THIS week saw the final two days in Parliament before the start of the summer recess. In Westminster, the traditional ‘end of term’ feeling manifests itself in a determined flurry of government announcements in order to get as much business as possible completed before MPs head back to their constituencies.
Last Friday, in among meetings and an advice surgery, it was a pleasure to be invited to celebrate the continuing outstanding success of Broad Chalke Primary School, and be given a tour by a group of engaging and confident Year 6 pupils.
For my own part, I kicked off my ‘holiday’ (as many in the media are keen to present it!) yesterday by catching the 6.30am train to Salisbury ahead of a full day of constituency engagements – catching up with two local businesses and meeting fellow supporters of Wiltshire’s developing bid to provide the site for a new science university in Wiltshire.
My key strategic priority for the constituency, outside the city itself, is to do everything I can to enable the further development of cutting edge scientific research involving the development of the science park concept at Porton.
On Tuesday I also met with Duncan Selbie, the new chief executive (designate) of Public Health England. We discussed the issues he has to consider around the current Health Protection Agency presence at Porton Down and I found his candid and straightforward approach most refreshing.
At this stage – and to those of us who passionately support the value of the worldclass and established expertise that Porton has to offer – it is encouraging to know that the future of the facility is now being overseen by someone who is committed to allowing reasoned inputs into the decision making process.
I am looking forward to getting away for a few days with my family, but I will be around and my office will remain open every day, so if you would like to get in touch or make an appointment to see me, don’t hesitate to call. I will be out and about across the constituency over the summer and will be keen to visit constituents throughout.