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MP's disappointment at barracks' closure

The MP for Skipton and Ripon has expressed his disappointment at the Ministry of Defence’s proposals to close Claro Barracks in Ripon, which currently houses 21 Engineer Regiment and 15 Field Squadron (Search).

Ripon has a proud military history and the City has always given the servicemen and women, and their families, who are based here the warmest of welcomes. I pay tribute to the City Council, Cathedral, Harrogate Borough Council and the many other people and organisations who have provided this support.

“During the First World War, Ripon accommodated 30,000 soldiers as one of the main centres for the organisation of troops being sent to and returning from the Front. Ripon was also where the great war poet Wilfred Owen wrote many of his most famous works.

I will be meeting Defence Ministers and doing all I can to ensure that those currently based in Ripon and affected by this decision are given all the support possible. I will also be discussing how we deal with the impact the decision will have on the wider community and economy.

– Julian Smith MP for Skipton and Ripon

North Yorkshire barracks to close

Catterick Garrison is safe Credit: Calendar news

A shake-up of Army bases to speed up the return of of all troops from Germany will mean the disposal of seven sites across the country, including one in North Yorkshire.

Carlo Barracks in Ripon is to go, although there is good news for Catterick Garrison, also in North Yorkshire, where further investment is to be made at the base. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the changes would save £240 million a year in running costs .

Around 11,000 British troops based in Germany will return home by 2016 under plans which will see nearly £2 billion invested in Army housing and bases. The remaining 4,500 troops will be back in the UK by 2019, a year earlier than planned.

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Singing for soldiers

Children from a school in North Yorkshire are hoping to hit the right note with a charity single they have recorded to help former soldiers. The song was written by an ex-squaddie who runs a project in Catterick helping homeless veterans and those with mental health problems.

North Yorkshire Veterans' charity wins national award

A housing and training centre in North Yorkshire for armed forces leavers at risk of homelessness has won a national award.

The Beacon in Catterick won the award for partnership working at the Regeneration And Renewal Awards.

We are extremely proud to be able to offer veterans a state-of-the-art facility where they can get the specialist support they need to transform their lives. We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award. It is testament to the commitment of all the partners involved."

– Claire O'Shea, Project Supervisor

HGV driver killed in A1 crash

An HGV driver was killed in a crash,which closed the A1 south of Catterick, yesterday.

The crash involved three heavy goods vehicles travelling northbound. North Yorkshire Police said the victim was a 38-year-old man from the Stockton-on-Tees area.

A 58-year-old man from North Lincolnshire, who was driving one of the other vehicles, is being treated at Darlington Memorial Hospital. His condition is described as critical but stable

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