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  1. Updates for Friday 20 January
  2. Heathrow protesters guilty of wilful obstruction
  3. Charity opens surgery for immigrants at risk

Live Reporting

By Toby Wadey, Adam Whitty and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

Tom Ince

Tom Ince scores his ninth goal in 13 games to help Derby County overcome fellow play-off hopefuls Reading at Pride Park.

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That's all for today!

Sarah Lee

BBC South

That's it from all of us here today. We'll be back with the latest news, travel and weather on Monday at 08:00 GMT.

See you all then!

Reading 'likely challengers for play-offs'

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Reading FC are expected to reach the Championship play-offs, according to the predictions of a super-computer.

It says that Reading have a 53% chance of reaching the play-offs, and will, if the predictions are correct, finish sixth in the table, on 73 points.  

Championship table
Under SAM's predictions, Newcastle and Brighton will be automatically promoted

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine), was built by Ian McHale, professor of sports analytics at the University of Salford, together with his colleague Dr Tarak Kharrat.

It was tasked with predicting the result of every Championship match between now and the end of the season on 7 May.

The Royals are currently fourth in the table, and play Derby tomorrow at Pride Park.

SAM's Championship table 2016-17

Newcastle and Brighton to win promotion?

Newcastle and Brighton to win promotion from the Championship? That is the prediction of a special computer programme - but how do you think it will finish?

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Travel: M4 slow due to broken down lorry

BBC Travel

One lane closed and slow traffic due to broken down lorry on M4 Westbound between Membury Services and J15 A346 Marlborough Road / A419 Marlborough Road (Swindon East).    

Noam Chomsky to speak at Reading Uni

Adam Whitty

BBC South

World-renowned academic Professor Noam Chomsky will be visiting the University of Reading this May to give a lecture about the state of western democracy.

The noted academic, a vocal critic of Donald Trump, will discuss the 45th President of the United States, Brexit and the rise of nationalism across Europe in his lecture entitled: 'Racing for the Precipice: Is the Human Experiment Doomed?'

Noam Chomsky
Getty Images
Professor Chomsky is noted for his contribution to linguistics, cognitive science, psychology and political science

Professor Chomsky will also be awarded the Albert Wolters Distinguished Visiting Professorship in recognition of his 60 years in academia.

A website launches today to register for tickets at Reading Town Hall on 10 May at 19:30 GMT. 

'Mouldy and grimy' nursing home shut

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A "mouldy and grimy"  nursing home in Berkshire has been shut after it failed to provide “adequate service” to its patients.

Birdsgrove Nursing Home in Bracknell has been banned from operating to ensure the safety and welfare of residents, the Care Quality Commission reported.

It follows the arrest of a man on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence after the death of a 93-year-old resident at the home. 

A number of fire safety issues were identified by inspectors, including broken emergency lights and dimly lit rooms – creating a potential risk to those with visual impairments or dementia.

Nursing home

Areas of the service were also found to be unclean with a build-up of dust, grease and grime

Mould was found growing across carpets and on tiles and bath sealant, the report added.

Since the inspection, all the people who had been living in Birdsgrove Nursing Home have moved to alternative accommodation.

A police investigation is ongoing. 

Radio Berkshire's beginnings 25 years ago

Adam Whitty

BBC South

BBC Radio Berkshire is celebrating its 25th anniversary tomorrow.

Howard Hughes kicked off his broadcast a quarter of a century ago with his programme Berkshire Today on 21 January 1992.

Far from creating a viral social media campaign, it was a humble leaflet which advertised the station back then, and we have got our hands on it...


Radio Berkshire began its life as a sister service to Radio Oxford, only broadcasting for part of weekday and weekend mornings.

Howard Hughes - who still presents at the station - and Adam Kirtley were the two men tasked with bringing a new brand of local news to the county.

Sport coverage

Back in 1992, there was no such thing as live commentary for every Reading FC game, and certainly no banter between Tim Dellor and Ady Wiliams (who was three seasons into his Reading career at that point).

BBC Radio Berkshire joined the National BBC Radio Network for it's sport coverage - today's version of BBC Radio 5 Live.

Radio Berkshire's coverage

It would appear, looking at this map outlining the best frequencies for people to tune into, Woodley and Wokingham were not best served by the first Radio Berkshire transmitters.

But they were fine tuning to the 104.4 FM frequency.

Young Royal Sheppard leaves on loan

Adam Whitty

BBC South

Reading academy product Jake Sheppard has joined National League side Dagenham and Redbridge until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old is yet to make his first-team debut for The Royals, despite signing a professional contract with the club in 2015.

Jake Sheppard
Reading FC

He has previously had loan spells at Hayes & Yeading and Eastbourne.

He is perhaps most well know for a 70-yard wonder goal he scored for the club's academy two years ago against Brighton.

Howells has Luton's Young Player of the Season award three times

Daggers sign Howells and Sheppard

Dagenham & Redbridge sign Jake Howells on a permanent deal and make a youth loan signing of Jake Sheppard.

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Last chance to have say on Aldermaston Park development

Sarah Lee

BBC South

It's the last chance for people to have their say on plans to build over 200 homes at Aldermaston Park. 

Campaigners are warning ancient woodland will be destroyed. 

The homes are part of proposals to restore the Victorian manor and grounds, but The Woodland Trust says 180 trees will be lost - some a hundred years old.  

Aldermaston Park

Shurlock Road travellers set for eviction

Adam Whitty

BBC South

It's been agreed direct action will be taken to evict travellers from a site in Waltham St Lawrence. 

In 2009, 10 traveller families set up home on Shurlock Road on greenbelt land they own, but do not have planning permission to live on.

The families have been served notice that the council will take direct action to clear the land if they do not leave voluntarily.

Shurlock Road
The travellers have been living on Shurlock Road, in Waltham St Lawrence, since 2009

Cllr Derek Wilson, cabinet member for planning at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council has told BBC Radio Berkshire: "We are giving the occupiers a period of 14 days to leave the site.

"If they fail to move the caravans out, then we will take enforcement action."

A date for the action is being decided.   

Weather latest: Sunny but cold afternoon ahead

After a clear and frosty start, it is expected to remain sunny for the remainder of the afternoon. 

It will stay dry overnight with temperatures dipping to -2C. 

BBC weather forecast for Berkshire

Irish name line-up for Ospreys test

London Irish v Ospreys Premiership Select XV (Tomorrow, 14:00 GMT)

Adam Whitty

BBC South

London Irish have announced they will make three changes to their team for their British and Irish Cup group game against Ospreys Premiership Select XV tomorrow.

Club record try-scorer Topsy Ojo starts on the wing, while Greig Tonks and Will Lloyd also make the starting 15 for the game at the Madejski Stadium.

London irish team to face Ospreys

The game is a formality for the Exiles, who qualified for the quarter finals of the competition with a 41-14 win over Connacht last week.

Before that game, they managed to stop off at captain Conor Gilsenan's parents' pub for dinner.

Secular Immigration and Voluntary Returns surgery opens in Slough

The surgery is set up with help from the Home Office and run by the charity Jeena, and designed to help undocumented people in Berkshire who are at risk of being sexually or financially exploited.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Andrew Peach found out more from Adrian Tudway, he works for Crimestoppers who helped set up the surgery. 

Happy Birthday to BBC Radio Berkshire

Tomorrow marks 25 years since the first voice was heard on Radio Berkshire.

The voice was Howard Hughes, and the words...

"On 104.1 FM in West Berkshire, including Newbury, Thatcham and Hungerford."

Hear the first words spoken on BBC Radio Berkshire, 25 years ago

He began with a rundown of the frequencies that the station could be heard on across the county, before introducing newsreader Tanya Shields. 

He then presented the first edition of Berkshire Today, a show which included the latest on house repossessions in Slough, and a job creation scheme in the town.

'Do what you have to, to survive'

Adam Paylor

BBC South

A businessman who discovered one of his own workers was in an old military pillbox has set up a scheme to help homeless people get work and accommodation.

Adrian Smith, based in Newbury, is to meet his local MP about the scheme.

Joe lived in an old military pillbox for three months.

Mr Smith found out his employee "Joe" was homeless after he was taken ill at work.

“Joe”, who Mr Smith helped get accommodation, said that at the time he was sleeping rough he was doing “what you have to to survive”.

MP discusses under-threat pool

The MP for Reading West, Alok Sharma MP, has been meeting staff working at the Royal Berkshire Hospital Trust, to discuss their controversial plans to close a Hyderotherapy Pool.

Earlier this week, the trust's chief executive Steve McManus (second on left) confirmed the closure had now been deferred for six months, until June.

Staff at the hospital said it could no longer fund the pool, but campaigners trying to save it say it is a vital treatment for conditions such as arthritis, muscular dystrophy and fibromyalgia.

View more on twitter

Work on new cycle route to start on Monday

Work on the Reading section of a new cross-Berkshire cycle route will start on Monday, the council has announced. 

This will involve an off-peak lane closure for two weeks between the Bath Road junctions with Southcote Road and Parkside Road.

The new cycle route
Reading Borough Council

It comes after Reading Borough Council approved the £450,000 project on Monday. 

"I would ask residents who regularly use the Bath Road to bear with us while this work is carried out," said Councillor Tony Page, lead member for strategic environment, planning and transport.  

John Watson

A soldier who abducted and stabbed his fellow comrade and love rival in Windsor is convicted of attempted murder.

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Soldier guilty of abducting love-rival

Adam Whitty

BBC South

A soldier who abducted and stabbed his comrade and love rival in Windsor has been convicted of attempted murder.

John Watson, 35, lay in wait for the victim to leave the house of his ex-wife, with whom the victim was having a relationship with.

John Watson
Thames Valley Police
John Watson is due to be sentenced at the same court on 9 February

He then tied him up, bundled him into his car and stabbed him before he was saved by police.

Watson was convicted by a unanimous jury at Reading Crown Court on Thursday.

John Watson

Soldier guilty of abducting love rival

A soldier who abducted and stabbed his fellow comrade and love rival in Windsor is convicted of attempted murder.

Read more

Public consultation open day at Pangbourne fire station

Residents interested in having their say about proposed changes to Berkshire's fire service are being invited to an open day at Pangbourne station later. 

The county's fire authority says it needs to save £2.4m by 2020 to balance the books, and has come up with seven suggestions to make initial savings. 

These include proposals to close Pangbourne and Wargrave stations.  

The consultation runs until 13 March. 

View more on twitter

Unlicensed taxi driver receives heavy fine

An unlicensed taxi driver has been ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £2,500 after twice being caught illegally plying for hire in Reading.

Abid Hussain, 54, was found guilty of the offences at Reading Magistrates last week and fined £880. He was also ordered to pay costs to the council of £1,500 and an £88 victim surcharge.

Councillor Paul Gittings, lead member for consumer services, said: “I hope cases such as this will serve as a deterrent to drivers who are tempted to work illegally in Reading."

View more on twitter

Council tax rise is 'to help most vulnerable'

An increase in council tax was defended by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead's leader on BBC Radio 4 this morning. 

The authority announced earlier this week that bills would be going up almost 4% in the new financial year. 

View more on twitter

Charity opens immigration and voluntary returns service

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

A safe haven for undocumented immigrants at risk of being sexually or financially exploited opens in Slough later. 

The surgery at Queensmere Shopping Centre is being run by charity Jeena with the support of the Home Office. 

Founder Rani Bilkhu told BBC Radio Berkshire she is expecting the service to be busy. 

She said: "If they are undocumented or haven't got a passport, a Jeena volunteer or Home Office official can accompany them to the relevant embassy and get their documentation - and give them a free flight home."

Travel latest

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Berkshire's roads are coping nicely for a Friday morning with no current incidents to report.

Roadworks in Headley on the A339 between Newbury and Basingstoke are causing delays.

The A329 leaving the M4 at J10 towards Bracknell is also busy. 

Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

BBC Travel

M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J4B for M25 and J5 for A4.

M4 Berkshire - One lane closed on M4 westbound between J4b M25 and J5, A4 (Langley), because of a broken down vehicle.

Check local traffic and travel reports for:

Heathrow protesters found guilty

Nine Black Lives Matter protesters who blocked a road to Heathrow Airport have been found guilty of wilful obstruction of the highway.

The group chained themselves together across the M4 southbound spur road to the busy airport in August 2015.

Black Lives Matter protesters lying on the road which brought traffic heading to Heathrow airport to a standstill

A court heard the protest caused "utter chaos" leading to "a huge amount of stationary traffic" southbound.

The nine protesters each denied the charge. They were ordered to pay between £261 and £523 each.

Reading's rivals in action tonight

Reading travel to Pride Park to face Derby County tomorrow, but promotion rivals Brighton and Sheffield Wednesday play tonight. 

This could see the Royals being leapfrogged by Wednesday or Brighton moving to the top of the Championship table. 

The top of the Championship table
BBC Sport

Travel latest: Two lanes blocked on Western Avenue in Newbury

Accident on Western Avenue in Newbury

Weather: 'Beautiful day ahead'

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Friday's weather forecast

Morning headlines

Toby Wadey

BBC South

  • Police have confirmed specialist officers are supporting a family after an 11-year-old girl was approached by two strangers outside a school in Caversham. 
  • BBC Radio Berkshire will celebrate its 25th birthday tomorrow. 
  • Reading FC are preparing for their Championship match against Derby County at the weekend. 

Good morning

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to the BBC's local live service for Berkshire. 

We will be bringing you all of the Royal County's latest news, travel, sport and weather until 18:00. 

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