Judge the Minister for Portsmouth on his performance, says union leader

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon
Chancellor Philip Hammond holding his red ministerial box outside 11 Downing Street, London, before heading to the House of Commons to deliver his Budget

City Labour MP slams budget for ‘failing Portsmouth’

0
Have your say

AN MP chosen to become a Minister for Portsmouth should be judged on his performance, a union leader has said.

Gary Cook, the GMB regional officer, says he welcomes the appointment of a senior politician to help the city provided he shows results.

It comes after the extraordinary appointment of Michael Fallon to help Portsmouth bounce back from the loss of naval shipbuilding.

As reported in The News, MPs, councillors, and union leaders in the city had called for a minister to help co-ordinate efforts to boost Portsmouth’s maritime industry.

Gary Cook said: ‘We will have to suck it and see. You tend to become a bit sceptical and cynical in these situations, but we welcome any positive news if it’s going to help the people in Portsmouth and the shipbuilders.

‘We will judge him on his performance. If this really can pull things together then clearly, we welcome it. Let’s see the whites of his eyes and sit down with him and find out what he can do and what he can bring to the party.

‘We don’t want a co-ordinator, we want a decision-maker and a doer.

‘He can certainly start talking to the Ministry of Defence because clearly, there are skills that are earmarked to go.

‘Is the MoD going to make these facilities in the dockyard available for prospective businesses that may want to use the skills that are available?

‘If he is going to be the link between us and the people who are going to make things happen, then great because the MoD isn’t talking to anyone.’

n The News would like to hear questions you would ask the new Minister for Portsmouth.

If you have a question for Mr Fallon, email 
sam.bannister@thenews.co.uk.