MP urges Ministers to keep Royal Engineers in Ripon beyond 2017

Julian has praised the weekend’s celebrations of Ripon’s links to the military in the House of Commons.

He also asked for an update on the plans to close the City’s Claro Barracks and urged the Ministry of Defence to explore options that would keep 21 Engineers based in the city further into the future.

Mr Smith said:

"On Saturday, the Royal Engineers celebrated their freedom of the city of Ripon with the most incredible display of kit and personnel, and the corps band played brilliantly at the beating of the retreat. If there is any opportunity to keep the Royal Engineers in Ripon for a minute longer, for half a year longer or for decades longer, we will take it. May I urge Ministers to keep thinking of Ripon as they look at the rebasing strategy?"

In response, Dr Andrew Murrison, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, said:

"May I join my hon. Friend in congratulating the Royal Engineers on their achievements overall and, in particular, on gaining the freedom of the city of Ripon. He knows, because we have discussed it, that I plan to visit Ripon shortly, and I look forward to that very much. I would like to be able to give him some comfort on his question, but the Army basing plan is a highly credible document that will right-size the Army for the future and so I want to manage his expectations."