AT the beginning of this week, the House of Commons held a debate on the Cystic Fibrosis drug Orkambi, which is not currently licensed for use in the UK. NHS England is locked in negotiations with the US firm that makes it and, despite offering the largest sum ever for a drug, has so far been unable to reach a deal.

As a result, a vigorous campaign is underway to bring these discussions to a head. I completely understand the urgency. Several months ago, I met parents of children with CF, who are desperate to see the drug available on the NHS. Their concern is not just to obtain Orkambi but also to build a strong relationship with the manufacturer, so that UK patients have the opportunity to benefit from the wider potential of this developing family of drugs.

As a Treasury minister, I am not eligible to speak from the backbenches, but I took the opportunity before the debate to speak in person to Health minister Steve Brine about the government’s ambitions for the ongoing efforts to obtain Orkambi.

The minister assured me that the government is considering all options to influence the negotiations and emphatically wants nothing more than to see Orkambi approved for use at a fair cost to the NHS. I - and many of my colleagues on all sides of the House - realise that it cannot happen fast enough for the families of young CF sufferers.

Moving to another issue, I have received a number of emails from constituents worried about the proposed move of the library in Salisbury. I can understand concerns and certainly communication could have been better from Wiltshire Council.

But as a city, we need to be ambitious and approach this with a ‘can do’ attitude. There is a pressing need to modernise our library and the redevelopment of the Maltings provides us with the perfect opportunity to secure a quantum leap in the quality of our library in Salisbury.

With certain parallels to the Brexit debate, for some reason, we often find it easier to articulate what we are against instead of what we are for. It would be a sad state of affairs indeed to kill off the vision for a transformational new cultural quarter because the proposed temporary location for the library is 6,000 square feet instead of 7,000! We need to keep our eye on the long term opportunities new investment in Salisbury can offer our community.