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Summary

  1. Government announces new rail franchise in to Waterloo
  2. Stagecoach 'disappointed' to lose contract
  3. Roger Croft, the leader of West Berkshire Council, has died
  4. Weather: some good spells of sunshine on the way today

Live Reporting

By Sarah Lee, Toby Wadey and Emma Midgley

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all for today

    Toby Wadey

    BBC South

    Thank you for joining us again today. 

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

  2. Reading magistrate 'abused boy in underground car park'

    Toby Wadey

    BBC South

    A magistrate has gone on trial accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in a car park beneath the court house he sat in. 

    Rodney Fox, 49, used his special privileges to access Reading Magistrates' underground car park when it was deserted to molest the child, a court heard today. 

    He is accused of sexual assault on a boy under 13, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and making indecent photographs of a child. 

    Mr Fox denies all of the charges. 

  3. WATCH: Fire station bed for rescued sheep

    Video content

    Video caption: A sheep stayed with firefighters overnight after being rescued from the Kennet and Avon.
  4. 'Stop killing badgers,' says wildlife group

    The government should vaccinate badgers against TB rather than culling them, according to the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. 

    A cull of badgers has been under way in certain areas since 2014, and MPs are set to debate the issue later.  

    Badgers

    Julia Lofthouse, the trust's mammals officer, said: "Farmers may often support the cull, but there has got to be the scientific backing saying this is the right thing to do. 

    "We don't think there is, and a lot of the public agree with us."

    A petition to end the badger cull has been signed by more than 100,000 people.

  5. Injured man goes missing from hospital

    An injured man who requires "urgent medical treatment" has gone missing from a hospital in Reading. 

    Sydney Douglas, 52, was last seen at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on Friday,

    Mr Douglas, who has connections in Slough and Reading, was wearing a a long green jacket, camouflage trousers and red trainers.  

    Sydney Douglas

    He is described as black, 5ft 8ins with short black dreadlocks, a beard and brown eyes.

    Thames Valley Police said the force was becoming "increasingly concerned" for his welfare. 

  6. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

    BBC News Travel

    M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J10 for A329 and J11 for A33.

    M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J10 A329(M) Wokingham and J11, A33 (Reading), because of a broken down vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  7. Envelope update

    Severe disruption: M4 Berkshire westbound

    BBC News Travel

    M4 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, between J10 for A329 and J11 for A33.

    M4 Berkshire - One lane closed and slow traffic on M4 westbound between J10 A329(M) Wokingham and J11, A33 (Reading), because of a broken down vehicle.

    To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

  8. CCTV image released following knife-point robbery

    Police have released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to following a knife-point robbery in Reading. 

    Two males, one wielding a seven-inch blade, mugged a 23-year-old man in an alleyway between Falkland Avenue and Southview Avenue in Caversham.

    CCTV image released by police

    They stole his phone, laptop and bank cards during the incident, which happened in November last year. 

    A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed until 4 April. 

  9. Council appoints new chief executive

    Reading Borough Council has chosen a new chief executive.

    Peter Sloman, who has been in the same role at Oxford City Council for almost 10 years, will have his appointment confirmed at a full council meeting tomorrow. 

    Mr Sloman, who was director of housing at Slough Borough Council between 1990 and 2000, said he was "looking forward to getting started". 

    Council leader Jo Lovelock said Mr Sloman's experience will be "hugely valuable" as the authority looks to make more savings.  

  10. Chief executive pays tribute to 'energetic' council leader

    West Berkshire Council leader Roger Croft will be missed for his "passion for serving the community", according to the authority's chief executive. 

    In a statement, Nick Carter said that Councillor Croft, who died on Friday following a car crash in France, would be remembered for his "energy, drive and vision". 

    Roger Croft

    "He was the architect behind the current council strategy, and at the time of his passing was playing a lead role in exploring a range of new income opportunities for the council," said Mr Carter. 

    "He worked at a great pace and could be difficult to keep up with such was his desire to get things done."

  11. Weather latest: Sunny afternoon ahead

    The sunny and warm conditions are forecast to last for the remainder of the day with temperatures reaching 15C. 

    The dry weather is expected to continue overnight before another bright day tomorrow.

    BBC weather
  12. Seven Mother's Days without a son

    Video content

    Video caption: Helena Tym has now has seven Mother's Day's since her son Cyrus died in Afghanistan.
  13. A sheep stays with fire crews overnight after being rescued from a canal

    Emma Midgley

    BBC South

    Sheep rescue

    A sheep has stayed with firefighters overnight after being rescued from the Kennet and Avon Canal in Reading on Sunday. 

    Three crews, including a water rescue unit, worked to save the animal at around 15:00 BST.

    Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue is now seeking the owner of the sheep, who has been named 'Minty' by his hosts. 

    Following his rescue, the sheep was taken to Caversham Road Fire station and put up in the drill tower. 

    The sheep's ID number is UK 07/45274/02189.

    Sheep rescue
    Sheep rescue
  14. BreakingOverturned car on A329M causes 'severe disruption'

    The A239M is blocked and there are long queues London-bound on the M4 at Junction 10 after a car overturned.

    Ambulance crews attended after a driver suffered a head injury. 

  15. Union has 'deep concerns' over new operator of South West Trains

    Responding to the news that South West Trains is to be operated by Chinese-owned MTR and First Group, Mick Cash of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union said:

    "Once again the Government have refused to consider the public sector option for a major rail franchise and instead it's a foreign state operator, in this case the Chinese state, which is set to make a killing at the British taxpayers expense."

    Mr Cash said as the Government had triggered Article 50 it "would be free to ignore EU rail directives that slam a block on public ownership". 

    He said the RMT was "deeply concerned" about its union members, rail services and the safety of the travelling public, and would be seeking an "early meeting" with the new owners. 

    Quote Message: It is frankly ludicrous that the Tories are continuing with the "any state but the British state" policy which has plundered our railways for ‎over two decades. from Mike Cash General Secretary of the RMT
    Mike CashGeneral Secretary of the RMT
  16. Weather: Good spells of sunshine on the way today

    Video content

    Video caption: Weather forecast for 27 March
  17. MTR and First Group will run huge swathe of country

    Paul Clifton

    Transport correspondent, BBC South Today

    The timing for this is awkward, right in the middle of a massive re-building of Waterloo Station, right in the middle of a new fleet of suburban trains entering service into Berkshire, in will come First Group, the operator of Great Western, in partnership with the Chinese-owned MTR who will be the operators of Crossrail.

    They will run services in a huge swathe of the country.