I believe it is important to protect our local heritage and green spaces, both in Woodley, Earley and in the wider Reading and Berkshire area.
I am concerned that Reading’s historic gaol is at risk of being redeveloped as luxury flats, after the Government announced it would sell the site to the highest bidder.
I believe that our precious heritage should be preserved and that the prison should be used to promote the arts and the history of our town and the country as a whole.
Reading Gaol is known across the country and internationally as the place where Oscar Wilde was incarcerated. It is also the burial place of King Henry I and the site includes parts of Reading Abbey, once one of the largest monastic complexes in Medieval Europe.
It is a vital part of our heritage and it needs to be protected. That is why I am calling on the Government to rethink its mistaken approach, and to recognise the enormous value of this unique historic site.
I hope you will support this campaign by signing the petition calling for the prison to be protected and for it to become an arts and heritage hub.
I am working with a wide range of other local people and organisations and I hope that together we can press for a change of Government policy.
To sign the petition online please follow the link below:
Thank you for your help and support on this important issue.
Matt Rodda is the MP for Reading East, whose constituency includes parts of Woodley and Earley