Julian Smith, the MP for Skipton and Ripon, says the closure of Claro Barracks in Ripon is a sad day for the city. He has asked Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to accompany him on a vist to the area to see for himself what effect the loss woud have.
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.
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.