How Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma voted on the 29 January Brexit amendments

The House of Commons voted on seven amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Act yesterday evening. Reading MPs, Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) and Alok Sharma (Conservative MP for Reading West), voted opposite ways on six of the seven amendments.

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A Pevsner Perambulation in Katesgrove

Pell Street looking west

Nikolaus Pevsner‘s edition of the Berkshire volume of ‘Buildings of England’ was published in 1966, the thirtieth county guide of forty-six. The Reading section starts with the Abbey, followed by churches and finally public buildings.

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30 December – Making sense of Reading’s residential property developments

Clarendon House (foreground) and Verto (background)

When we walked around the IDR on 16 September for this year’s Heritage Open Days, the number of new property developments along its route became astoundingly clear. In an anti-clockwise direction we first passed, on the south side of Queen’s Road, New Century Place where both blocks have recently been converted from offices to studio apartments.

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How Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma voted on Brexit legal advice disclosure

In advance of the start of the five day Brexit debate, the House of Commons debated and voted on a motion tabled by Keir Starmer (shadow secretary of state for exiting the European Union) on parliamentary privilege.

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Reading East MP Matt Rodda criticises tenant fee bill

In the House of Commons on 5 September, Reading East MP Matt Rodda expressed concern that the government’s Tenant Fees Bill didn’t adequately protect tenants from unreasonable landlord fees. He voted for amendments suggested by the opposition Labour party, but these were defeated by the Government.

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Walking stages 3 and 4 of the IDR

The ski jump at the end of the IDR in 1984. The Hook and Tackle is the on the left, painted white.

Having carved its way from Caversham Road to the foot of Southampton Street, in the 1970s Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) stopped abruptly at the ‘ski jump’ where the Oracle roundabout now is. During this hiatus, Reading consulted and debated about whether and how to continue.

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Walking stage I of Reading’s IDR

The IDR as it was intended to be built at the time that Stage I was under construction.

Construction of Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) started in 1969, but it had been included in development plans since 1957 and no doubt was a twinkle in someone’s eye some time before that. It still bothers Reading’s civic soul when proposals are brought forward to make it one-way or to cover over part of it or turn it into a park.

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Lessons at the Victorian schoolroom at Katesgrove School

By Wynne Frankum

1873 school on Katesgrove Lane

Good better best,
never let it rest,
’till your good is better
and your better best.

This was the Victorian rhyme learnt by heart by pupils visiting the Katesgrove schoolroom. It became our mantra when setting up the Victorian schoolroom. Artefacts and lessons used in the schoolroom had to be thoroughly researched and, as far as the budget allowed, historically accurate.

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Introduction to “a walk around Reading’s IDR”

The IDR as it was intended to be built at the time that Stage I was under construction.

The Whitley Pump is leading a walk around Reading’s Inner Distribution Road (IDR) as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days in September. Reading’s post-war history, in which it transformed from a primarily industrial to a retail town, circle the IDR like the IDR circles the town centre.

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Matt Rodda interview: My priorities as Reading East MP

Matt Rodda with fellow Katesgrove councillors Sophia James (L) and Rose Williams (R) at the Katesgrove councillors’ surgery at Pau Brasil on Silver Street

The Whitley Pump met Matt Rodda, still Katesgrove councillor but more preoccupied with Westminster business these days, in the Global Cafe at RISC on London Street. He explained how he was pushing for things in Parliament that local people wanted and his top three priorities were to fight austerity, fight against hard Brexit and provide more affordable housing.

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