Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 19th February 2020

19th February 2020

19th February 2020

I was delighted to continue in my role as City Minister in the recent reshuffle and look forward to a busy time ahead helping the new Chancellor prepare for his first budget.

No sooner had the reshuffle dust settled than we were into a week’s recess.

Many people still believe that recess means MPs are on holiday. Far from it.

A recess simply means that Parliament is not sitting – ie: no legislation is being passed.

Other activities carry on unabated including ministerial visits and meetings and, of course, most of us take the opportunity to spend more time in our constituencies.

On Tuesday, I was back in Salisbury for a series of meetings from which an unexpected common theme emerged – the need for city centre premises.

A church leader and a group of GPs presented the same dilemma – it is difficult to grow and achieve all the good in the community that they would like to without suitable premises yet, time and time again, potential sites have to be ruled out because of public opposition.

Infrastructure matters – it supports the people who already live here and it helps communities and businesses to thrive.

Of course, inappropriate development is unwelcome – that which does not meet a proven need or would do more harm than good.

But we must reason with those who are opposed to all development on any terms and yet still seem to reserve the right to complain about the status quo.

I see it as a key part of my job to attract investment to Salisbury – to ensure that opportunities, grants and funding come our way, rather than elsewhere.

But, sometimes it happens that we have the resources we need already here, but they are struggling to unlock their potential.

Whether they are doctors who want to be able to see more patients near to where they live or churches ready and willing to expand their community outreach or businesses keen to take on more employees, sometimes what is needed to make it happen is infrastructure – a new building, a bit more parking or better access through road improvements.

I think it is important to find the will to see the big picture when it comes to recognising and facilitating modest change that contributes to the public good.

In the meantime, I will be speaking to relevant officials on behalf of the organisations that have contacted me and I hope that suitable sites can be found soon.

Posted by John Glen at 11:23am

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