This week is my first full week away from Parliament and I spent most of my time visiting local businesses, individual constituents and holding one-to-one meetings.
My main office in Brown Street will be open throughout the recess, and I will be answering email over the holiday period.
However, the Parliamentary recess does offer valuable time to catch up on research and writing which is often not possible in the hectic schedule of Parliament.
This week, I visited Hedley Davis Court and St Paul’s Club on Devizes Road. A visit to Broad Chalke show with Emma and the children on Saturday afternoon will be a pleasant end to the week.
I am still reflecting on what conclusions we should draw from the phone-hacking scandal which seems to have engulfed the national press. Although I expect the judge-led inquiry and police investigation to get to the truth, bring guilty parties to justice and establish new norms around how politicians, the police and the media relate to one another, my bigger concern is around how the economy gets back on its feet.
I share the frustration of Business Secretary, Vince Cable, as we see growth figures which are slow to improve. Sadly, it rather underscores the fact that problems created when a government spends way beyond its means cannot be fixed overnight. Rather like a credit card which has maxed out – and the minimum payment on monthly interest alone becomes a significant line item of monthly expenditure – the need to deal with the debt has to be the top priority.
Following my visit to Crusader Carpets in Landford last Friday, I am also sure there is an urgent need to relieve small businesses from expensive regulation, burdensome and unnecessary health and safety rules as well as deliver lower business taxes as an incentive to investment for future growth.