I wanted to update you on my work in Parliament and locally. To receive these constituency updates by email, please sign up here: https://mattroddamp.com/content/newsletter-sign-0
Calling for the Government to speed up plans for a test centre at Reading University
I have written to the Universities Minister to ask her to help speed up the provision of a test centre at the University.
Improving testing and tracing is one of the most effective measures which can reduce the spread of the virus, however, there are still significant problems with this service and the Government has not made enough progress.
It is vital that people are able to get tested quickly and receive their results as soon as possible and a local centre at the University should make a real difference to our community.
Campaigning to save Reading Gaol
I have been working with the local media to get as much coverage as possible for the campaign to save Reading Gaol and I was pleased that ITV Meridian and Reading Chronicle reported the recent support for the campaign from the Chair of House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
I have been raising a number of transport issues with Ministers and working with other stakeholders.
I am raising concerns that a large number of local coach companies could go out of business this autumn and I am currently pressing the Government to take action to support them. This on-going campaign has received a lot of interest from businesses, MPs and the media and I hope the resulting pressure will encourage Ministers to rethink their approach.
Meeting with Transport for London and London MPs
I have also met London MPs and transport chiefs to discuss the issues facing TfL. Tube and bus services have continued during the pandemic, but they are still under real pressure, both from the effects of the Corona Virus and also due to a lack of funding for transport in London.
This is both an issue in London and one which affects many local residents who commute, including those who are key workers or others who are still travelling into work in London.
Protecting our environment
I wanted to thank all those who have contacted me about the pressure on the local environment, including the problems caused by the Government’s plans to make it easier to build in green spaces and to remove the need for planning permission for two story extensions to houses and for up to two extra floors to be built on top of blocks of flats.
I am concerned about these policies and I am working on a number of aspects of this at present and have been raising concerns from residents with Ministers and local councils.
Thank you for your help and support.