders, who had knives, then attacked the men.

Imperial Way

One victim sustained injuries as a result of the attack and required hospital treatment; however, the injuries are not life threatening. 

The other two victims managed to escape and raise the alarm at nearby premises.

Berkshire UK's coldest place last night

We thought it felt cold round here last night, temperatures dipped to -7C in Upper Lambourn.

View more on twitter

Slough and Reading: Homeless 'hotspots'

Sarah Lee

South Online

More than a quarter of a million people are homeless in England, an analysis of the latest official figures suggests. 

Researchers from charity Shelter used data from four sets of official 2016 statistics to compile what it describes as a "conservative" total. 

The figures show homelessness hotspots outside London, with high rates in Birmingham, Brighton, Slough and Reading. 

The government says it does not recognise the figures, but is investing more than £500m on homelessness.


Appeal after racist flyers posted in Newbury

Sarah Lee

South Online

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information after several racist flyers were posted in Newbury.

On Monday posters advocating 'white zones' were discovered in Chestnut Crescent and the A4 underpass leading to Almond Avenue.  

Officers are asking for people to come forward with any information as to who may have placed these stickers.  

Residents should also call Thames Valley Police on 101 to report seeing the posters and stickers.

Slough could become major wine producer by 2100

Sarah Lee

South Online

Britain could be a major wine producer and exporter by 2100 with Essex and even Slough becoming the site of leading vineyards, a study suggests.

Britain's changing levels of temperature and rainfall could produce ideal conditions for sauvignon blanc and chardonnay in as yet unfamiliar wine areas such as Peckham and Milton Keynes, according to the University College London study for Laithwaite's Wine.

The study said malbec could be produced in the Thames Estuary area in places such as Romford, Southend and as far west as Slough.


Drink and drug-driving campaign starts today

A month-long drink and drug-driving campaign starts today.

Thames Valley Police and Hampshire Constabulary are working together as part of the two Forces' Joint Roads Policing Unit.

The force tell us that drink and drug-driving is recognised by independent research as one of the fatal four factors that result in collisions causing people to be killed or seriously injured.

View more on twitter

Muse, Bastille and Major Lazer are announced for Reading Festival

BBC Newsbeat

Muse have been announced as the first headliners for next year's Reading Festival.

The band will top the bill for the third time at the two festivals following previous headline performances in 2011 and 2006.

Last year Muse made it a hat-trick of Glastonbury headline slots as they played the Pyramid Stage.


The band, fronted by Matt Bellamy, will be joined by Bastille, Major Lazer, While She Sleeps and Architects.

Muse said they were "very excited" to be playing the festival again.

Travel: M4 slow, accident on A303 eastbound

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • M4 Junction 10 (Wokingham) slow in all directions, particularly coming off M4 onto Southbound
  • A329M interchange of M3 and M25 very slow, especially joining M25 from M3 onto anti-clockwise carriageway
  • Accident on A303 Eastbound just before Bullington Cross (A34), causing long delays back past Andover

Sport: Awards and team news

Ady Williams

Sport presenter, BBC Radio Berkshire

  • British Rowing's men's head coach Jurgen Grobler has picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award for his incredible career coaching TeamGB to glory across seven Olympic Games. The UK Coaching Awards were held in Wembley last night
  • Defender Liam Moore will miss Reading's Championship fixture this weekend through suspension. The former Leicester player picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the win over Bristol City and will serve a one match ban

How alpacas keep turkey off foxes' menus

Sarah Lee

South Online

It's a few weeks before Christmas, and two slightly grumpy alpacas are on guard duty at a farm in Berkshire.

The animals are part of a herd of 10 that have a very important job - protecting 24,000 free-range turkeys from being attacked by foxes.

Turkey farm
Copas Turkey

The introduction of the alpacas - called Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Onion, Prancer, Sage and Vixen - was the brainchild of Tom Copas, the owner of family business Copas Turkeys.

He came up with the idea in 2015 after a series of fox attacks resulted in hundreds of birds being killed at his farm in Cookham, Maidenhead.

Berkshire's latest headlines

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  • Investment at Reading Football club has to be right to secure it's long-term future. That's according to fans this morning reacting to news the Club's Thai consortium are on the brink of selling to a Chinese family
  • The future of library services in West Berkshire would be secured by using volunteers. That's according to West Berkshire council which is not asking the Parish and Town councils to contribute to the cost of keeping them open - all in a bid to save 690 thousand pounds from its budget
  • Marking the end of Reading's year of culture, all fifteen floors of the Thames Tower - the building outside the railway station - will be lit up tonight
  • Rock group Muse have have announced as the first headliners for next year's Reading festival. The British band will top the bill for the third time following previous headline performances in 2011 and 2006  

Muse announced as Reading Festival headliners

BBC's Bridgitte Tetteh spends day with paramedics

Bridgitte Tetteh

BBC Radio Berkshire reporter

Frosty start for the first day of December

Holly Green

BBC Weather

Holly Green with the latest forecast

Freezing temperatures with a few sunny spells

Sarah Lee

South Online

Good morning! After a cold start it will be a fairly fine day with sunny spells.

We'll be bringing you the latest news, weather, travel and sport from Berkshire on our local live service.

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