WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE EXAMINATION OF MILITARY BASES IN SCOTLAND TAKES OFF

Scottish Affairs Committee examining defence in Scotland

  

This will look at how the current restructuring of the UK’s defence capabilities, for example as announced in the MoD Command Paper ‘Defence in a competitive age’, could affect local communities in Scotland.

At present, over 13,000 people are employed in more than 50 Ministry of Defence installations around Scotland. The numbers empl,koyed at Faslane and Coulport are estimated to be around 10,000.

However, in 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced that it would reduce the size of the defence estate by 30% by 2040 with Scottish bases in Stirling and Rosyth both facing closure in 2022, and others to follow.

The Committee is keen to explore the impact the UK’s changing defence priorities – including base closures, but also new military infrastructure investments – will have on communities in Scotland, and whether the UK Government should be offering any additional support to those affected.

The Committee is also seeking views about the role military installations in Scotland have in supporting the UK’s international alliances.

The Committee is inviting written submissions by Monday 4 October. These should focus on, but not be limited to: 

  • What impacts are the UK’s changing defence priorities having on investment, employment and communities in Scotland?
  • How important are military installations in Scotland for supporting the UK’s international military alliances?
  • How well are Scottish people and places represented in the UK military?
  • How have recent military infrastructure investments affected employment and communities in Scotland?
  • How might planned military personnel reductions and estate reductions affect employment and communities in Scotland? What impacts are already occurring from planned reductions/closures?
  • Should the UK Government offer any additional support to individuals and communities affected?

Scottish Affairs Committee Chairman, SNP MP Pete Wishart, said:  “Military personnel and their families in Scotland face an uncertain few years with base closures and a reduction of the defence estate. With two bases – in Stirling and in Rosyth – set to close next year, our Committee is considering what impact the MoD’s plans will have on communities in Scotland, and whether the UK Government should be offering more support to those affected.”

Meanwhile, one reader of the Journal has written this letter to the editor: “Here we go. Lets debate the topic at hand and not resort to the usual Scotland bashing please.

“My view is that whenever bases are closed or repurposed the MOD / Government should have an obligation to ensure that communities continue to have job opportunities, not to just sell the land for housing.

“Sell to the right buyer, not just the highest bidder. That or just stop selling off bases in the first place.”

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