Rob delivers speech on Reading's city bid

Can I begin by congratulating my Hon Friend, and indeed friend, for securing this debate today.  He has set out with passion and in a compelling way why he believes Reading should become a City. As my Hon friend has covered much ground, I will limit my remarks today, and for the purpose of both viewers watching on the Parliamentary channel say that my views on Reading and City Status are well aired in detail elsewhere.

Rob speaks up for Reading station

Rob has intervened to ensure that the forthcoming redevelopment of Reading station includes the alterations necessary for Reading commuters to benefit from over £5 billion worth of investment in new trains and electrification for the Great Western and East Coast main lines.

The "Localism Agenda" and housing

I would like to shed some light on the Coalition Government’s plans for house-building, and how our localism agenda will work to deliver new housing. This is a big topic and criss-crosses a series of often highly technical issues. I therefore must begin with a caveat – with a position in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport - I am by no means able to provide high levels of technical detail, however as the local MP I am happy to share my thoughts on the broad policy perspective. But I also think it is important that politicians do more listening, and less talking. It has long been my philosophy and I hope that I will also learn about your frustrations and challenges.