Seven Army barracks hit as soldiers move into 'clusters' - but Scotland complains of broken promises

 

A major military restructuring programme announced today will mean that four barracks across the country are closed and three others shrunk - leading to accusations that Scotland in particular will suffer in the process.

The move takes place to provide accommodation for up to 15,500 troops and their famillies being relocated from Germany. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted that despite a capital outlay of almost £1.8billion pounds the strategy will, in time, lead to savings of £240millon a year.

The troops returning from what was the British Army on the Rhine will be placed in clusters around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars, Catterick, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and the East Midlands.

Under the drawdown plan from Germany around 11,000 will return home by 2016 and the remaining 4,500 troops will be back by 2019, a year earlier than planned.

Up to £1billion of funding will be go towards 1,900 new houses for service families and accommodation for 7,800 single soldiers with another £800 million will be spent on infrastructure and refurbishment of bases. Mr Hammond stated that this significant cash injection will boost the economy, rejuvenating areas in need of investment.

The Defence Secretary acknowledged that far fewer of the forces coming back will be based in Scotland than had been expected. But he maintained that north of the border would still have "a little bit more than its fair share" of military personnel based on the size of its population.

Labour defence spokesman Jim Murphy accused Mr Hammond of reneging on a promise to base more troops in Scotland. He said: "There will be real disappointment at the closures across the UK where historic bonds are now being broken. The armed forces remain crucial to Scotland's future the Government has reneged on its promise.

“While there is positive news of the return of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the Royal Marines staying in Arbroath, a previous pledge of thousands more troops to Scotland has become a plan for just hundreds. It is a real blow to Scotland and will not be forgotten."

The bases being sold off are Claro Barracks, Ripon, North Yorkshire;  Howe Barracks, Canterbury;Craigiehall Barracks in Edinburgh; Cawdor Barracks in Brawdy, Pembrokeshire and parts of Redford Barracks, Edinburgh; Forthside Barracks, Stirling; and Copthorne Barracks, Shrewsbury.

Mr Hammond stressed the base closers have been largely necessitated by the cut in the size of the Army. He said:“Of course, we are very sensitive to the fact that many of our military units have very close connections with the communities they have often been embedded with for long periods of time. There will be significant regret at the loss of those connections. There will be some loss of civilian jobs. That is inevitable when you reduce the size of the Army.”

General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the Army, said the move had been long overdue. “The plan provides an excellent springboard for operations and it affords welcome certainty over where people will live,” he said.

More than 30,000 British army family members in Germany

Tony Paterson in Berlin

There are 16,000 British army troops still based in Germany. Under the government’s current plan, 70 percent of them will have returned to the United Kingdom by 2015 with the remaining 4,300 going back by the end of 2019 – one year earlier than originally planned.

British forces are stationed in the west German States of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony in the towns of Herford where the headquarters of the Ist Armoured dvision is based. There are Brtish garrisons in the towns of Gütersloh, Hohne, Paderborn and at the Rhinedahlen military complex near the city of Mönchengladbach.

There are over 30,000 British army family members in Germany. Their presence is estimated to contribute some 1.5 billion Euros to the German economy each year. The mayors of Germany’s British garrison towns, where the army established bases in 1945, say they deeply regret the troop withdrawal. 

Worst hit by the draw down are expected to be the towns of  Paderborn, where some 10,000 British troops and their dependants are based and Herford which is home to 2,200 soldiers and their families. 

Also severely affected will be the Rhinedahlen military complex, a miniature army town, which was built to accommodate 7,000 troops. It is scheduled to close by the end of 2017.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor