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Summary

  1. Updates for Monday 30 January
  2. Former HBOS manager in Reading guilty of fraud
  3. AWE to hold two 48-hour strikes
  4. New witnesses in Vera Holland murder
  5. Investigations continue into Goring Heath fire

Live Reporting

By Sarah Lee and Toby Wadey

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Thank you for joining us again today. 

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

Stay in touch via our Twitter and Facebook pages.  

Six-year fraud investigation 'largest ever', police say

Details of Thames Valley Police's "most extensive, complex and far-reaching" investigation of its type have been released after six people were found guilty of bribery and fraud today

Thames Valley Police stats
TVP

  Read more here.   

Female Genital Mutilation victims will be getting more support in Berkshire

Flash backs, chronic pain and the intimate life between husband and wife in tatters. Just some of the symptoms women who have been through the cultural practice of FGM live with every day. 

Those at risk of Female Genital Mutilation will be getting more support in West Berkshire and Reading after Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner pledged £20,000 towards a new centre of treatment.

The treatment centre will be only the third of it's kind in the UK. BBC Berkshire's Bridgette Tetteh spoke to Dr Brenda Kelly, Consultant Obstetrician who runs the Oxford Rose Clinic based at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Reading reclaim third place after beating Cardiff

BBC Sport

Reading reclaimed third place in the Championship with a hard-fought victory over Cardiff City at the weekend

Joe Ralls hit the post from 18 yards for the visitors before John Swift swept Reading in front from Garath McCleary's neat back-heel.

Top of the Championship table
BBC

Cardiff soon levelled when Ralls tucked home from the penalty spot after Liam Moore tripped Sean Morrison.

But Yann Kermorgant fired in the winner direct from a free-kick after he was fouled by Sol Bamba.

Trump travel ban branded 'counterproductive'

A University of Reading academic has called Donald Trump's travel ban "counterproductive" and claims it will damage the US's reputation. 

Jonathan Golub, the institution's head of politics and international relations, told BBC Radio Berkshire the threat from immigrants was "negligible". 

His comments came as a petition to stop the president's state visit to the UK gathered more than a million signatures.

How the numbers for the Trump petition compare with other burning issues
BBC

Reading sign Romania forward from Steaua Bucharest

BBC Sport

Reading have agreed a three-and-a-half year deal for Romania forward Adrian Popa, who has joined from Steaua Bucharest for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old helped Steaua to three consecutive domestic league titles and represented the club in both the Champions League and Europa League.

Adrian Popa
Reading FC

Popa has played 21 times for his country, including at Euro 2016.

"Adrian is an experienced forward with enormous potential," Reading manager Jaap Stam said.

Transforming Newbury pumping station into perfect family home

Earlier BBC Radio Berkshire's Sarah Walker spoke to Steven Crame and Marina Bacchelli - they spent £300,000 converting a derelict West Berkshire building into a home fit for their young family. 

They even made an appearance on the Channel 4 show 'Restoration Man.'

Former HBOS manager found guilty of corruption and fraud

Six people, including two former HBOS bankers, have been found guilty of bribery and fraud that cost the bank's business customers and shareholders hundreds of millions of pounds.

Lynden Scourfield, a former manager with HBOS in Reading, pleaded guilty to six counts including corruption.

HBOS
Getty Images

Five other defendants, including so-called turnaround consultants, were also convicted.

In exchange for bribes, Scourfield told customers to use the turnaround firm.

Windsor and Maidenhead's budget on tonight's council agenda

Campaigners fail in Heathrow third runway court challenge

An attempt by campaigners to bring a High Court challenge against a third runway at Heathrow Airport has failed. 

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, together with three other councils and Greenpeace UK, claimed the government's October 2016 decision to back plans for the runway was unlawful.

A plane at Heathrow
Getty Images

They alleged there was a failure to consult before abandoning promises that it would never be built, and that the government failed to recognise the project's unlawful air quality impacts. 

But today Mr Justice Cranston struck out the case on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the claim.

Weather latest: Wet evening ahead

After a cloudy morning, it is expected to remain dull throughout the afternoon. 

Rain is forecast to start at around 18:00, and misty and fog could return overnight. 

BBC weather for Berkshire
BBC

Improvements made to West Berkshire children's services

Sue Kinnear

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

Improvements to children's services in West Berkshire have been praised by Ofsted after its latest inspection. 

Its report concluded the risk to vulnerable children is reducing in the area as a result of changes.

Inspectors said children no longer experienced frequent changes of social worker, thanks to a successful campaign to recruit and retain staff and that the council no longer relied so much on agency staff. 

However, there are still improvements to be made to ensure more children receive interventions to reduce risks such as sexual exploitation, inspectors found. 

Levels of personal debt on the rise

Levels of personal debt - excluding mortgages - is on the rise throughout Berkshire. 

According to debt charity Stepchange, debt across the South has doubled in the last decade, from an average of £20,00 to £40,000. 

Earlier BBC Radio Berkshire's Andrew Peach spoke to David Harper, Chief Executive of Reading's Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Reading FC sign Romanian international winger

Reading Football Club have announced that Romanian international forward Adrian Popa has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the Royals, joining Jaap Stam’s side from Steaua Bucharest in his native Romania.The 28-year-old winger has signed for an for an undisclosed fee until the summer of 2020. 

DEAL DONE: ✔️ Romanian international Adrian Popa has joined #ReadingFC for an undisclosed fee until 2020. 📝⚽️

DEAL DONE: ✔️ Romanian international Adrian Popa has joined #ReadingFC for an undisclosed fee until 2020. 📝⚽️

Adrian Popa

Romania forward Adrian Popa joins Reading from Steaua Bucharest for an undisclosed fee.

Read more

Goring church a 'focus' for George Michael fans

Goring's church continues to be a focus for those wishing to pay their respects to George Michael, just over a month since he died at his home in the village.

Hundreds of bouquets of flowers have now been left by his former riverside home. 

Reverend Liz Boughton, who's a minister at St Thomas of Canterbury Church in Goring, says many people are leaving messages in the church's visitors' book.

Flowers
BBC
Vera Holland archive

Police who re-opened investigations into the death of a woman whose burnt remains were found 20 years ago say new witnesses have come forward.

Read more

Vera Holland murder: New witnesses come forward

Sarah Lee

BBC South

Police who re-opened a murder inquiry into the death of a woman whose burnt remains were found 20 years ago have said new witnesses have come forward. 

The body of 47-year-old Vera Holland was found by firefighters during a call out to a fly-tip close to the A327 in Reading on 16 November 1996. 

New information has led to further investigations but no arrests have been made, Thames Valley Police said. 

The force is still urging witnesses to come forward.

Vera murder
TVP
Vera murder
TVP

AWE staff to hold two 48-hour strikes in pensions row

Sarah Lee

BBC South

Workers at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) are to launch a fresh 48-hour strike in a long-running dispute over pensions. 

Members of Unite will mount picket lines at AWE's two sites at Aldermaston and Burghfield, in Berkshire, on Monday and Tuesday, following a previous stoppage earlier this month. 

The union said "broken promises" were to blame.

Unite regional officer Bob Middleton said: "Confidence is high that we can win this dispute and see justice done. 

"We need to maintain the pressure on the Ministry of Defence, so our members are given the opportunity to rejoin the MoD's principal civil service pension scheme." 

AWE
Google

Man may have fallen from bridge before being hit - police

A 19-year-old man is being treated in hospital after he was hit by a car on the A339 in Newbury. 

Officers say he may have fallen from the bridge over the road before he was hit at around 10pm on Saturday.

Thames Valley Police has referred itself to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in connection with this incident.  

Goring Heath 'severe' farm blaze: Investigations continue

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A large fire that spread "thick acrid smoke" across Oxfordshire and Berkshire is still being investigated. 

The blaze took hold in agricultural buildings at Mount Pleasant Farm in Goring Heath on Saturday morning.

Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue drenched the fire using eight fire engines.

They said the smoke had settled in residential areas and breathing had not been "pleasant".

Residents were advised to remain inside and shut windows and doors.

Fire
OFRS

Today's weather: Cloudy and misty

Good morning, it's a cloudy start to the day with mist and hill fog in some areas with the chances of some patchy rain. 

It is fairly mild in terms of temperature but there's going to be some more organised rain later this afternoon. 

Morning it's Monday

Sarah Lee

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to BBC Berkshire on the final few days of January. 

It's been a long month but don't worry - we're here to brighten up the day with the latest news, travel and weather. 

Keep in touch with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages.