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Advertising screens coming to Reading

Local Democracy Reporting Service

More than a dozen advertising screens could be coming to Reading’s town centre.

Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux is seeking advertisement consent for 15 digital screens in Broad Street, Station Road and Queen Victoria Street.

Five of the double-sided LED digital screens would replace signs at bus shelters, with the other 10 free standing outside shops.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) officers have recommended refusal of four of the screens because they are positioned in areas "relatively poorly covered" by CCTV. The council said the structure would further obscure pedestrians behind the screen and therefore pose a security risk.

Science hits Reading pubs in world event

Experts from the University of Reading have hit the pubs to deliver lectures on their scientific discoveries to pint lovers.

Pint of Science will run from 20-22 May as part of an international festival which will see 600 events taking place across 40 UK cities.

Dr Rob Horsfield, who is set to speak at one of the town's pubs, said he hopes the event will give "everyone that comes along a sense of the research that's been done".

Up to five pubs in Reading have offered their space to host the lectures, which include Our Shared Planet and Growing Old Gracefully: From Bones to Games.

Pint of Science is a worldwide three-day event

Thames Valley knife crime at record level, crime data reveals

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Serious knife crime in the Thames Valley has hit its highest level since 2010, latest crime data shows.

Thames Valley Police recorded a total of 1,483 serious crimes involving knives in 2018.

That is up 19 percent on the previous year and the highest since 2010-11.

The crimes included eight homicides, 48 rape and sexual assault offences and 117 threats to kill across the policing area last year.

Thames Valley Police covers Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Man handling a knife
Knife crime in Thames Valley has reached record levels since 2010

Farewell to InterCity 125

Hundreds of people travelled between London Paddington and Exeter St Davids yesterday on the last scheduled InterCity 125 journey to the West Country.

The sold-out trip was attended by hundreds of railway enthusiasts, including the train's designer, 89-year-old Sir Kenneth Grange.

He said for many commuters the train had become part of their life.

The 1970s icon is being replaced with the bullet-style electric InterCity Express Trains.

Hundreds of enthusiasts turn out for last high speed train journey
After more than 40 years of service, the old InterCity 125 trains have made their last journey.

Lorry crashes from overpass in Reading

A Parcelforce lorry has come off the elevated section of the IDR near the Oracle in Reading, landing upside down on the roundabout below.

The driver is not believed to be seriously injured.

The ambulance service said it received 30 calls shortly after 16:00 GMT with reports that a small lorry had come off the A327 flyover.

People are being advised to avoid the area and road closures are expected to remain in place for some time.


Severe accident: A327 Berkshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A327 Berkshire both ways severe accident, at A329.

A327 Berkshire - A327 Southampton Street in Reading closed and queuing traffic at the A329 junction, because of an accident involving lorry. On the roundabout.

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

Weather: 'Cloudier and cooler'

Bee Tucker

BBC Weather

Weather: Dry and sunny, but breezy

Alex Osborne

BBC Weather

Wednesday will be dry and fine with a brisk east-southeasterly breeze making it feel less warm in coastal areas.

A change in the weather is on the way from Thursday, bringing a risk of showers.

The 800th anniversary of 'greatest knight' death

Today marks the 800th anniversary of the death of the "greatest knight" who ever lived.

The 1st Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal was one of the most important and powerful English knights of the Middle Ages, with immense estates in England, Wales, Ireland and Normandy.

He was based in Reading during the late 12th and early 13th centuries and served four kings during his lifetime.

He also fought in a battle which defeated King Phillip II of France and was described as "the best knight that ever lived" by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury in the early 13th century.

Staff turnover stalling child service improvement

The frequent turnover of frontline staff is hindering the improvement of children's services in Reading, Ofsted has found.

The report from an inspection of services in mid March says that while the appointment of permanent team managers is a "positive step", the precarious situation of a large part of the workforce indicates "ongoing fragility".

Assessing children's single point of access (CSPoA), the report also found "inconsistent provision" of social work where there were child protection inquiries. No child, however, was found to be at immediate harm.

Child looking out a window
Ofsted has warned frequent staff turnover is affecting child service improvement

Domestic abuse survivor starts charity

A domestic abuse survivor from Wokingham has started a charity to help other people who are being abused.

Vicki Robertson, who suffered from domestic violence as both a child and an adult, said she is pursuing the initiative as SaveLives reports up to one in five children are being abused.

She said it is a "huge number" which goes to how just how much domestic abuse has become an "epidemic".

Ms Robertson said the charity will help victims of abuse spot signs of them being mistreated, as she said her own abuser's behaviour "seemed almost homely".

Woman being abused by man
Woman being subjected to domestic violence

Tuesday's weather forecast: Chilly start but dry and bright day

Today there will be some chance of clouds but generally clear skies.

Temperatures will range from low single figures to highs of 20°C.

South weather: Chilly start but dry and bright day

Monday's weather forecast: Dry and sunny today, but rather breezy

Today will be a dry and mostly sunny day with a chance of some cloud.

However, there will be a keen easterly breeze.

Maximum Temperature: 14 to 17°C (57 to 63°F).

Dry and sunny today, but rather breezy

Student rooms expansion plan rejected

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A government planning inspector has rejected a plan to develop new student accommodation at the University of Reading.

The university appealed after plans for an additional 654 rooms at St Patrick's Hall, Northcourt Avenue, were rejected by the borough council in 2018.

Planning inspector John Wilde said the scheme's "substantial benefits" were outweighed by "harm" to the local landscape.

Reading council leader steps down

The leader of Reading Borough Council, Jo Lovelock, has stepped down more than a decade after first taking the role.

Ms Lovelock will continue as councillor in Norcot ward.

Her replacement has been announced as Jason Brock, councillor for Southcote Ward.

Jo Lovelock

Weather: Early mist will clear to sunny spells

A clear and dry start, but there will be some areas of early morning mist or fog.

There will be long sunny spells throughout the day, but there is a chance of an afternoon shower. Light winds.

It will become rather cloudy this evening and some outbreaks of rain will spread from the west overnight, but it will be quite mild.

Maximum Temperature: 16°C (61°F).

A football team for refugees brings communities together
The Sanctuary Strikers have brought players together from countries including Zimbabwe and Sudan.

Elementary, my dear Watson - new police dog welcomed

Thames Valley, Hampshire & IoW Dog Section has welcomed a new recruit to its crew, and he looks like a keeper.

View more on twitter

CCTV footage released after car break-in

Police have released footage of a man suspected of breaking into a car and stealing cash and a debit card on Friday in Newbury.

The car was broken into at 23:45 BST in The Oaks and the debit card was later used at Hot News in Market Street.

Thames Valley Police has asked for anyone who recognises the man to call 101.

View more on twitter

Weather: 'Sunny spells and heavy showers'

Dan Downs

Weather Forecaster

Jade Moore secures World Cup place

BBC Sport

Reading's Jade Moore has been named in the England squad for the Women's World Cup in France which starts next month.

Moore has been a regular in midfield for the Royals this season, scoring once against Manchester City.

England's first match is against Scotland in Nice on 9 June.

Jade Moore
Getty Images

Reading's Cemetery Junction archway to go up for auction

Reading's landmark Cemetery Junction archway is to be sold at auction.

The Grade II listed building was formerly used as a police office but has since been vacated and is no longer required for council purposes.

It gained nationwide prominence as the setting for the 2010 film Cemetery Junction, directed by Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais.

It is going under the hammer later this month with a guide price of £100,000.

The arch was previously put up for sale in August 2016 but no offers were received.

Cemetery Junction archway
Bill Nicholls

"We had to have bodyguards after the royal wedding"

Karen Gibson from the Kingdom Choir on life after performing at the Royal Wedding
Karen Gibson from the Kingdom Choir on life after performing at the Royal Wedding and working with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"Performing at the Reading Festival was a pinch yourself moment"

Tom from the Reading band Only the Poets on falling in love, touring and new music.
Reading band Only the Poets are about to tour the UK with Ten Tonnes - Bridgitte finds out more

Weather: A mostly dry day ahead

Expect highs of 15C
The choir made of up post-op throat cancer patients.
The choir is made of up of post-op throat cancer patients who have undergone a laryngectomy.