Matt Rodda for Reading East

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Matt Rodda for Reading East

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MATT RODDA MP GIVES MAIDEN SPEECH TO PARLIAMENT ON THE NHS, BREXIT, EDUCATION AND HOUSING

READING EAST MP, Matt Rodda has used his maiden speech to highlight residents’ concerns about the cuts to health and education, the risk of hard Brexit and the need for more affordable housing.

He also pointed out that campaigning against austerity can lead to real change and he celebrated the success of the campaign to save Chiltern Edge School.

As is traditional for a new MP, Matt paid tribute to his predecessor, former Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson, thanking him for his public service to the town for the past 12 years. He also commented on the previous Labour MPs who have represented the town in the past, including Martin Salter, Jane Griffiths and Ian Mikardo and he paid his respects to the first Labour MP for Reading, Somerville Hastings who was elected in 1923, whose ideas of the state funding of healthcare were an early forerunner of the NHS.

Matt described the history of Reading, particularly referring to the economic heritage of bulbs, biscuits and beer, and the change to what it is today, of an area where several international IT and telecommunications businesses have situated their offices close to the town. Matt commented that the businesses make a contribution not only to the local economy, but also nationally.

He said:

Several issues loom large for our community; first and foremost the need for properly funded public services; also the desire to avoid a hard Brexit and, indeed, as members have mentioned earlier the importance for affordable and safe housing.

On public services local people rely on and indeed expect high quality provision, and the General Election was a resounding vote against austerity and for properly funded services which was felt and heard very loudly in our part of the world.

I want to remind the Government that parents were angered by the wave of school cuts and they remain in my area deeply concerned despite the window dressing offered by Ministers last week. Meanwhile, many other residents are fearful about the state of our local NHS and they certainly, Madam Deputy Speaker, have no time for the dementia tax.”

Referring to the potential impact of a hard Brexit on the town, Matt commented:

On Europe our town is proudly international in outlook, with significant numbers of residents from the EU and indeed from the Commonwealth. Reading voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union, and many local people oppose a hard Brexit; I should say this includes many who voted to leave. Our residents are not impressed by the Government's cavalier approach to the negotiations with the EU, and they expect something much better, which I hope we will soon see.”

Reading's ongoing housing crisis was also noted in Matt's maiden speech, he said:

House prices are also high and not all work in our area is well-paid; many people in fact exist on very modest earnings. Reading, rather like London, regrettably suffers from some considerable income inequality which leads to even greater issues with housing affordability. In recent times George Osborne effectively stopped Reading's Labour Council from building 1,000 new council houses – and that's despite a significant need in the area. Whilst I wish to work with my colleague who is the Reading West MP and the Housing Minister, I will be holding him to account on matters relating to housing, and in particular the local situation in the Thames Valley.”

Education was also remarked upon by Matt in his address to the House and the impact this has had in Reading. On the recent events surrounding Chiltern Edge School, Matt said:

I have been campaigning to save a much-loved local secondary school which was threatened with closure. Chiltern Edge School is in Oxfordshire, but like many urban areas, pupils cross our boundaries to a very great extent - and I was shocked to find out that Oxfordshire County Council were planning to shut the school earlier this year which would affect 400 Reading children. I have always believed that their proposal was both irresponsible and misguided, and I cannot really understand why any local authority in an area like the South of England which has rising school rolls would want to consider a school closure at this time. The only plausible explanation was that selling off the land was a way of dealing with short term financial pressures caused by austerity which were affecting the Council. However, after a great deal of work by campaigners and supported by myself and an MP opposite, the MP for Henley, we have been successful and Oxfordshire County Council has now decided to shelve these plans, and I am very grateful for that decision. I would like to support colleagues who signed my EDM opposing the closure and who supported the Save Our Edge campaign.”

Matt concluded his maiden speech to Parliament by saying that he looked forward to raising other matters of importance when the House returns in September.

A full clip of Matt's maiden speech to the House on the afternoon of 20 July 2017 is available to view here:

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/4b1a2c2e-80a8-452f-a1a6-9e36a3845b3e?in=14:17:17&out=14:24:05

 

Matt Rodda gives Maiden Speech

MATT RODDA MP GIVES MAIDEN SPEECH TO PARLIAMENT ON THE NHS, BREXIT, EDUCATION AND HOUSING READING EAST MP, Matt Rodda has used his maiden speech to highlight residents’ concerns about...

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MATT RODDA MP WELCOMES THE GOOD NEWS ON CHILTERN EDGE SCHOOL

MATT RODDA MP welcomed the outcome of the Cabinet meeting at Oxfordshire County Council on 18 July 2017. He greeted the approach from Lead Member for Education, Councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, in that she recommended to the meeting that Chiltern Edge School is to remain open. Councillor Hibbert-Biles addressed the meeting saying that the future 'looks bright' for the School.

Matt Rodda said:

I'm delighted that Oxfordshire County Council has decided not to close Chiltern Edge School; this decision will come as a huge relief to hundreds of parents, pupils and, of course, the staff.”

Looking ahead, Matt added:

The school will now be able to move forward, and I look forward to it flourishing in the future, providing outstanding education for its pupils.”

Matt welcomes the good news on Chiltern Edge School

MATT RODDA MP WELCOMES THE GOOD NEWS ON CHILTERN EDGE SCHOOL MATT RODDA MP welcomed the outcome of the Cabinet meeting at Oxfordshire County Council on 18 July 2017. He...

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MATT RODDA JOINS IN THE BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATIONS IN READING

READING EAST MP Matt Rodda joined in with all things French in the town as Reading held it's annual Bastille Day celebrations at Forbury Gardens.

The event was initiated by a group of Frenchmen living in the town to help the the two countries learn more about one another, involving as many people from different backgrounds as possible. The French, however, tend not to use the term 'Bastille Day' in their celebrations and most often opt to use the phrase “La Fête Nationale” to mark the national day.

There were many continental touches which brought a flavour of France to the town, including a Pétanque Tournament on the gravel at Forbury Hill, a storytelling circle and many arts and crafts stalls. A large variety of food outlets were also available to appease every palate from cakes, crepes, and pastries through to a variety of French fine wines, Parisian meats and even 'cuisses de grenouille' – or more commonly known as frogs legs!

Attending the event on Saturday, Matt said:

I was delighted to attend and to support the event which brings people together from across Reading and beyond, from Reading’s French community and many other groups, and I’d like to pay tribute to the organisers and all who took part.”

Also attending on the day with Matt was Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, Councillor Sarah Hacker.

The celebrations took place over the weekend of 15 and 16 July 2017. Bastille Day itself was officially on 14 July 2017 in France, and which marked the 228th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille Prison during the French Revolution on 14 July 1789.

Bastille Day Celebration in Reading

MATT RODDA JOINS IN THE BASTILLE DAY CELEBRATIONS IN READING READING EAST MP Matt Rodda joined in with all things French in the town as Reading held it's annual Bastille...


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