Local MSP Gordon MacDonald has called on Tory Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to reverse his predecessor’s proposals to close Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks by 2022.
Former Tory Defence Secretary Michael Fallon proposed eight military sites in Scotland as part of the Ministry of Defence’s drastic 20% cuts to Scotland’s defence estate, including Redford barracks, whilst committing to spend £205 billion renewing Trident.
A 2016 National Audit Office report found that the MoD’s proposed closures would not guarantee financial savings, concluding that the Ministry of Defence had increased costs over the long-term and risked the UK’s military capability by engaging in poorly planned cost cutting exercises and working from a confused long-term strategy.
SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald for Edinburgh Pentlands said:
“The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it – and that includes the massive cuts to Scotland’s defence footprint.
“It is little wonder a National Audit Office report concluded the MoD did not have a plan for the funding and delivery of an ‘optimised estate’ when vital investment is being taken away from Scotland’s conventional while hundreds of billions of pounds is committed to Trident nuclear weapons.
“Having raised the issue with MoD previously about the impact of the proposed closure of Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks – his department told me to write to Fife council. This shows a complete disregard for the jobs and communities in the south west of Edinburgh which depend on the bases.
“I want the Defence Secretary to reverse his predecessor’s unjustified and poorly planned decision to slash Scotland’s defence estate by 20% and end this damaging centralisation agenda that completely ignores the needs of Scotland.”