I WAS bombarded last Thursday with media requests, asking for my thoughts on the ‘interview’ given by the two Russian individuals who stand accused of carrying out the attack on the Skripals.

My reaction was one of bemusement, as much as anything else.

Their frankly bizarre and stilted account of how they came to Salisbury to see the cathedral, only to be scared off by some light slush was ludicrous.

Fascinating as our ancient working clock is, as a basis for a whistle stop holiday and not one but two return train journeys from London, it doesn’t really stack up!

At least it did give me another opportunity to tell a great many national media about the many other reasons to come to Salisbury – and stay for a decent length of time!

Nevertheless, in the wake of this week’s short-lived scare at Prezzo, I remain of the opinion that the sooner we can put this appalling episode behind us and get back to normality, the better.

With the party conferences under way it was good to be able to spend some extra time in the constituency this week, connecting with head teachers about their future plans.

I met Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, in the Treasury at the beginning of the week and was pleased to welcome him to Salisbury for the local FSB’s networking barbecue.

The Salisbury group is an important stakeholder and, alongside the BID, the Chamber and others, does sterling work to promote the interests of south Wiltshire’s business community.

As well as talking about the challenges and opportunities for business in broad terms, it was good to have the opportunity to visit a couple of individual businesses with specific Brexit concerns.

The Chalke Valley mobile project is moving on apace and I was delighted to attend the test bed launch – an opportunity for the community to experience some functionality and get a real feel for how the scheme could work in practice.

I hope that seeing the technology in action will precipitate a wave of interest, both in Bowerchalke at first and in other communities that could benefit from replicating a similar model.