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Wokingham mum lends support to Syrian refugees

Refugees and migrants are continuing to try to make their way across Europe.

Many are Syrians fleeing the civil war, with more than 40,000 claiming asylum between April and June this year.

It's become a big political talking point in Europe, with questions being asked over who really is a refugee. Now thousands are being held in makeshift camps between borders.

But a mother from Wokingham has been inspired to help after a chance meeting with Syrian refugees while on holiday in Greece.

And she's managed to get hundreds of her neighbours involved. Sam Holder reports.

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Students rescued in Himalayas due back next week

Students from the Holt School in Wokingham became trapped during flash floods in the Himalayas Credit: ITV Meridian

A group of students from Berkshire who were rescued in the Himalayas after they became trapped by flash floods are due to fly home on Tuesday.

Twenty pupils and three teachers from the Holt School in Wokingham were trekking in the Ladakh region when they were caught in torrential rain.

They were airlifted to safety.

Two arrested on terrorism offences remain in custody

Two people from Berkshire remain in the custody of West Midlands Police

A man and a woman from Berkshire arrested by West Midlands Police on suspicion of preparing for acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom, remain in police custody.

The 24-year-old man from Reading and 23-year-old woman from Wokingham were detained at around 7.30pm on Thursday 28th May. It is believed that the pair are friends. They were arrested in an operation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit assisted by officers from the South East Counter Terrorism Unit.

In a statement released today the West Midlands police force said that the pair will remain in custody while inquiries continue. Police emphasized that the man and woman posed no imminent threat.

Local council elections: Wokingham - Conservative


CCTV released after bag and phone snatch

British Transport Police officers are appealing for the public’s help after the theft of a handbag and a mobile phone from two women on board a train as it arrived at Wokingham railway station.

Detectives are today in a position to release a series of CCTV images of two men they believe will be able to help them with their investigation into the thefts which took place at about 8.40pm on Monday, 15 September.

Police want to speak to this man in connection with a theft Credit: British Transport Police
Police want to speak to this man in connection with a theft Credit: British Transport Police
Police want to speak to this man in connection with a theft Credit: British Transport Police

“The victims, a 22-year-old woman from Reading and a 41-year-old woman from Wokingham, were passengers on board a Clapham Junction – Reading service on Monday, 15 September 2014. When the train arrived at Wokingham station, two men who were on the train, grabbed the 41-year-old woman’s bag and a mobile phone from the 22-year-old victim before fleeing from the train. I am very keen to speak with the men in these CCTV images, as I believe both will have key information. If you recognise either man, or have any other information which could help the investigation, please get in touch.”

– Detective Constable Richard Day

Extensive enquiries have been ongoing since the incident, to try to trace those responsible for the thefts and bring them to justice.

Anyone with information is asked to contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting reference GSUB/B8 of 18/11/2014.

Street lights turned off to save Council cash

A further 504 street lights will be switched off in Wokingham today as part of the council's bid to cut back.

It comes as 2000 lights across the county will now be turned off between 12.30am and 5.30am - saving the council a total of £36,000 every year,

Further street lights will be turned off by the council overnight to reduce costs Credit: PA Wire

Street lights are carefully chosen to become part of the part-night lighting scheme, and the wellbeing and safety of residents and motorists is key to this.

We've been carrying out part-night lighting since 2009 and so far 1,434 street lights have become part of the scheme with an annual saving of £18,000 per year per 1,000 part-night lights."

– Cllr John Kaiser, executive member for planning and highways

Before the lighting is turned off, those roads affected will have a temporary sign to warn residents.

The affected lights will also have a permanent sticker and residents will receive a letter.

The selected street lights have been especially picked by the police to ensure they aren't in areas with high crime levels.

Safety concerns prompt replacement footbridge at level crossing

There have been two near misses and numerous cases of vandalism at a level crossing in Wokingham.

Now Network Rail say they're going to close the dangerous pedestrian route over the tracks and replace it with a footbridge

It's one of 35 crossings to be closed across the South, amid safety fears. Penny Silvester reports.

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