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Summary

  1. Reading street art event promotes peace in Yemen
  2. 100-year-old biscuit boxes from Reading found in New Zealand
  3. Reports of animal cruelty rise by 8% in Berkshire
  4. Weather: Gloomy evening ahead

Live Reporting

By Emma Midgley and John Hudson

All times stated are UK

That's all for today

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Thank you for joining us again today.

We will back at 08:00 tomorrow with all Berkshire's latest news, travel, sport and weather. 

Pensioner Reading supporters offered reduced fares

Toby Wadey

BBC South

Reading Buses is working with the Royals to continue to allow older fans to benefit from concessionary fares. 

Reading FC fans aged over 65 had been able to get free transport to the Madjeski on match days, but "budget pressures" saw the borough council remove its subsidy for the scheme. 

As an interim solution, Reading Buses has announced that supporters with a bus pass will now pay £1 for a single and £2 for a return. 

Reading FC: Kermorgant announces retirement plans

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Yann Kermorgant announces he'll retire at the end of the 2017/18 season.

Reading striker Yann Kermorgant has announced he will retire at the end of the 2017/18 season.

The 35-year-old Frenchman was awarded a year's contract extension last month, which means he will be with the Royals until the end of next season.

"It's a decision I took with my family," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.  "I have been away from my family for 13 years which is quite long."

Watch: Coral Reef refurbishment in action

Disabled dog given pedal cart to walk

A disabled dog has been given a pedal cart allowing her to walk after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Puffy, a Chinese crested powderpuff, was hit by a car two years ago and left unable to use her back legs. 

This prompted owners Michael and Danielle Cass, from Newbury, to seek the £1,500 needed to get Puffy back on her feet. 

Disabled Puffy the dog's owners have raised £1,500 to give her a pedal cart.

'Lady Penelope's car broke bridge weight and size rules'

Thunderbird character Lady Penelope has been accused of breaking Marlow Bridge's strict weight and size limits during a Halifax advert.

The iconic puppet is briefly seen in her three-tonne and 8ft wide FAB 1 on the route, which connects Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, during the bank's' latest commercial.

Halifax advert
Halifax advert

Facebook group  My Marlow  pointed out the fictional aristocrat's potential breach. 

Police confirmed they would enforce three-tonne weight and 6ft 6ins width limits at the start of the month. 

The force said it would issue £50 fines to those caught not adhering to the rules. 

Reading FC players told to enjoy season run-in

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

All eyes for Reading FC are on the season run-in with just over a month left of the regular season.

At today's press conference, the manager Jaap Stam has said he will utilise the full squad as the season draws to a close, particularly with the Royals playing 7 games in just 29 days, starting with Leeds on Saturday. 

But whilst every focus is on getting into the Championship playoffs come May, Yann Kermorgant says that Stam has told the players to just enjoy the next few games. After all, they have exceeded expectations this season.

Yann Kermorgant
BBC

Then came the biggest announcement of the afternoon, that Kermorgant is  retiring ... at the end of next season. Reading's top scorer this season is looking to move into investment after a period of rest.  

Coldstream Guards march through Windsor

Animal cruelty reports increase

Animal cruelty increased by 8% last year in Berkshire, according to the RSPCA. 

Nationally, the charity looked into 149,604 complaints compared to 143,004 in 2015.

However, the number of successful prosecutions fell more than 6% to 744.

Cats
PA

Reading forward announces retirement plans

Reading forward Yann Kermorgant has announced he will retire at the end of next season. 

The 35-year-old Frenchman joined the Royals from Bournemouth in January last year.

Tweet
BBC

Street art events promote Yemen peace

Yemen, UK artists paint for peace

Murad Subay, also known as Yemen's Banksy, and award-winning British artist Lisa-Marie Gibbs, held simultaneous street art events in Yemen and in Reading.

They were protesting against the conflict in Yemen that has killed more than 7,600 people since it began in March 2015.    

Weather latest: Gloomy afternoon ahead

After a cloudy and drizzly start, it is expected to remain overcast this afternoon. 

Temperatures will peak at around 14C and winds are forecast to reach 14mph. 

BBC weather
BBC

Reading FC Press Conference: Stam looking to climb above Leeds

Jack Winstanley

BBC Berkshire Sport Reporter

Reading vs Leeds United is always a feisty and fiery affair, never in need of added spice.

The only slight issue with that logic is that this Saturday's fixture will see the Royals face the Whites with the sides separated by just two points in the Championship playoff places.

Cue what should be one of the most explosive games of the season.

View more on twitter

Jaap Stam brings his side back together from the two week international break looking to plot his way past Gary monk's side and back into 4th place in the Championship table.

You can follow live updates from the press conference as we speak to Stam and one of his players on BBC Berkshire's  twitter feed .

Sonning's George Clooney 'ready to become father to twins'

Emma Midgley

BBC South

Amal and George Clooney
Getty Images

Hollywood star George Clooney says he is ready to become a father to twins, and has told the US site Extra: "I know what I'm in for." 

The screen star, 55, and his English barrister wife Amal, 39, who have a house in Sonning, are expecting their first babies this June. 

Mr Clooney told US site Extra that Amal was "doing great". 

"She is amazing. I don't have anything to do. There is nothing I can do to help, but make tea and stuff," he said.  

He joked that nappies will be central to his life, adding "for me, not for the kids".

The Hollywood star recently turned up unexpectedly at a care home in Berkshire, with flowers for 87-year-old fan Pat Adams.

George Clooney and Pat Adams
Sunrise UK

Reading biscuit boxes displayed in New Zealand museum

Soldiers at Gallipoli
© Reading Borough Council

New Zealand resident Lyndsey Moon, formerly of Reading and Tadley, was surprised to see a large collection of Huntley and Palmers biscuit boxes displayed at a Gallipoli exhibition in her adopted home town of Wellington. 

According to Reading Museum, in 1914 the War Office gave Reading biscuit producers Huntley & Palmers orders to manufacture army biscuits for the conflict ahead. 

The museum's website says this "involved working continuously day and night for several weeks."

The Quaker-owned Berkshire business also supplied the Gallipoli campaign, which took place from 1915 to 1916.

Huntley and Palmers biscuit boxes
Lindsey Moon
Biscuit boxes
Lindsey Moon

Rarely seen Spencer paintings go on display in Cookham

'We need to allow Theresa May to get best deal for Britain' says Maria Miller

Weather: Cloudy with chance of an early shower

Dan Downs has Wednesday's forecast

Which children's centres in Reading are facing the axe?

Amersham Road Children's Centre
Google

The consultation over cuts to Reading's children's centres proposed the following centres would no longer provide services. 

  • Blagdon Nursery and Children's Centre
  • Blagrave Children's Centre
  • North Reading Children's Centre
  • Hamilton Road Children's Centre
  • Katesgrove Children's Centre 

Caversham Children's Centre and Coley Children's Centre would also offer reduced children's services, compared to the current offering.

It's 'blooming marvellous' in Windsor Great Park this morning

Bridgitte Tetteh

BBC Radio Berkshire reporter

Consultation over cuts to Reading children's centres ends today

A 12 week consultation on plans to close nine children's centres in Reading ends today. 

The council says it needs to save £42m between now and 2020. 

Plans are to reduce the current 13 centres into seven children's centres including four hubs in Newtown, Whitley, Southcote and Tilehurst.

Today’s headlines: Brexit, Westminster attack remembered and school refurb

Sam Clayton

BBC Radio Berkshire newsreader

John Redwood upbeat over Brexit

Emma Midgley

BBC South

The MP for Wokingham, John Redwood, has told Andrew Peach on BBC Berkshire this morning there is nothing to fear from the EU after Brexit.

He said: "We have absolutely no need to pay them a great big one off payment, we have no need to give in on controlling our boarders in a sensible way, they will come round to see they need that tariff free access to the UK market, which is really Eldorado for them - they will see no need to put that at risk."

Travel: Long delays on M3 this morning

Mandy O'Neale

BBC Berkshire travel presenter

  • M3: Inside lane closed London-bound between J4 (Camberley) & J3 (Bagshot) for emergency repair work, long delays as M3 only had 3 narrow lanes & no hard shoulder due to ongoing roadworks
  • A34 Southbound, delays from Dunley to Hurstbourne Priors due to accident, recovery on scene

Good morning!

Emma Midgley

BBC South

A historic day has dawned,   Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the process of Britain leaving the EU.

We’ll be bringing you all the local reaction throughout the day, as well as the latest news, sport, weather and travel this morning.

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