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Summary

  1. Portsmouth tower blocks cladding removal 'to take months'
  2. Henley Regatta gets under way with an increased police presence
  3. Poole councillors back Poole hospital as Dorset's main facility for emergency care
  4. Thames Water criticised by Ofwat and told to "change the way it operates"
  5. Updates from Wednesday 28 June

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Severe accident: M3 Hampshire southbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire southbound severe accident, between J5 for A287 and J6 for A30.

M3 Hampshire - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M3 southbound between J5, A287 (Hook) and J6, A30 (Basingstoke), because of an accident.

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

New loos for Lulworth

Responsibility for public toilets in Lulworth on the Dorset coast are to be transferred from council ownership.

Lulworth Estate is set to take over the conveniences from Purbeck District Council.

The estate said the move would allow new facilities to "improve the accessibility and quality" of toilets available to people visiting the lower cove area and beach.

It is hoped that the new facilities, which are subject to planning permission, will be ready by summer 2018.

Lulworth
Ian Capper

Cladding removal from Windrush Tower begins

Work has begun to replace the rain-screen cladding on Windrush Tower in Oxford.

Windrush Tower
BBC

The city council said it would now use "improved non-combustible material" as a precautionary measure.

Ward-Prowse on England penalty pressure

BBC Sport

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has been talking about the pressure the England Under-21 team were under as they lost their European Championship semi final to Germany on penalties.

The England under-21 captain admitted previous England defeats at Euro 96 and World Cup 1990 were "always in the back of your mind".

"It's hard to replicate pressure" of penalties - James Ward-Prowse

Children with special educational needs wait longer for help in Dorset than almost anywhere else in the country

Sindy's son Joshua has autism and Deborah Croney works on education at Dorset Council.

Nautical arrival for Southampton prom students

Fire on Isle of Wight houseboat

Island Games: Shooting sisters celebrating success

Two sisters from the Isle of Wight are celebrating success at the Island Games' shooting competitions.

Imogen and Shelley Moss have won six shooting medals between them - four golds and two silvers at this year's event on the Swedish island of Gotland.

Imogen and Shelley Moss
Isle of Wight Island Games Association

It's amazing to share the experience with someone who is your sister. It means so much to both of us."

Imogen Moss
Pelle Clement signs for Reading

Dutch attacking midfielder Pelle Clement joins Reading on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee from Ajax.

Read more

Drug '100 times stronger than morphine taking hold in Southampton'

Six fire engines respond to 'small' tower block fire

Six fire engines were called to extinguish a small fire at the Plowman Tower in Oxford this afternoon

It took place in the ground floor store room, and Oxford City Council said it was "very quickly contained".

Earlier this week the authority, which has five tower blocks, announced cladding would be removed from the Evenlode and Windrush towers after it failed fire tests.

Nobody was hurt or evacuated, and the city council said the response shows the safeguards in place in Oxford work well.

Victorian toy find for Sherborne Museum

Some Victorian children's toys were among an unusual find handed in to Sherborne Museum in Dorset.

The museum said a set of small wheels from a toy wagon, a tambourine, a wooden musical pipe with the mouthpiece missing, a spinning top, a pincushion and a story-advert for Sunlight Soap were donated after being found behind the walls of a house in Long Street in the Dorset town.

The room was thought to have been a nanny's residence.

Museum objects
Sherborne Museum

The items are too large to have slipped between floorboards and were probably not deliberately placed with the intention, as some objects are, of warding off evil. They may, however, have been intentionally placed to commemorate the life of a beloved child or perhaps the nanny and her charge were creating a time-capsule.

Sherborne Museum
Paddington Bear author says working at the BBC in Reading was his inspiration.
Paddington Bear author Michael Bond, who has died aged 91, spoke to BBC Radio Berkshire in 2014.
Mark Yeates scoring for Bradford against Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round in 2015

Former Notts County, Bradford and Watford midfielder Mark Yeates joins National League Eastleigh on a two-year deal.

Read more
Dog survives Swanage 60ft cliff fall
A golden retriever is back to her "loveable self" after a coastguard rescue from a Swanage cliff face.

WATCH: Underwater footage of dolphin in Portsmouth Harbour

Henley Royal Regatta in numbers

Lucy Bickerton

BBC Radio Oxford

Ever wondered how many bottles of champagne are drunk at Henley Royal Regatta?

Severe disruption: M3 Hampshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M3 Hampshire northbound severe disruption, at J11 for A3090.

M3 Hampshire - M3 lane closed on exit slip road northbound at J11, A3090 (Winchester South), because of a broken down vehicle. Traffic is coping well.

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

'Boaty McBoatface' submarine returns home

Boaty McBoatface, the UK's favourite yellow submarine, has returned from its first major science expedition.

The vehicle was made in Southampton's National Oceanography Centre.

It was used in the Antarctic to map the movement of deep, cold water as it moves away from the White Continent towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Boaty
P.ABRAHAMSEN/BAS

Scientists say this flow of water plays an important role in helping to regulate the Earth's climate system.

Boaty made a total of three dives, reaching down to 4,000m below the surface.

Researchers have said it acquired a remarkable set of new data.

Six-strong shortlist to be new Oxford United boss

Adam Williams

BBC Sport

Frank Lampard
Getty Images

Oxford United owner Darryl Eales has told BBC Radio Oxford he is considering six candidates for the vacant manager's position - three of which have been interviewed.

The U's chairman is searching for a replacement for Michael Appleton who joined Leicester City as assistant manager.

Eales refused to name individuals under consideration with former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard (pictured above) and ex-Leeds United assistant Pep Clotet among several with short odds among bookmakers.

Eales hopes to complete interviews by Friday with an announcement on Monday.

Up to 100 council homes set to be built in Reading

Up to 100 affordable homes are set to be built in Reading under new plans being considered by councillors next week.

Almost £20m would be used to fund the potential development as part of the council's house-building programme.

The money is made up of funding from Right to Buy receipts from sales of council homes, developer contributions and £12.6m borrowing.

Reading Borough Council's housing, neighbourhood and leisure committee will be asked to recommend the plans for approval on 5 July and plans would then go to the policy committee later next month.

I am delighted that we are able to put forward a £19.9m programme of house building which will provide a potential 100 homes for families in need. Homelessness continues to be a real problem in Reading and we are determined to do all we can to ensure people get the quality, safe and affordable accommodation they deserve.

Councillor John EnnisLead Member for Housing

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service 'working hard to reassure' tower block residents

Oxfordshire's chief fire officer has been speaking about the safety of Oxford's tower blocks, following the Grenfell Tower fire.

It was announced earlier this week that the Evenlode and Windrush towers in Blackbird Leys are to have their rain-screen cladding replaced.

Simon Furlong spoke to BBC Radio Oxford's David Prever about residents' concerns raised during the programme.

Defence contract for £48m will create 70 jobs in Dorset

The defence secretary has announced plans to start a six-year £48m Apache helicopter training contract.

Sir Michael Fallon revealed the investment in Apache air and ground crew would support around 70 jobs in Dorset and Suffolk with Aviation Training International Ltd.

The Apache training has been described as a "vital" part of the British Army's fighting force and is expected to host around 700 Army personnel per year, including 50 pilots and 400 ground crew.

Apache
PA

This contract will support UK jobs and provide world-class Apache training for our personnel. This investment is only possible thanks to a rising defence budget and a drive for efficiency and innovation which will help our Armed Forces stay at the cutting edge.

Sir Michael FallonDefence Secretary

Smoker numbers at 'low levels' after 10 years of smoking ban

The number of smokers across the Solent has seen a "significant drop" since the ban of indoor smoking.

Figures from Public Health England have revealed that since the ban was imposed 10 years ago more than half of adults in Portsmouth and Southampton have never smoked.

Both cities have seen a fall in smoker rates with around one in five adults now smoking.

According to the research the south east has one of the lowest smoking rates in England and one of the lowest rates of hospital admissions due to smoking.

Saints want to keep Van Dijk

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Van Dijk
Getty Images

Southampton have restated their intention to keep defender Virgil van Dijk.

The Dutchman has been the target of a number of leading clubs this summer.

Liverpool apologised amid claims they had made an illegal approach for Van Dijk.

The Reds also said they had “ended interest” in the 25-year-old.

However, Jurgen Klopp remains a fan and there has been speculation Liverpool and Chelsea may yet make an attempt to sign him.

Executive director Les Reed has confirmed Southampton’s star players are “not for sale”.

Following the arrival of Mauricio Pellegrino as manager, Saints are keen to keep all their leading players and are building their summer recruitment around improving their squad rather than allowing it to be weakened.

Dorset road reopens after car crash

Oxford ranked as 'dynamic European city'

Oxford is the 14th most dynamic city in Europe, according to Savills IM's Dynamic Cities index.

Researchers ranked cities after taking into account their infrastructure, interconnection, inclusion, inspiration, innovation, and investment.

London came first, with Paris, Cambridge, Amsterdam and Berlin rounding out the Top 10.

Reading came 35th, even though it was a town last time we looked.

Oxford from the air
M J Richardson

'Enough evidence to charge' Hillsborough commander Duckenfield, says CPS

The match commander on the day of the Hillsborough disaster, former South Yorkshire Police Ch Supt David Duckenfield, potentially faces being charged with the manslaughter by gross negligence of 95 football fans at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989.

David Duckenfield
Reuters
Former Ch Supt David Duckenfield

For legal reasons, Mr Duckenfield cannot be charged with the manslaughter of the 96th Hillsborough victim Tony Bland, who died four years after the disaster.

The CPS must also apply to the High Court for the lifting of an order which was imposed after Mr Duckenfield was prosecuted privately in 1999.

This would have to be lifted before he can be charged.

Mr Duckenfield now lives in Ferndown, Dorset.

Health bosses urged to protect A&E

Councillors have voted unanimously to back Poole Hospital as Dorset's main facility for emergency care.

The hospital is at risk of losing its A&E and maternity services in a planned shake-up of health services in the county.

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group wants one hospital to specialise in emergency care and its preferred site is at Bournemouth.

Activists protest outside Poole council offices
BBC

Protesters also gathered outside the council meeting yesterday in support of the hospital.

Thames Water needs to 'quickly change'

Thames Water has come under fire from the water regulator Ofwat.

The body's chairman Jonson Cox said on Monday that Thames Water should "quickly change the way it operates", following a string of fines for water and sewage leakages.

Last week it emerged the company faces a fine of £8.5m from Ofwat for an "unacceptable failure" to control leakages, after missing its reduction target by 47 million litres a day.

Thames water
BBC

The company disclosed it had paid out £100m in dividends to shareholders in the last financial year.

In a statement, Thames Water says it's "working hard to address" Ofwat's concerns, and recognises "the need to conduct all activities in an open and transparent way".

Southampton University residence staff strike over pay cut

University student support workers have walked out in a row over plans to cut their night-time shift allowances.

Public service union Unison said University of Southampton staff working evening or night shifts in halls of residence faced pay cuts of up to 20%.

The university said the shift allowance originally proposed had been increased and the 42 affected staff would also receive a "compensatory payment".

The 24-hour walk-out at the halls of residence was due to end at midnight.

University halls
University of Southampton

The Henley Regatta begins today

The five-day rowing spectacular that is the Henley Royal Regatta begins today on the River Thames.

Spectators are bound to be thrilled by over 200 races of international standard, which includes both Olympians and new crews.

The regatta was first held in 1839, and apart from the two World Wars, has been held every year since.

View more on twitter

According to the regatta's organisers, the total cost of staging the event is nearly £3m a year.

In 2017 three new events for women are introduced (The Women's Fours, The Women's Pairs and The Women's Double Sculls) offering equal events for men and women in the open categories.

There is live coverage across the next five days on BBC Radio Berkshire.

Oxfordshire County Council reviews fire safety of buildings

Oxfordshire County Council says it has started a review of fire risks related to the construction, materials and cladding used in its buildings, including schools, following the Grenfell Tower fire.

"Should any unacceptable risks be identified, work will be carried out to address them," a spokesman said.

"These reviews are being conducted as a precaution, and are not the result of any concerns about specific buildings.

"No school in Oxfordshire has more than four storeys and the majority are single storey. The review will initially focus on those buildings that may present the greatest risk due to speed of evacuation such as schools for children with special educational needs or where children stay overnight.

"We have written to all schools to explain the planned review, and to remind them of the advice about fire safety."