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Council tax to increase by nearly 4% in Wokingham

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Council tax in Wokingham is to rise by nearly 4%.

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) approved the £129m budget for the next 12 months on Thursday.

It will be partly funded by the 3.99% increase in council tax.

Tory leader of WBC John Halsall called it "an ambitious but robust budget".

Plans include spending £46m on road investments, £16m on "climate emergency" measures and £65m on regeneration schemes before April 2021, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Mr Halsall said: "It achieves the careful balance of safeguarding the vulnerable in our community and delivering services to everybody. "The revenue budget is in surplus and the capital budget reflects our ambitions."

The County Councils Network said the rise - which is the maximum amount allowed - was being used by the majority of councils that run social care services.

Covered Market NHS exhibition showcases 'ground-breaking' research

NHS exhibition
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

A photography exhibition has been set up inside Oxford's Covered Market which showcases some of the pioneering research undertaken by the NHS.

The Body Unlocked: How Research is Changing Lives has life-sized photographs of the people involved in the studies, as well as microscopic images of cells and bacteria.

In 2018/19 there were 1,930 studies involving 39,129 participants at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Director of research and development Professor Keith Channon said he hoped the exhibition would showcase the "ground-breaking research", highlight the "contributions of patients and members of the public" and encourage people to "get involved in research studies that can lead to new and improved treatments in the NHS".

The exhibition will run until 15 April, and then travel around the Thames Valley at museums, libraries and town halls.

NHS exhibition
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust
Brontë King has set up a group to help support female graduates leaving university.
Brontë King is trying to help women who are graduating deal with the change into post-university life.

Why is it still so dark in the mornings?

Bill Buckley hears how the orbit of the Earth affects our daylight hours.
Have you noticed that it still seems pretty dark in the mornings when we're waking up, even though it's getting considerably lighter in the afternoons as we leave work?

Does the whole period of daylight shift later in the day even whilst it extends, or not?

It turns out it really doesn't, and to find out why, Dr Samantha Rolfe, an Astronomer from the University of Hertforshire spoke to Bill Buckley.

"She had her own royal carriages"

Historian Tim Dunn discusses Queen Victoria's underground journey from Windsor to London.
If you ever get the chance to delve into the black at white archives of British Pathe you'll find plenty of films covering the nation's transport revolution.

Well long before that you could actually catch a tube train to Berkshire, with lines going as far as Slough and Windsor.
Brexit explained: Can I still bring back booze from the EU?
BBC reporter Tom Hepworth explains what rules will change for people bringing alcohol back from the EU after Brexit.
Brexit explained: Can I still get healthcare in the EU?
BBC reporter Tom Hepworth takes a look at what Brexit could mean for how we access healthcare in the EU.

Severe disruption: A3290 Berkshire westbound

BBC News Travel

A3290 Berkshire westbound severe disruption, from A329 to A4 London Road.

A3290 Berkshire - A3290 blocked and stationary westbound from the A329(M) Winnersh Triangle junction to Sutton Seeds Roundabout, because of a car on fire.

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

South Western Railway strike: Commuter 'exhausted and stressed'
Alison Bunce says her commute from Surrey to London is now a five-hour round trip.

Estate agents fined for forming fee-fixing cartel

For sale sign
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Three estate agents have been fined more than £600,000 after illegally fixing minimum commission rates for seven years.

Michael Hardy, Prospect, Richard Worth, and a fourth company, Romans, all of Berkshire, broke competition law by running the cartel.

It set minimum commission rates for properties in Wokingham, Winnersh, Crowthorne, Bracknell and Warfield.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said Romans would not be fined as it informed it about the racket.

Baking helps Berkshire woman face her traumatic past
Karolina says that baking has helped her to face post-traumatic stress disorder and wants to set up a cafe to help others.