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Summary

  1. Updates for Thursday 26 January
  2. Reading A-level students perform best in England
  3. Temperatures to remain chilly overnight

Live Reporting

By Adam Whitty, Sarah Lee and Toby Wadey

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    Adam Whitty

    BBC South

    Thank you for keeping us company this afternoon.

    We will be back with more local news, sport, travel and weather tomorrow from 08:00 GMT.

    See you then!

  2. Appeal after attempted kidnap and robbery

    Police are appealing for witnesses after an attempted kidnap and robbery in Slough.

    The incident happened on Saturday 14 January at about 2.45pm on Farnham Road.

    The victim was in a parked vehicle opposite Chicken Delight when one man reached into the vehicle and took the keys from the ignition.

    The victim was forced into the front passenger seat as the offender attempted to drive off with the victim’s car.

    A witness intervened and the three men then left in a silver coloured car in the direction of Sheffield Road.

  3. Faith in humanity is restored

    Adam Paylor

    BBC South

    Rachel Thomas' kind gesture is bound to bring a smile to your face.

    She spotted a note left on a bike rack from Alex, who pleaded with a thief to return his new bike.

    View more on facebook

    The then brought together group of residents to buy a new bike for him, which raised £750.

    Alex said it had "restored his faith in human nature".

  4. The Chancellor visits Reading

    Adam Whitty

    BBC South

    Chancellor Philip Hammond has been visiting Microsoft HQ in Reading today.

    In an interview with the BBC during his visit to the Thames Valley Business Park, he's warned of the 'problems of affluence' that can be created from living in busy locations like Reading.

    Video content

    Video caption: Philip Hammond says the 'problems of affluence' causes issues for people in Reading.

    "They create challenges for public services, congestion and the affordability of housing", said Mr Hammond.

    "It's a lot better challenge to have than the problems of the opposite - no economic growth."

    He also discussed the impact Brexit might have on Reading.

    "I would say Reading is extremely well positioned to take advantage of leaving the European Union."

    He added: "The whole Thames Valley is globally competitive with cutting edge businesses."

  5. Bridge closure experiment to end, briefly

    Adam Whitty

    BBC South

    A bridge in Langley which has been closed for six months will be reopened before 2 February, Slough Borough Council has promised.

    Chequers Bridge has been closed since August last year as an experiment.

    Market Lane
    Image caption: Chequers Bridge has been closed for six months

    It was designed to show what improvements the council will need to make in the area's other roads when major infrastructure projects will close the bridge.  

    It will shut permanently when Network Rail start major rail works on Crossrail services and the Western Rail Link to Heathrow.

  6. Three arrested after Windsor drugs raids

    Sarah Lee

    BBC South

    Three people have been arrested during raids in Berkshire as part of an operation targeting organised drug gangs.

    Homes were searched in Windsor by police officers as part of an operation safeguarding vulnerable residents at risk of having their homes used for the supply of drugs.

    Det Insp Jason Kew, who is leading Operation London, said he believed a process known as "cuckooing" was happening in the area.

    • A man has been arrested and charged with possession of class A drugs with intent to supply. He has been remanded in custody
    • A 19-year-old woman from Slough has been arrested on suspicion of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and has been bailed until 26 February
    • A 17-year-old boy from Dedworth has been arrested on suspicion of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and has been bailed until later today
    Police raid
  7. Next phase of town centre regeneration to start

    The next phase of Bracknell's £240m town centre regeneration will start on 30 January and take 16 weeks to complete, the council has announced. 

    This will increase the capacity of Station Roundabout, improve circulation around it and enhance access to and from Market Street, Bracknell Forest Council said. 

    View more on twitter

    Councillor Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said the contractor will try to "minimise disruption" for those travelling in the area during the work. 

    He said: "We understand residents are frustrated with continuing roadworks, but enhancing the road network in and around the town centre is a critical step in the town's regeneration."

  8. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire eastbound

    BBC Travel

    M4 Berkshire eastbound severe disruption, at J12 for A4.

    M4 Berkshire - One lane closed on M4 London-bound at J12, A4 (Theale), because of a broken down lorry.

    Check local traffic and travel reports for:

  9. Kasabian promise 'monstrous' Reading and Leeds headline set

    Sarah Lee

    BBC South

    Kasabian have been announced as the second headliner at Reading and Leeds Festivals 2017.

    The Leicester band join Muse at the top of the bill at the two events over August bank holiday.

    They are vowing to "dominate" the massive gigs and have told fans they can expect new music.

    Two Door Cinema Club, Flume, Fatboy Slim and Jimmy Eat World have also been added to the line-up.

    Kasabian
  10. Reading students are top of the class

    Adam Whitty

    BBC South

    A-level students in Reading performed the best in the country.

    Of pupils in the borough who took A-level exams last summer, 43.5% scored three or more A* and As - the best of any local authority in England.

    That's according to figures from the Department for Education.  

    Students jumping for joy

    GCSE students in the town saw an improvement on last year's results, with 64.1% of students scoring A*-C grades in both English and mathematics, above the 63.3% national average for state funded schools.

    This is the first year that schools and pupils have been assessed under a new system - known as Progress 8 - meaning they cannot be compared with previous years.

    Berkshire school tables
    Image caption: The league tables across all boroughs in Berkshire
  11. Weather latest: Freezing afternoon ahead

    After a chilly start, it is only going to get colder this evening as temperatures dip to -1C. 

    And the brisk wind will make conditions feel even colder, with wintry showers and ice a risk later. 

    BBC weather for Berkshire
  12. Thames Water deploys extra staff to fix leaks

    Thames Water says it is "up against it" as crews try to fix burst water mains damaged by the recent cold weather. 

    "Since Christmas we have been gradually ramping up the number of staff we have got working," said the utility's spokesperson Becky Trotman,. 

    "We fixed around 1,000 leaks last week and that number is going up all the time. 

    "We have got around 500 engineers out in the field this week, more than 160 repair crews and extra people working in our call centre."

  13. Information session on proposed fire service cuts

    Residents interested in having their say about proposed changes to Berkshire's fire service are being invited to an information session at Wargrave 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. 

    View more on twitter

    These include proposals to close Pangbourne and Wargrave stations.  

    The consultation runs until 13 March.

  14. Care company branded 'inadequate' following inspection

    A Slough care company has been branded "inadequate" in an official report and criticised for putting its vulnerable clients at risk of harm. 

    Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission said they saw a number of unsafe practices during their recent visit to Precious Care Services in Station Road. 

    Their report, published last week, said in one instance the manager failed to report an allegation of suspected abuse. 

    They also said clients' nutritional needs were "not always met" and that the company "did not take appropriate action" when unexplained injuries were found. 

    The company faces enforcement action if it fails to improve. 

    Precious Care Services said it accepts the report but that the issues highlighted were due to errors with paperwork rather than the care provided. 

  15. Envelope update

    Severe congestion: M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise

    BBC Travel

    M25 Buckinghamshire anti-clockwise severe congestion, at J16 for M40.

    M25 Buckinghamshire - Heavy traffic on M25 anticlockwise at J16 M40.

    Check local traffic and travel reports for:

  16. Slough to 'lose £500 per pupil' under new school funding plans

    Slough will lose £500 per pupil under funding changes to schools, according to a teaching union. 

    Paddy Marshall from the National Union of Teachers told the BBC: "It will mean fewer support staff, and head teachers are saying it will mean a major rethink of what they can offer."

    Teacher and pupils in classroom

    But the Department for Education insists more than half of England's schools will receive a cash boost between now and 2019. 

    It disputes the union's figures, but does acknowledge Slough will see its spending reduced by 1.8%.