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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

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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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Witness appeal after soldier assaulted in Catterick

Police are investigating a serious assault on a soldier at Catterick Garrison.

The 22-year-man was attacked by a group of approximately six people as he walked to a fast food outlet on the Garrison in the early hours of Sunday 15 July 2012.

The assault happened at around 04.35 as the victim approached the White shops on Catterick Roadafter leaving Louis’ Bar on Kitchener Road moments earlier.

He was initially taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital with a suspected fractured eye socket and nose, and bruising to his head, neck and back.

He was later transferred to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough but has since been released.

This was a disgraceful attack on a passer-by which has resulted in serious facial injuries. I need to find out exactly what happened and am appealing to anyone who witnessed the incident or knows anything about it to contact me as soon as possible.

– PC Nicola Pattinson, Catterick Safer Neighbourhood Team
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