STAFF at PHE Porton, formerly the Health Protection Agency, have been told that their board is pressing ahead with plans to move the facility to Harlow in Essex.

MP John Glen is meeting Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt this afternoon to protest and ask for a rethink.

Public Health England has been wanting for some years to consolidate all its facilities in Essex but hopes rose at Porton in 2012 after the Government put off a decision, asking for more work to be done on the business plan.

Now news of the impending loss of 550 jobs from the area comes just a week after the Government announced funding for a new science park at Porton, saying it would create 2,000 new jobs in south Wiltshire.

Mr Glen has been trying in vain to question Prime Minister David Cameron about the decision in Parliament this week. He said: “This is not joined-up thinking.”