Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Broadmoor patient asked for views on service
  2. Weather: Showers and cold
  3. Children with mental health problems are not getting help soon enough
  4. Petition to keep Neighbours on UK TV
  5. New course record for Reading Half Marathon

Live Reporting

By Sarah Lee, Toby Wadey and Emma Midgley

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Sarah Lee

BBC South

That's it folks - all done and dusted for today.

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with all the latest news, travel and sport.

Adios!

Drainage engineers are learning what it's like in a sewer in a virtual 'igloo' in Slough.
Rather than being taught in classrooms, or learning in a sewer itself, crews can learn from an industrial estate in Slough.
Prospect Park

Two teenage girls were "inappropriately touched" near a playground at a park in Reading.

Read more

Weather outlook: Tumbling temperatures

Holly Green

BBC Weather

Sean Lock's Hexagon gig cancelled

Hexagon gig cancelled
Reading Borough Council

Man arrested over park sexual assaults

Toby Wadey

BBC South

A man has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault after two teenage girls were "inappropriately touched" near a playground. 

The victims, aged 14 and 15, were attacked within 25 minutes of each other at Prospect Park in Reading on Monday afternoon. 

The assaults are believed to linked, Thames Valley Police said. 

A 30-year-old man from Slough was arrested and has been released on police bail until 29 March.  

Vodafone India merger creates biggest firm

Vodafone, which is headquartered in Newbury, has merged its Indian business with Idea Cellular, India's third-largest network, to create the country's largest operator.

The combined company will have almost 400 million customers, accounting for 35% of the market share, the firms said in a statement.

Vodafone
Getty Images

The announcement ends months of speculation over an impending deal.

Analysts say the merger was to fend off competition from a new operator - Reliance Jio.

Severe congestion: M4 Berkshire eastbound

BBC News Travel

M4 Berkshire eastbound severe congestion, between J10 for A329 and J8 for .

M4 Berkshire - Slow traffic and one lane closed on M4 London-bound between J10 A329(M) Wokingham and J8.

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

Yorkshire Ripper unit in patient survey

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Psychiatric patients detained at Broadmoor are being asked for feedback on their care by an independent watchdog. 

It is the first time the high-security facility has invited consumer champion Healthwatch to speak to its residents. 

They will be asked for their views on a range of healthcare issues, including GP services and dentistry.

Broadmoor
West London Mental Health NHS Trust

West London Mental Health NHS Trust, which runs the unit, said it was a "groundbreaking initiative". 

The announcement came after the hospital, based in Crowthorne and home to some of the UK's most notorious killers, was issued with a Care Quality Commission warning notice in December .

Reading remain in play-off contention

Results in the Championship at the weekend mean Reading remain in a strong position to secure a top-six finish. 

The Royals secured a crucial 2-0 win against play-off rivals Sheffield Wednesday on Friday night. 

Championship table
BBC

Yann Kermorgant's clinical first-half finish put the visitors in front.

Reading's Ali Al Habsi produced several important saves, reacting well to deny Jordan Rhodes and Will Buckley.

The hosts threw keeper Keiren Westwood up for a late corner and were punished when Reading broke away and Adrian Popa tapped into an unguarded net.

Downton Abbey movie to start filming this year

Tara Maxwell

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

Work on a movie version of TV series Downton Abbey, which is filmed at Highclere Castle on the Berkshire/Hampshire border, should start this year, according to star Jeremy Swift. 

He plays the butler Septimus Spratt and told ITV's Lorraine: "There is a film script which we've all been sent but it disappeared in a Mission Impossible-stylee from our emails. With a little puff."

He also said no date has been set yet as many of the cast are working on other projects.

Highclere Castle
Press Association

Weather latest: Showers expected this afternoon

After a mild and cloudy start, a few outbreaks of light rain are expected this afternoon. 

Temperatures will drop overnight to around 4C. 

BBC weather
BBC

Some of the whacky costumes at this year's Reading Half Marathon

Fancy dress at Reading Half
Reading Half Marathon
Mario Karts costumes at Reading Half Marathon
Reading Half Marathon
Cheerleaders gave their support
Reading Half Marathon

Crazy horses... and vikings, and bobsleigh teams

Consultation begins over future of Reading mental health service

Emily Ford

BBC South

A mental health service in Berkshire could be under threat under cost-cutting proposals.

Reading Borough Council is reviewing its mental health recovery services in a bid to slash costs.

The authority will be looking at the care provided at Focus House, a CQC registered home for up to seven patients, as they recover.

Councillors are looking to change mental health services and "divert" Focus House users elsewhere.

The three-month consultation will start today and comes as the authority faces a £44m funding gap "due to government cuts".

Focus house
Google
The council said service users at Focus House could be sent to alternative accommodation to make savings

Neighbours fan launches petition to keep soap on UK TV

Emma Midgley

BBC South

Thousands have signed a petition to keep the Aussie soap opera Neighbours on British TV after it was reported that its future could be in jeopardy. 

Kate Winrow from Cookham, who set up the petition said the show was "a huge part of British culture and has a massive UK following!" 

Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan
Getty Images

The Australian soap, which first aired in the UK 31 years ago, has been shown on Channel 5 since 2008. 

But The Sunday People has  reported that talks between the channel and makers Fremantle Media have stalled , leading to fears the programme could switch to another channel or even be axed. 

The Ramsay Street sign
Network Seven

The paper quoted a "source" who said: "Channel 5 really want to keep the show. 

"But the failure to reach a deal is being blamed on Channel 5's new American owners Viacom refusing to sign off on the figures and not understanding the cultural importance of the show in the UK." 

The show launched the careers of stars such as Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe and brothers Liam and Chris Hemsworth.

The petition has already gathered more than 7,000 signatures.

Lewington delight after long road back

Adam Williams

BBC Sport

Alex Lewington runs with rugby ball
Rex Features

London Irish and England Saxons winger Alex Lewington has admitted he had some difficult days early in his recovery from a serious knee ligament injury .

The 25-year-old was out for eight months after  reconstructive surgery.

Lewington scored his first try since returning as Irish beat Cornish Pirates on Saturday to secure top spot in the Championship.

"It felt like a long way away when the injury first happened," Lewington told BBC Sport. "I'm delighted to be back."

Weather outlook: Grey and showery

Holly Green

BBC Weather

Congratulations to all the Reading Half Marathon finishers

It was the Reading Half Marathon yesterday, and the winner Andy Vernon finished those grueling 13 miles in just 1 hour 3 minutes - what's thought to be a new course record. 

 More than 15,000 took part in the event - many raising thousands of pounds for charity.

View more on facebook

Lots of slow traffic around this morning on M4

Matt Vaughan

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • M4 London bound before J3 A312 (Hayes) there is queuing traffic for four miles and the exit slip road is partially blocked due to broken down lorry - Congestion on M4 to J4b M25. Travel time is about 40 minutes
  • Slow traffic on M4 London bound between J12 A4 (Theale) and J11 A33 / B3270 (Reading)
  • Heavy traffic on M4 London bound at J10 A329(M) Wokingham / Bracknell
  • M4 London bound at J8/9 A404(M) / A308M Maidenhead is slow - also at J13 A34 (Chieveley / Newbury) and J8/9 A404(M) / A308M Maidenhead. 
  • Delays on A404 in both directions around A308 Marlow Road / Marlow Road (Bisham Roundabout) 

This morning's headlines: Mental health, Neighbours petition, Reading Half and persecution

Sue Kinnear

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

  • Children with mental health problems are not getting help soon enough because parents are reluctant to access services, says research from the University of Reading
  • A Berkshire woman has set up a petition to keep Neighbours on UK TV
  • A new course record was set at the Reading Half Marathon on Sunday of 1 hour 3 minutes and 8 seconds
  • A Berkshire man, who says he's in constant fear of persecution because he left Islam, is at Parliament today to speak about his experiences of converting to Christianity

Good morning!

Emma Midgley

BBC South

We've reached the vernal equinox today, the time when the sun passes the celestial equator and daylight hours begin stretching out further than the night.

Daffodils
PA

For some 20 March marks the first official day of spring – but meteorologists argue that it’s actually 1 March.

Whether spring has indeed sprung or is springing, we'll be bringing you all the news, travel, weather and sport from the Royal County in lengthened daylight hours.