Rob Wilson's Westminster Diary: June 19, 2012
Published 20 Jul 2012 09:30 0 Comments
Westminster rose for the summer recess on Tuesday, but not before the Government made a number of highly significant announcements for Reading.
The railway, over the decades has been a positive force for good for the town. The fact that Reading has been a hub station has assisted us economically and meant that businesses, jobs and wealth have arrived here in important numbers.
The upgrade of Reading Station and now the £500m for a Western Access link to our major airport, will once again assure Reading's place at the top table for economic wealth in the Thames Valley and across the country. Due to its importance, it was something (once Reading Station was underway) that I wanted to target.
Even though I thought it would be a tricky assignment after getting the nearly £900m for the station redevelopment, I wanted to ensure Reading had every possible chance in the coming decades of being at the centre of wealth generation.
My vision for Reading is that we need to be at the centre of all major economic developments. In a very competitive national and international environment for private companies, Reading cannot afford to sit still and our transport links were beginning to let us down.
Companies were beginning to think again about being here. With the successful culmination of my Heathrow Access campaign, there should be no more talk of companies leaving and I hope we will be able to take many car journeys off the road.
But my vision for Reading is not just about transport links, essential as these are. We must improve our skills, which it why the investment I secured for the University Technical College, opening next year, is so strategically important.
Generating additional engineering and computing skills in close co-operation with business is going to be a major step forward. But we also need to entice international business to Reading through an investment in ultra fast broadband, so that we match the highest speeds anywhere in the world. There is money for this, but we as a town need to bid for it.
These investments are strategically important to the long-term future of Reading. It is only with world class businesses in Reading that we will generate the wealth and the jobs that we all want to see.
These will give people the life-style they want and hopefully the job satisfaction they desire. Reading today has never been in a better position to be successful.
We can all look to the future with a real sense of optimism.