Occasionally issues are debated in Westminster on which, whatever the party politics at the fringes, the core issue has overwhelming support. One such last week was on Police Officer safety. The debate was given extra edge by a dreadful attack on a police officer that morning in Lancashire and the maiden speech of Tracy Brabin who has succeeded the late Jo Cox MP. Across the House there were demands for harsher sentences for attacks on police officers. The Minister responding promised that the independent Sentencing Council will be made aware of the huge strength of feeling on this issue. We rely on the police and an attack on individual police officers doing their duty is an attack on society as a whole.
Elsewhere Parliament is focussing increasingly on BREXIT and its implications. In economic terms there has been some positive news - growth has been revised upwards for next year from 0.6% to 1.4% by the Bank of England. I have conducted two recent roundtable discussions with local businesses and I am very keen to hear first hand concerns (and opportunities) around BREXIT and reaction to all the recent economic news.
Horsham is especially focussed on the service sector but also has a large range of very successful high value added manufacturing and distribution businesses. One such firm I recently visited was Fisher Clinical Services, a leading international pharmaceutical packaging, storage and distribution company providing specialist clinical trials for new medications. Since their local establishment in 1996 with just five employees they have seen growth each year and currently employ over 800 people making the company one of Horsham’s largest employers. With an impressive turnover of around £150 million each year, plans are in place to continue their impressive growth. It is a classic quiet success story on our doorstep and in an cutting edge area of development.
I am always keen to hear from local businesses and this process is always helpful in best appreciating how the dynamic local and broader UK economy can best be supported through the forthcoming EU negotiations and beyond.