MP calls for rethink over Porton move

MP calls for rethink over Porton move

MP calls for rethink over Porton move

First published in News by , Reporter

SALISBURY MP John Glen has called for the Public Health England (PHE) to keep its state of the art medical facility at Porton Down instead of moving it to Harlow.

During a debate in Parliament he called for the Salisbury site to form a science corridor with the University of Southampton and Oxford to help continue leading the way in scientific research.

He said: “Imagine if the ambition of the universities of Oxford and Southampton to create a second corridor of excellence to rival Cambridge and London could be fostered.

“The project is not some blue-sky ambition proposed at the last moment, either. “There are signed expressions of interest from two multinational pharmaceutical companies and SMEs across the region.

“It is not a new project but one that has developed from existing working relationships.

“The University of Southampton, for example, is involved in more than 30 projects with PHE Porton, such as the one awarded $1.4 million by the US National Institute of Health last month to continue its groundbreaking work on tuberculosis treatments.”

It is feared that PHE will move the facility to Harlow due to its close links with both Cambridge and London.

Mr Glen also pointed out that many of the highly qualified scientists at Porton would be unwilling to move to a new location in Essex.

He added: “PHE Porton has some 3,750 years of scientific acumen relating to infectious disease in its ranks.

“Almost half of those individuals are operating above PhD level. PHE argues that new staff can easily be moved or recruited to Harlow and that it is a desirable place to work, but the fact remains that, when the staff at Porton were last surveyed, just 7 per cent, or one in 14, were inclined and prepared to move.”

Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, responded by saying that the facilities at Porton Down need upgrading if they are to remain a centre on scientific research in the UK.

She said: “Scientists have been doing invaluable work at Porton Down since the 1950s, but its buildings are more than 60 years old and, based on independent surveys of the estate, they are increasingly unfit for purpose.

“We need to find a solution to that problem to ensure that this vital work is able to continue in top quality facilities.”

Comments (8)

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4:27am Fri 5 Sep 14

karlmarx says...

“Scientists have been doing invaluable work at Porton Down since the 1950s, but its buildings are more than 60 years old and, based on independent surveys of the estate, they are increasingly unfit for purpose."

Where have we heard that statement before 'unfit for purpose'? Salisbury police station, now gone. Shame the Right Honourable didn't kick up such a fuss and try to defend the police station as well. Well, live and learn (violent crime rate in Salisbury rising)
“Scientists have been doing invaluable work at Porton Down since the 1950s, but its buildings are more than 60 years old and, based on independent surveys of the estate, they are increasingly unfit for purpose." Where have we heard that statement before 'unfit for purpose'? Salisbury police station, now gone. Shame the Right Honourable didn't kick up such a fuss and try to defend the police station as well. Well, live and learn (violent crime rate in Salisbury rising) karlmarx
  • Score: 6

3:45pm Fri 5 Sep 14

RNBanerji says...

Unfortunately, our MP could be doing better. My suggestion to him is to utilise cabinet ministers Norman Lamb and Vince Cable into the campaign to save PHE Porton. Both Liberal Democrats for Health and Business and Enterprise respectively, would be hugely beneficial, ensuring Salisbury's jobs and scientists remain in Salisbury.

The tory MP for Harlow is described by his boss, the Chancellor, as a 'brilliant campaigner'. I have written to both cabinet ministers mentioned, to assit Salisbury keep it's scientists here. I trust John will follow my lead and confirm he has their backing before it becomes too late.

Reetendra Nath Banerji.
Liberal Democrat PPC for Salisbury.
Unfortunately, our MP could be doing better. My suggestion to him is to utilise cabinet ministers Norman Lamb and Vince Cable into the campaign to save PHE Porton. Both Liberal Democrats for Health and Business and Enterprise respectively, would be hugely beneficial, ensuring Salisbury's jobs and scientists remain in Salisbury. The tory MP for Harlow is described by his boss, the Chancellor, as a 'brilliant campaigner'. I have written to both cabinet ministers mentioned, to assit Salisbury keep it's scientists here. I trust John will follow my lead and confirm he has their backing before it becomes too late. Reetendra Nath Banerji. Liberal Democrat PPC for Salisbury. RNBanerji
  • Score: -10

10:37pm Fri 5 Sep 14

salisbury_citizen says...

I really wish people would stop playing politics with Porton Down - I highly doubt Mr Banerji has ever visited it or indeed cared about the work that goes on there before he started trying to become an MP here.
I really wish people would stop playing politics with Porton Down - I highly doubt Mr Banerji has ever visited it or indeed cared about the work that goes on there before he started trying to become an MP here. salisbury_citizen
  • Score: 8

12:58am Sat 6 Sep 14

Grampie says...

salisbury_citizen wrote:
I really wish people would stop playing politics with Porton Down - I highly doubt Mr Banerji has ever visited it or indeed cared about the work that goes on there before he started trying to become an MP here.
John Glen probably didn't either before he was selected as a candidate.
[quote][p][bold]salisbury_citizen[/bold] wrote: I really wish people would stop playing politics with Porton Down - I highly doubt Mr Banerji has ever visited it or indeed cared about the work that goes on there before he started trying to become an MP here.[/p][/quote]John Glen probably didn't either before he was selected as a candidate. Grampie
  • Score: 3

11:37am Sat 6 Sep 14

karlmarx says...

RNBanerji wrote:
Unfortunately, our MP could be doing better. My suggestion to him is to utilise cabinet ministers Norman Lamb and Vince Cable into the campaign to save PHE Porton. Both Liberal Democrats for Health and Business and Enterprise respectively, would be hugely beneficial, ensuring Salisbury's jobs and scientists remain in Salisbury.

The tory MP for Harlow is described by his boss, the Chancellor, as a 'brilliant campaigner'. I have written to both cabinet ministers mentioned, to assit Salisbury keep it's scientists here. I trust John will follow my lead and confirm he has their backing before it becomes too late.

Reetendra Nath Banerji.
Liberal Democrat PPC for Salisbury.
Ah, but if the site and it's buildings are 'not fit for purpose', as was Salisbury police station, then we are at an impasse. Obviously you can't close one and keep another open because they have both been declared 'not fit for purpose' by their respective owners, the police force in the case of the police station and, PHE in the case of Porton Down.
They should both remain open or both close.
[quote][p][bold]RNBanerji[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately, our MP could be doing better. My suggestion to him is to utilise cabinet ministers Norman Lamb and Vince Cable into the campaign to save PHE Porton. Both Liberal Democrats for Health and Business and Enterprise respectively, would be hugely beneficial, ensuring Salisbury's jobs and scientists remain in Salisbury. The tory MP for Harlow is described by his boss, the Chancellor, as a 'brilliant campaigner'. I have written to both cabinet ministers mentioned, to assit Salisbury keep it's scientists here. I trust John will follow my lead and confirm he has their backing before it becomes too late. Reetendra Nath Banerji. Liberal Democrat PPC for Salisbury.[/p][/quote]Ah, but if the site and it's buildings are 'not fit for purpose', as was Salisbury police station, then we are at an impasse. Obviously you can't close one and keep another open because they have both been declared 'not fit for purpose' by their respective owners, the police force in the case of the police station and, PHE in the case of Porton Down. They should both remain open or both close. karlmarx
  • Score: 4

3:07pm Mon 8 Sep 14

PerplexedofSalisbury says...

One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible.

Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it.
One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible. Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it. PerplexedofSalisbury
  • Score: 5

2:03am Tue 9 Sep 14

karlmarx says...

PerplexedofSalisbury wrote:
One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible.

Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it.
It's a little off topic for this post but, the subject of being "unfit for purpose" in the case of Salisbury police station? Type into Google images Salisbury Police station in one browser window and then Wiltshire Police Headquarters in another window.
You will notice that the buildings are identical. One is "unfit for purpose" and the other, the Wiltshire Police Headquarters, is still there in Devizes, "fit for purpose", magic.

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
George Washington
[quote][p][bold]PerplexedofSalisbury[/bold] wrote: One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible. Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it.[/p][/quote]It's a little off topic for this post but, the subject of being "unfit for purpose" in the case of Salisbury police station? Type into Google images Salisbury Police station in one browser window and then Wiltshire Police Headquarters in another window. You will notice that the buildings are identical. One is "unfit for purpose" and the other, the Wiltshire Police Headquarters, is still there in Devizes, "fit for purpose", magic. “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” George Washington karlmarx
  • Score: 5

2:06pm Tue 9 Sep 14

Blackandred says...

PerplexedofSalisbury wrote:
One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible.

Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it.
I think you will find that there is a legitimate medical issue responsible for this degradation. The estate management staff, responsible for upkeep and maintenance will undoubtedly have developed severe myopia from all of the time spent staring at financial balance sheets in an attempt to make savings, all because we have had to subsidise the buffoons in the banking industry for the past 6-7 years. As a result, they probably couldn’t even see the ends of their noses, let alone the walls falling down and roofs blowing away.
[quote][p][bold]PerplexedofSalisbury[/bold] wrote: One day they were state of the art, then overnight, or perhaps over a long weekend, without any warning, both these facilities became "unfit for purpose". No one could have seen it coming and invested gradually. Nope. Impossible. Another indictment of short-term thinking and the political system that encourages and even rewards it.[/p][/quote]I think you will find that there is a legitimate medical issue responsible for this degradation. The estate management staff, responsible for upkeep and maintenance will undoubtedly have developed severe myopia from all of the time spent staring at financial balance sheets in an attempt to make savings, all because we have had to subsidise the buffoons in the banking industry for the past 6-7 years. As a result, they probably couldn’t even see the ends of their noses, let alone the walls falling down and roofs blowing away. Blackandred
  • Score: 4

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