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  1. Updates for Monday 5 December 2016

Live Reporting

By John Hudson and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for today

    Toby Wadey

    BBC Berkshire Online

    Thank you for joining us again today. Enjoy your evening, and take extra care on the roads if you're driving - we're expecting foggy conditions to develop later. 

    We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with all Berkshire's latest news, travel, weather and sport. 

    Keep in touch via our Twitter and Facebook pages. 

  2. Berkshire's latest headlines

    Toby Wadey

    BBC Berkshire Online

    • Rape victims in Slough have had to wait up to 20 months for specialist counselling, according to MP Fiona Mactaggart
    • Reading is set to become the UK’s fastest growing economy, a new report suggests
    • A sinkhole in Caversham has resulted in structural damage to a house
    • Families visiting Legoland in Windsor had to wait up to three hours to see Santa
    • Slough's social workers are getting better at protecting vulnerable children from harm, according to Ofsted.  
  3. Plans to save £10.5m from council budget

    Toby Wadey

    BBC Berkshire Online

    Plans to save £10.5m from Reading Borough Council’s budget will discussed at a meeting this evening.

    A report prepared ahead of the Policy Committee meeting said the proposals will include "cuts in services" and "different models of delivery". 

    The document said the authority's financial position has "worsened significantly" in the last year and there is an "urgent need" to balance the budget. 

    The council estimated in September that it needed to save £41.5m by 2020. 

  4. Slough rape victims have to wait 'up to 20 months' for counselling

    Toby Wadey

    BBC Berkshire Online

    Rape victims in Slough have had to wait up to 20 months for specialist counselling, according to the town's MP. 

    Speaking in the Commons today, Fiona Mactaggart asked Home Secretary Amber Rudd when the government planned to "improve the care of victims". 

    The Labour MP said: "Twice as many women are reporting rape now than four years ago, and the proportion of those reports which lead to successful prosecutions has gone down.

    "In my constituency of Slough I speak to women who have been raped who have had to wait up to 20 months for specialist counselling."

    Ms Rudd said the government "wants people to have the confidence" to report rape and "recognises the need for funding". 

  5. Reading set to be UK's fastest growing economy

    Toby Wadey

    BBC Berkshire Online

    Reading's economy is set to become the fastest growing in the UK, according to a new report. 

    The study by accountancy firm Ernst & Young predicts the town's gross value added (GVA) will be 2.5% between now and 2019. 

    This compares with the UK average of 1.5%. 

    The report points to the borough's skilled workforce in the science and technology industries as reasons for its success. 

  6. House damaged as 'sinkhole' appears

    Cracks have appeared in a house and the driveway started to sink when a hole opened up in a road following a water pipe burst.

    Firefighters cordoned off the property after being called to the leak on Kidmore Road, Caversham, Berkshire on Sunday evening.

    A Thames Water spokesman said engineers were investigating the cause of the hole "as a matter of priority".

    Neighbours said a similar incident happened on the same road about 20 years ago.

    Sinkhole in road
    Image caption: A Thames Water spokesman said engineers were investigating the cause of the hole "as a matter of priority"

    House damaged as 'sinkhole' appears

    Sinkhole in road

    Cracks appear in a house and the driveway sinks when a hole opens up in a road following a water pipe burst.

    Read more
  7. Aldermaston Nativity in 60th Year

    Residents of Aldermaston in Berkshire have performed in St Mary's church nativity every year since 1957.

    The play opens tonight for its 60th year.

    Some of the cast have appeared in the play for many of those years, including 'third shepherd' Leslie Woodley, who is on his 53rd.

    View more on facebook
  8. Man jailed for dangerous driving after Crowthorne crash

    Sarah Lee

    South Online

    A man has been sentenced to 36 months imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

    Rhys Hargreaves, aged 24, of Blackheath Road, Farnham, was sentenced to 36 months' imprisonment at Oxford Crown Court on 28 November.

    He collided with a vehicle on 14 May 2015, killing Garry Holmes, 36, in Forresters Way, Crowthorne.

    Crash site

    Hargreaves was also disqualified from driving for five and half years and must pass extended test at the end of this period if he wants a driving licence.

    At a previous hearing at Oxford Crown Court on 25 May this year, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance.

  9. Bracknell's budget blues

    Patrick O'Hagan

    BBC Berkshire political reporter

    We'll get our first indication tonight of how much Bracknell Forest Borough Council will have to spend next year on essential services like looking after vulnerable children and bin collections.

    With government cutbacks on the way, I'm not expecting much in the way of Christmas cheer from the good burghers of Bracknell. 

  10. Ex-teacher jailed for abusing child

    Tara Maxwell

    BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

    A former teacher from Nottingham has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a child in the 1990s at a school near Newbury.

    58-year-old Nicholas Eggington was found guilty of two counts of indecent assault on a male child and two counts of gross indecency with a male child. He was sentenced to a three year custodial sentence at Winchester Crown Court on Friday. 

    Eggington is also the subject of a sexual harm prevention order and will be on the sex offenders register for life. 

    The offences relate to a single victim and occurred between 1992 and 1993 at the Cheam School located in Headley, on the outskirts of Newbury. Eggington taught at the school at the time. 

    Police have commended the victim for the courage and resolve he demonstrated throughout the investigation.  

    Nicholas Eggington
  11. 'Three-hour queues' to see Legoland Santa

    Sarah Lee

    South Online

    Families visiting Legoland had to wait up to three hours to see Santa at a Christmas-themed attraction.

    Customers took to social media to complain of long queues at the Windsor resort during the first day of the "Christmas Bricktacular" opening.

    Grotto generic

    Caroline Other, of Windsor, said her four-year-old son was left crying in the "freezing cold".

    Legoland apologised for the delay and said a power cut meant some time slots to see Santa were missed.

  12. Scheme launches to help vulnerable people stay warm

    A scheme to help vulnerable people stay warm during the winter has been launched by Reading Borough Council.

    Winter Watch, which was launched five years ago, provides practical support to the town's vulnerable households. 

    This includes home energy checks, emergency energy payments and access to grants for insulation. 

    The authority said an estimated 6,695 households in Reading - almost 11% - are considered 'fuel poor' and will struggle to afford the cost of heating their homes.

    This year's Winter Watch will run until the end of March 2017.

  13. Berkshire weather latest: Fog forecast

    After this morning's frosty start, it will remain chilly this afternoon with highs of 5C. 

    Low cloud and fog is expected to develop later on in the evening before another frosty morning tomorrow. 

    BBC weather forecast for Berkshire
    Image caption: Low cloud and fog is expected to develop later
  14. Slough's social workers 'getting better' at protecting vulnerable children

    Slough's social workers are getting better at protecting vulnerable children from harm according to inspectors from OFSTED. 

    The council's children's department is now overseen by an independent trust which the inspection service says is beginning to turn things around.  

    Quote Message: The trust is responsible for the social care services plus extra educational needs and trouble families. The council are very quickly going to find a way to fill that gap to ensure that we do have a full representation." from Elaine Simpson Chairman of the trust's board
    Elaine SimpsonChairman of the trust's board
  15. One week left for budget comments

    There is just one week left for residents to have their say on West Berkshire Council’s proposals for its 2017/18 budget.

    The consultation involves seven proposals which, if implemented, would affect front-line services. 

    The proposals, which total just under £1m, are part of a range of measures being considered by the Council as it looks to save a total of £8m next year.

    West Berkshire Council

    A draft budget will be considered by the council's Executive on 16 February 2017. 

    If approved, it will go before Full Council for approval on 2 March, 2017.

  16. Sport: FA cup and Maidenhead top of the league

    Tim Dellor

    BBC Berkshire sport editor

    Reading find out who they play in the FA Cup3rd round later today. The draw is made at 7pm on BBC 1. At the same stage of the competition in both the last two seasons Reading have been drawn against Huddersfield away.

    Maidenhead are 9 points clear the top of National League South after another win. This time they beat Margate 2-0.

    Many Clouds, trained in Lambourn, got his Grand National 2017 bid back on track with a win at Aintree over the weekend. His trainer, Oliver Sherwood says he's likely to go to Cheltenham in January and Kelso in March, in preparation for April's race. He won the National two years ago.

  17. Investigations into sinkhole under way

    Sarah Lee

    South Online

    Investigations into a burst water pipe which caused a sinkhole in Caversham are under way. 

    Eight firefighters were called to the incident on Kidmore Road on Sunday afternoon. 

    Sandcroft Road is currently closed at the junction with Kidmore Road.

    Road closed
    Quote Message: We're investigating why our cast iron water pipe burst and what has caused the damage to the surrounding area. We have informed the council this morning and structural engineers will be appointed to look at the property in Kidmore Road. We need to understand exactly what has happened as a matter of priority, and will work with all the right people to put this right." from Justin Coffey Thames Water engineer
    Justin CoffeyThames Water engineer
  18. Sinkhole causes damage to Caversham property

    Sarah Lee

    South Online

    A sinkhole caused by a burst water main has damaged the outside structure of a nearby property.

    Eight firefighters were called to the incident on Kidmore Road, Caversham, at 17:22 GMT on Sunday. 

    Berkshire Fire and Rescue said the incident has since been handed back to the owner of the property.