On 7 November 2016, I received a letter from the Minister for Defence for Veterans, Reserves and Personnel informing me of the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) intention to close Woolwich Barracks by 2028 as part of its strategy for the UK’s Defence Estate.
Notice of the MOD’s intention to dispose of Woolwich Barracks came as a shock to me, to many local residents, and also, no doubt, many of the military personnel that serve there. This is not least because the MOD has considered disposing of Woolwich Barracks on more than one occasion since the early 1990s and has determined on each to retain and redevelop the site.
I oppose the Government’s decision to close the Barracks.
I secured an end-of-day adjournment debate in Parliament on 20 December 2016 in order to make the case for retaining the Barracks in Woolwich. You can watch that debate here.
In that debate, I secured a commitment from the Defence Minister to look again at the decision in the New Year. To my great disappointment, the Minister replied to say that having re-examined the matter, the Government were still determined to press ahead with the closure.
I have absolutely no intention of giving up my campaign to keep the Barracks in Woolwich, and will continue to urge the Government to reconsider in the months and years ahead.