Member of Parliament for the Reading East Matt Rodda talks about the year ahead in this week's In My View:

FIRSTLY, I want to thank local residents for supporting in the recent General Election, it is an honour and a huge privilege to represent local people in Parliament.

Although it no longer dominates the headlines, Brexit will remain a very serious issue which won’t end when we leave on January 31.

I am concerned that the Government has allowed just one year for further negotiations about a future trading relationship once we leave the EU at the end of the month.

I believe that it could be very difficult to negotiate a future relationship in just one year, when the average trade deal takes seen years.

And, I am concerned that as a result we could crash out with no deal at the end of 2020.

I will be doing all I can in Parliament to stand up for Reading and Woodley to oppose this disastrous prospect for our community and the country.

The news that Reading Borough Council has agreed to bid for Reading Gaol to turn it into an arts and heritage hub was an important boost for the campaign to preserve this historical site.

The Gaol is one of Reading’s most historic buildings. I believe it is a world heritage site and that it should be preserved for local people and visitors as an arts and heritage hub.

I am proud to have campaigned to save the Gaol and I am pleased that the council has listened to the campaign I have run with residents.

The fact that 8,000 people signed the petition to save the Gaol shows the enormous strength of support for saving this historic site.

Going forward, in response to a question I asked in Parliament the Prisons Minister has agreed to meet with me, where I will continue to make the case for the Gaol site to be returned to the people of Reading.

I will also bring this matter up in Parliament if I am given the chance. I welcome constituents continuing to get in touch with me with their views on this.

If you would like to contact me with a question or concern, please email me at