Constituency Update: 12th May
Constituency Update: 12th May

Dear Resident,

The easing of the lockdown is an important stage in the corona virus epidemic and we need to be careful and take gradual steps forward at this difficult time.

However, many people are understandably concerned, both for their own safety and for vulnerable friends and relatives. Clear and straightforward advice and information is very important to help guide us at this time and I hope that this can now be clarified.

I realise that people have different views and that some residents also have very specific questions about how the changes affect them and their family or work colleagues. I would be grateful if you could fill in my survey to let me know what you think about the easing of the lockdown and the way that the changes have been announced.

I also wanted to say how moved I felt during the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday. It was very important to commemorate the sacrifice of all those who helped defend the freedom we enjoy today.

Other developments

Thank you

Today (May 12th) is international nursing day and above all I want to thank our NHS and care staff, key workers, volunteers and many others for their incredible response to the crisis.  I also want to pay tribute to the local community for their support for vulnerable people and for maintaining the restrictions as the lock down continues, even with some easing. Together we are tackling this dreadful virus.

Calling for more resources for care sector

I am calling on the Government to provide more support for our care homes and care provided at home, and I hope that Ministers will learn from the local response, where NHS staff and councils have been offering high levels of help and support to care homes in the Berkshire West area (in Reading, Wokingham and West Berks Boroughs).

Public transport

Many residents and many people across the country rely on public transport and I am urging the Government to do more to make journeys safe at this time, by ensuring there are enough buses and trains to make sure social distancing can take place and that Ministers offer other help and support. I am working with Reading Buses and the rail industry to raising issues and concerns, please contact me if you would like to raise any issues.

PPE and testing

I have been calling for more ppe and for more tests and for these to be carried out locally, to help speed up the increase in the number of people being tested.  I want to thank all those who helped make ppe through local schools and volunteer groups, which I have been supporting. However, it is important that the Government steps up the supply so that staff are properly protected. On testing, I want to see a greater emphasis on making it easier to get to local centres, like the one at Reading University to avoid lengthy round trips to facilities in Oxford or West London.

Campaigns and casework

Reading Gaol

I am following up my recent letter to the Prisons Minister and I am continuing to press her to rethink the Government’s plans to sell this vital part of our heritage to a commercial developer, particularly at a time when the hospitality sector is facing huge challenges.

Fire safety

I am continuing to raise the issue of the response to the Grenfell Disaster, with hundreds of residents living in flats with dangerous cladding. Please email me to raise issues or concerns, I have had a number of points raised following my recent speech in the debate on the Fire Safety Bill.


My office is continuing to respond to a large volume of casework covering a wide range of issues due to the crisis. I also hope that announcements this week on further support for businesses and employees will help, some support has been offered but it needs to go much further. Please email me if you have an issue at

To receive updates like this directly, you can join my mailing list here:


Yours faithfully,

Matt Rodda

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