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Summary

  1. Yellow weather warning for wind issued by Met Office
  2. Berkshire Women's Aid says women's lives will be put at risk if council plans to cut its funding go ahead
  3. Six people are starting jail sentences for a £245m fraud that was masterminded at a branch of HBOS in Reading
  4. Updates for Friday 3 February

Live Reporting

By Toby Wadey and Sarah Lee

All times stated are UK

Have a good weekend

Adam Whitty

BBC South

As Andrea Bochelli would say, or sing, it is time to say goodbye for today.

Thank you for your company - and we will be back with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for Berkshire on Monday from 08:00.

Weather warning for Berkshire tonight

There is a yellow weather warning in place from the Met Office for high winds throughout our area until midnight. 

We are expecting 40-50 mph gusts for the rest of the evening.

Fallen down tree
Getty Images

A narrow band of locally heavy rain will move east across southern areas through the evening, which combined with the gusty winds may lead to some travel disruption.

Some high-sided vehicles may experience problems, and roads will be affected by spray and standing water.

Stam 'spoilt for choice'

Ipswich v Reading (Saturday, 15:00 GMT)

Tim Dellor

BBC Berkshire sport editor

Ipswich have struggled in recent weeks. 

So far in 2017 they've only won one of their seven games, but with no fewer than seven January signings Mick McCarthy is clearly being backed by the board.

Reading brought five new players in during January. Jaap Stam also has Paul McShane and Yann Kermorgant returning from injury, so is spoilt for choice. 

His Reading team are looking to make it four consecutive wins and could move to within a point of second placed Newcastle if they win at Portman Road. 

When the teams played at the Madejski back in September, three penalties were scored in a game which Reading won 2-1. 

There's full commentary of the game only on BBC Radio Berkshire.    

Slough brothel closed following police raid

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A suspected brothel in Slough has been closed following a police raid.

The closure order was granted on Friday following a Thames Valley Police operation at the property in Cornwall Avenue.

A charity for victims of trafficking and modern slavery accompanied officers to provide support to those at the address.

The closure order prevents anyone from entering the property for three months.

Cornwell Avenue
Google

Queuing traffic on M4 because of broken down car

BBC Travel

One lane blocked and queuing traffic due to broken down car on M4 Westbound between J4B M25 and J5 A4 (Langley).

Berkshire's boxing champion?

Adam Whitty

BBC Radio London Sport

View more on facebook

Reading boxer Tamuka Mucha has an intimidating record.

He has had 16 fights since turning professional in 2012, and has won... 16 fights.

Now he has his sights set on the British welterweight title, with a date and opponent yet to be decided.

His tale is even more impressive considering that he weighed 16 and a half stone just eight years ago.

Travel: Heavy traffic around Reading

BBC Travel

  • A329 Berkshire - Heavy traffic on King's Road in Reading heading away from town between Watlington Street and Cemetery Junction
  • A4155 Berkshire - Queuing traffic on Caversham Bridge in both directions; congestion on Prospect Street between Church Road and Henley Road; and busy on the A4074 St Peter's Hill near the Woodcote Road junction and approaching Caversham Bridge

BreakingReading council tax to rise

Council tax bills in Reading will rise by a fraction under 5 per cent for each of the next two years. 

The council says government cuts leave it with no option but to put council tax up. 

Reading Borough says that even with the extra money this will bring in, it will still need to find another £34 million of savings to balance the books.  

Ipswich Town: McCarthy unsurprised by Reading's rise

Brenner Woolley

BBC Radio Suffolk sport

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy believes tomorrow's visitors Reading have underachieved in recent seasons and are a force to be reckoned with.

Mick McCarthy
BBC

The Royals are currently third in the Championship table and on a run of six wins in their last eight league games. 

"They've got a good squad, I think they've probably underachieved over the last few years," said McCarthy. 

"They've brought some good ones in like Beerens, but they had Kermorgant, McCleary, Williams and Gunter. They've had good players there for a long time and I think they should've done better."

"To me, they're all my children in that lab"

Sarah Walker

BBC Radio Berkshire

This week on BBC Radio Berkshire, I was joined by a group of women who have first hand experience of the IVF process.

They gave moving accounts of the impact infertility has had on their lives, as they told me stories of success and failure. 

Man dies after car collides with tree

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A man has died after a car crashed into a tree in Grazeley. 

The 60-year-old from Reading was a passenger in the car, which collided with a tree on Mortimer Road at 6.45pm on Saturday 21 January. He died in hospital on Tuesday.

The driver, a 33-year-old man, and a 14 year-old male passenger suffered minor injuries and were treated by ambulance at the scene.

Sgt Noble, from the Joint Operations Unit for Roads Policing, said: “The vehicle had a significant impact with a tree, some gates and fencing to a local residence". 

Mortimer Road
Google

Group pulls out of homeless shelter project

Just weeks after opening, the group running a new homeless shelter in Maidenhead has pulled out of the project. 

The Brett Foundation says it's been unable to agree terms for leasing the John West Homeless Shelter and a halfway house in Braywick Road. 

The council says it's disappointed and is looking for another partner 

Can parkour courses help people suffering with mental health issues?

A fitness group called "Free your Instinct" are looking to run "parkour" courses in Reading for people with mental health issues.

BBC Radio Berkshire's Andrew Peach spoke to founder of the group, Charlotte Blake. 

The Reading based "Free your Instinct" hope to help people improve their well-being.

Lettuce shortage hits Berkshire

Supermarkets are rationing the sale of some vegetables to cope with a shortage brought about by bad weather in Spain. Tesco and Morrisons are limiting customers to three iceberg lettuces. 

Morrisons is also reported to be preventing shoppers from buying more than three heads of broccoli. So scrap the plans for salad on Saturday or roast with broccoli on Sunday. 

Instead maybe we should all think about eating seasonally again? 

BBC Radio Berkshire's Chris Hollins spoke to Liam Scotman from Owells Restaurant in Shiplake. 

Residents urged to take part in fire service consultation

Man jailed 19 years for sex offences

Sarah Lee

BBC South

A man has been jailed for 19 years for a series of sexual offences.

Simon Robertson, aged 51, of Coley Lane, Chilbolton was convicted and sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 27 January.

He was convicted of two counts of rape, and three counts of sexual activity with a female child.

The offences against the adult victim took place in Haringey between January 2001 and May 2003, and against the child victim in Maidenhead between May 2013 and June 2014.

Robertson was found guilty by a unanimous jury following a three week trial.

Robertson
TVP

Investigating officer Det Con Victoria Steele of the Thames Valley Police Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: “Robertson is a serial sex offender who poses a real and very serious threat to women.

“He will rightly now spend a very long time in prison.”

Ipswich v Reading: Match stats

BBC Sport

Reading face Ipswich at Portman Road tomorrow. Here are a few key match stats:

  • The Royals have taken all three points in three of their last five visits to Portman Road.
  • Jaap Stam's side are looking to win four successive league games for the first time since November (five in a row).
  • Ipswich have gone 11 Championship games without keeping a clean sheet, last shutting out QPR in November.
  • Ipswich have lost nine of their past 11 league games against Reading, winning the other two.
  • The Tractor Boys have gone 11 Championship games without keeping a clean sheet, last shutting out QPR in November.

Read a full preview here

New Reading signing wants promotion push

BBC Sport

Striker Lewis Grabban says the chance to work with Jaap Stam and help Reading push for Championship promotion prompted him to join them on loan.

Grabban, 29, joined the Royals on transfer deadline day from Bournemouth until the end of the season.

"I wanted to join somewhere that was competitive in the Championship," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

"Fans will be expecting us to win most games, so hopefully I can add to the quality and try and gain us promotion."

'Women's lives at risk if cuts go ahead'

A women's refuge in Reading claims lives will be put at risk if proposed cuts to its funding go ahead. 

Reading Borough Council is consulting on plans to reduce spending on domestic abuse services by 22%.

Liz Terry, chief executive of Berkshire's Women's Aid, told BBC Radio Berkshire this will result in the closure of 10 beds. 

A woman's hand being grabbed by a man
Thinkstock

She said: "If all the bed places start to be reduced then it's more likely people may be harmed or murdered."

Council leader Jo Lovelock said that "huge cuts from central government" were responsible for the plans. 

She added: "These proposals would mean that Reading would still be funding above the regional average number of refuge places."

Strong winds arriving in southern England from 11am

Travel latest: Delays on M25 and M4 after lorry crash

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Traffic is slow on the M25 clockwise from junction 14 for Heathrow and junction 16 for the M40 following a crash involving a lorry. 

This is also causing delays for drivers joining the M25 from the M4. 

There is congestion on all approaches into Bracknell because of roadworks at the Station roundabout. 

The roads are looking relatively quiet elsewhere in the county. 

Huddersfield close in on Reading after win

Huddersfield moved to within three points of Reading after beating league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 last night

The Royals travel to Portman Road tomorrow to face Ipswich. 

Top of the Championship table
BBC Sport

Weather latest: Yellow weather warning for wind

Holly Green

BBC Weather

A yellow weather warning has been issued for wind.

This could see gusts of 50mph inland. 

Temperatures are expected to reach around 9C. 

Morning headlines

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  • Six people are starting jail sentences for a £245m fraud that was masterminded at a branch of HBOS in Reading. 
  • Berkshire Women's Aid says women's lives will be put at risk if council plans to cut its funding go ahead.   
  • The Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning for wind.  

Ex-HBOS banker starts 11-year jail sentence

Six people are starting jail sentences for a £245m fraud that was masterminded at a Reading branch of HBOS. 

Lynden Scourfield was sentenced to 11 years and three months, while consultant David Mills was jailed for 15 years.

Lynden Scourfield
TVP
Lynden Scourfield, a former senior manager at HBOS, was bribed with sex parties and luxury holidays

Judge Martin Beddoe said Scourfield "sold his soul" to Mills in exchange for "sex", "bling" and "for swag".

Four other defendants were also convicted and sentenced to between 10 years and three and a half years.

Good morning

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to today's BBC 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. 

Stay in touch via our Twitter and Facebook pages.