I wanted to update you on my work in the constituency and in Westminster.
Forbury Gardens attack
The last few days have been very difficult for our community.
I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims, it is impossible to imagine what they must be going through and our whole community is thinking about them at this very difficult time.
I’ve also been thinking about the injured and other people who have been affected by the dreadful attack.
And, I want to thank the police and other emergency services.
I attended the vigil in Reading Market Place on Saturday which was very moving.
This week in Parliament
During the last week I raised a number of issues, as Parliament is sitting, although some members are joining virtually.
I spoke in a debate about immigration and called on the Government to offer more help for EU citizens to gain settled status.
Ending health charges for overseas NHS and care workers
I also urged Ministers to clarify the Government’s position on NHS and Care workers from abroad not having to pay for health care in the UK. I believe this is an important commitment which the Government was forced to concede a few weeks ago and which they now need to act on.
The Departmental question session was held in person and I used my question to call on the Government to fund bus services properly and to urge Ministers to offer financial support to the families of bus workers who died during the coronavirus pandemic, to bring this in line with the support offered for NHS and care workers.
I intervened in the debates on this bill to raise a number of issues which are affecting our community and the country as a whole. This included raising the plight of families struggling to get by; asking Ministers to do more to help small businesses and calling for commercial landlords to offer more support for their tenants.
I have been working on these issues during the pandemic and I think there needs to be much more action from the Government to tackle some serious problems which affect thousands of people in Reading and Woodley.
Reading Golf Course planning application
There has also been continued discussion in the community about a potential planning application to build around 260 houses on Reading Golf Course in Emmer Green.
I oppose plans to build on the golf course site because of the potential damage to the local environment and because of the other environmental problems it could cause by increasing traffic in Caversham and Emmer Green, on Reading and Caversham bridges and into the town centre.
I have asked residents who are interested in this issue to fill in a survey and I am grateful for any comments. Click here to find the survey.
Matt Rodda MP