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  1. Updates for Wednesday 8 February
  2. Controversial "spit hoods" are being handed out to all front line police in Berkshire.
  3. Wash Common library in West Berkshire is earmarked for closure
  4. Proctor and Gamble wants to build a new research facility and a multi-storey car park at its Gilette headquarters in Reading

Live Reporting

By Toby Wadey, John Hudson and Emma Midgley

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.  

Spitting man 'gave me hepatitis' during arrest

British Transport Police officer tells BBC Berkshire about life without 'spithoods'.

Ladies and gentlemen...introducing Bracknell's Carnival Queen from 1958!

Yesterday BBC Berkshire's Sarah Walker was asking whether you'd ever appeared in a local newspaper. Joy from Sandhurst got in touch, and told the story of becoming Bracknell's Carnival Queen nearly sixty years ago.

Today she joined Andrew Peach in the studio, and even brought along her photo album.

Joy from Sandhurst took home the prize despite wearing no makeup.

Who'd have thought? Rice may be making us sick!

From our favourite biryani dish to the good old egg fried rice, there's so many ways of consuming it.

However the way we cook it may be making us ill. 

Pesticides and toxins in the soil means rice contains traces of the poison arsenic which has been linked to a range of diseases including diabetes and cancer.

Dr. Michael Mosley told BBC Berkshire's Sarah Walker by cooking rice with more water, we can flush away the toxins.

BBC 2's Trust Me I'm A Doctor is back on our screens tonight.

Celebrating 70 years of Reading's relationship with Düsseldorf

Have you ever wondered how two places come to be twinned? In 2017 Reading celebrates 70 years of being twinned with the German town of Düsseldorf. 

But how did this relationship begin? Earlier, BBC Berkshire's Bill Buckley was joined by Chris Forsey and Robert Dimmock from the Reading Düsseldorf Association.

Weather outlook: Cloudy and colder

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

'Lack of consistency' over use of spit hoods

There is a lack of consistency across the UK as to whether forces should adopt spit hoods and the circumstances in which they should be deployed, Dorset's Police and Crime Commissioner has said.  

Martyn Underhill

Martyn Underhill also said the lack of direction meant police forces were "sleepwalking into an age where officers are being equipped to ‘hood’ detainees, at the same time as using leg braces, ankle braces and handcuffs".

His comments come after Hampshire and Thames Valley Police forces announced all front-line officers will be issued with hoods to prevent arrested people spitting or biting.

"Given the void of research and guidance and the inconsistent application in practice, I am not convinced that I would feel empowered by the availability of spit hoods if I were an operational police officer today," Mr Underhill added.   

Reading Women FC sell Follis

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Reading Women FC have announced that winger Emma Follis has left the club for an undisclosed fee.

She has joined Birmingham Ladies, after previously playing for Aston Villa before her move to Kelly Chambers side.

Emma Follis
Reading Women FC

Reading Women FC have been reshaping their squad heavily in the off season, with their latest signing, Brooke Chaplen, joining the club last week.  

West Berkshire libraries want your help

BreakingTravellers leave Shurlock Row after seven years

Travellers who have been pitched at the same site near Maidenhead for more than seven years have left the land voluntarily.

The group started living on the land at Shurlock Row without permission in December 2009, prompting a long and costly legal battle. 

Councillor Derek Wilson, who is in charge of planning at the Royal Borough, said he was delighted by the news. 

Cold weather alert from Met Office

Reading FC Press Conference recap

Press conference: Live

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Proceedings are now over at the training ground and the mantra coming out of the Reading FC camp this week is to regroup and recover.

During his pre-Barsnley match press conference, manager Jaap Stam said it has been good to get the players back to Hogwood and bed in the new signings ahead of a testing couple of weeks.

That is echoed by left-back Jordan Obita who says there has been one initiation song already... But he wouldn't reveal which of the deadline day signings it was who took the microphone to serenade his new teammates.

Both Stam and Obita also stressed how important it will be to get back playing at home after two tough away fixtures.

Lastly, and whilst neither admitted it explicitly, there seems to be a slight air of optimism around the club that the Royals' current good league position could translate into something more. After all, they are 9 points clear of 7th with 16 games left to play.

Could this role tasting chocolate be the best job in the world?

Dawn French after a chocolate binge in Murder Most Horrid

A company describing itself as the world's leading maker of chocolates, biscuits, candy and gum is advertising for a chocolate taster. 

The lucky successful applicant would be put to work tasting sweet treats by Cadbury, Milka and Oreo in Mondelez International's office in the Whiteknights Campus at Reading University. 

The job description says the company is looking for someone with a 'passion for confectionery' and who is "eager to try new inventive products".

It said the person who gets the job will have the chance "each and every day, to put a smile on people’s faces". 


Reading FC: Jordan Obita

Press conference: Live

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Full list of libraries which will lose staff and replace them with volunteers

Libraries that will cut paid staff and take on volunteers

  • Burghfield Common
  • Hungerford
  • Lambourn
  • Mortimer
  • Pangbourne
  • Thatcham
  • Theale

Reading FC: Stam not giving much away

Press conference: Live

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Weather latest: Cold night ahead

After an overcast start, it is expected to remain cloudy and chilly for the remainder of the day. 

Temperatures will drop to 1C overnight with a frost likely in the morning. 

BBC weather for Berkshire

Library shuts as extent of cuts revealed

One library in West Berkshire is to close and eight others are to have staff cut and be replaced by volunteers due to council cuts.

West Berkshire Council voted on Tuesday to close Wash Common Library in Newbury, saving it £580,000 a year.

At seven other sites the council is to cut the number of full-time librarians by more than 40%. It wants volunteers to help keep services afloat.

Library protest with gravestones

The council said it faced "squeezed" budgets.

'Grim reality'

It had planned to close eight out of nine of the borough's libraries, but has decided only Wash Common will be shut.

Newbury Library will retain a full service but staffing levels will in time be reduced though review and restructuring.

Library protest with gravestones

Library shuts as extent of cuts revealed

One library is to close while jobs are also to go at West Berkshire's eight other libraries.

Read more

Reading FC: Jaap Stam talks signings and takeover rumours

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
Jaap Stam at Press conference
Jaap Stam talks to the media ahead of the Barnsley game

Tree pruning may cause noise disturbance in the library today

Reading FC: Press conference

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

So can Reading FC make it five games unbeaten in the Championship? 

We're here at the training ground for the press conference ahead of their match against Barnsley on Saturday. 

We will be hearing from the manager Jaap Stam and a first team player to get all the news ahead of the game. 

You can follow the updates on the BBC Berkshire Twitter here.    

Empty room
The room is ready for today's press conference

Plans for car park in Maidenhead move forward

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

 Plans for a much needed car park in Maidenhead have moved forward. 

 The council says its bought Central House - an office block which has been empty for more than 5 years. 

 It means a bigger car park at the Nicholsons Centre is now possible - as part of the regeneration.

View more on twitter

Reading University students 'already knew' about John Bercow's Trump views

The Speaker of the House visited the University of Reading three days before his comments.

Get in line for Henley Regatta tickets

'Shame on Berkshire' over library cuts

Responding to the news Wash Common library is earmarked for closure, as part of cuts to the library service by West Berkshire Council, Tim Sims writes on BBC Berkshire's Facebook page: "Shame on Berkshire

"Berkshire's a rich county with hundreds of hi tech businesses. 

"The councils get more money every year from taxes because of continual new housing developments (Berkshire loves to keep up with its quota).

"Berkshire can afford to pay its executive councillors big money. 

"And yet it can't afford to keep up a few libraries which serve young and old alike."

Spring coming to Welford Park

Weather: Bright but showery

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Snowdrops in full bloom at Welford Park

BBC Radio Berkshire are at the home of the Great British Bake Off, Welford park near Newbury, to look at their famous display of snowdrops.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Closure of J1 of M3 is 'likely to last until midday'

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Latest on that closure at J1 of M3.....likely to be till midday

'People have been spitting blood at me' policeman tells BBC Berkshire

Thames Valley Police have announced all front line officers will be issued with hoods to prevent arrested people spitting or biting. 

One police officer told BBC Radio Berkshire he believes he contracted hepatitis after being spat at by a suspect.

I've been in a situation where people have been spitting blood at me .. I've actually caught hepatitis off them, or so they believe.

AnonymousBritish Transport Police officer

Closing library is 'grim reality' in face of squeezed budgets

The grim reality we face in terms of squeezed budgets is that we can no longer afford to run the service as we've done in the past.

Dominic BoeckWest Berkshire Councillor

Wash Common library to close unless volunteers come forward

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

Wash Common library is to close and will be replaced by a new stop on the mobile library route unless volunteers come forward to run the service in West Berkshire. 

Closing Wash Common library will save £580,000 a year. 

A funeral procession protesting library cuts

Reducing full time librarians at seven other sites by more than 40% and replacing them with local volunteers will also save the council money.  

The new re-designed library service in West Berkshire will see library staff working alongside volunteers at each of the branch libraries in the borough which have been spared the axe.

The council said the library service was reviewed to allow West Berkshire Council to explore new ways of delivering the service at a time when local authority budgets "continued to be squeezed".

Long delays on M3 and M25

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

UPDATE: Long delays on M3 & M25 approaching interchange of both, M3 Northbound closed at J1 (Sunbury Cross) for accident investigation work.

Long delays back to J2 (M25), also not helped by accident on M25 anti-clockwise near J11 (Chertsey)

Thames Valley Police to issue spit hoods to all front line staff

Two police forces have announced all front line officers will be issued with hoods to prevent arrested people spitting or biting.

Thames Valley Police plans to introduce spit hoods for the first time, and Hampshire Constabulary currently only uses them in custody suits.

Hampshire Constabulary

The two forces said the joint decision followed 432 reports of officers being spat at since April 2016.

Campaign group Liberty has described the hoods as "cruel and degrading".

A BBC Freedom of Information (FoI) request revealed last year they were being used by 17 of the UK's 49 police forces, with four more considering their introduction.

David Hardcastle, Assistant Chief Constable Operations for both forces, said the hoods protected staff and the public from "unacceptable and potentially dangerous behaviour".

Big problems on the M3 into London

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

There's big problems on the M3 into London. The M3 Northbound closed at J1 (Sunbury Cross) for accident investigation work. 

Long delays back to J2 (M25), and around M25 interchange 

This morning's headlines: Spit hoods, library closing and Gillette building

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

M3 closed at J1 (Sunbury Cross) for accident investigation work

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

Good morning!

Emma Midgley

BBC South

Good morning and welcome to today's BBC Local Live service for Berkshire. 

It's looking busy on the roads this morning, so we'll be posting the latest traffic news as it comes in. 

We will be bringing you all the latest news, travel, sport and weather until 18:00. 

Stay in touch via our Twitter and Facebook pages.