In recent days the Prime Minister, Theresa May, visited my Reading West constituency to formally open the new UK headquarters of international technology company Thales at Green Park. During her visit she, and I, had an opportunity to meet several really bright and able apprentices employed by Thales.
The Grenfell fire tragedy has raised many questions and a number of inquiries are currently underway. A police investigation, an independent public inquiry into the causes of fire and an independent review of building regulations.
However, the tragedy has also raised wider questions about social housing. The Government has committed to publish a Social Housing Green Paper, which is a consultation document setting out proposals for change. In order to inform our national approach the Prime Minister asked me recently to meet with social housing tenants across the country.
Last week I lead a very well attended debate on Gypsy and Traveller communities in Parliament. The general thrust of the debate from MPs was that whilst we all want to see traveller communities treated with respect and, their children in particular, to have the same life chances as the settled community, illegal encampments are a huge issue for many law-abiding citizens across the country and need to be addressed.
In my last Westminster Diary article I welcomed government investment which will see Green Park train station delivered in my constituency. I also discussed the excellent transport infrastructure Reading now has thanks to hundreds of millions from central government poured into the area.
One of the many reasons businesses choose to invest in Reading are our excellent transport links to London, Heathrow and the rest of the country. And in recent years Reading has benefitted greatly from government investment in local road and rail infrastructure. Including at Reading station and with rail electrification and the Crossrail line to Reading underway.