Decision to close Glencorse barracks ‘Closure by stealth’

Tuesday November 8th 2016

Glencorse Barracks

Glencorse barracks, Penicuik

Midlothian’s SNP political leaders have said the announcement of yet more cuts in Scotland’s defence estate, including the closure of Glencorse Barracks, is ‘a worrying blow and worse than expected’.

The latest round of cuts to jobs, bases and barracks in Scotland has been long awaited and with very little consultation.

The MoD has now confirmed that another 8 locations in Scotland are set to go in the latest round of Tory cuts, as the cost of Trident escalates out of any kind of control.

Owen Thompson, MP for Midlothian said:

“The decision to close Glencorse has the feeling of closure by stealth, there was no indication it was coming. There was no mention of it in the Ministers statement or in response to my direct question to the Secretary of State.

“The decision to close the base in Penicuik will have a serious and detrimental impact on the local community, and economy, where our troops and their families have been embraced and welcomed, not to mention numerous civilian jobs now clearly at risk.

“It is a disgrace that the MOD can take this decision without consulting with the local community and is yet another example of why we can’t trust the Tories to look out for Scotland’s interests.

“These announcements are yet another worrying blow and worse than expected. The UK government has made this another bleak day for defence in Scotland, and for the communities affected by the Glencorse closure.”

Christine Grahame MSP said: 

“The closure of the barracks at Glencorse, home to the Royal Highland Fusiliers, is a devastating blow for our community in Penicuik, and will have an incredibly damaging impact on the local economy.

“This betrayal of Penicuik from the UK government proves the complete and utter disregard that the Tories have for protecting jobs and communities in Scotland. Not only will we lose countless jobs at the Glencorse Barracks, but the local economy will also suffer from the decline in population that helps to keep our shops, pubs and cafes thriving.

“That the Tories would rather spend hundreds of billions of pounds on the obsolete Trident nuclear weapons rather than maintaining the conventional defence forces across Scotland, including at Glencorse, is an act of betrayal beyond comprehension.” 

“I have also today lodged a Parliamentary motion  condemning the closure and understand my colleagues at Midlothian council are also tabling a motion.”

Motion lodged by Christine Grahame in the Scottish Parliament:

“That this Parliament notes with concern the announced closure of 8 out of 22 military sites in Scotland including the army barracks at Glencorse near Penicuik; notes that there was no consultation over this closure which will have serious consequences for the local economy; considers that this must be a body blow to the service personnel, their families and civilian staff at the barracks; further considers that the purported “saving” of £140 million to the MOD from these closures pales into insignificance when measured against the replacement cost of Trident running into £250 billion; calls upon the UK Government to rescind this decision callously made in the very week Scotland the rest of the UK remembers those servicemen and women who died in our wars.”

Councillor Catherine Johnstone, leader of Midlothian Council said:

“The local community are going to be faced with economic uncertainty as the Glencorse base winds down.

“Trident renewal is veering out of any financial control and conventional defence spending is plundered because of the Tories’ utter incompetence and communities all round Scotland are now paying for it.

“Once again the promises given by Tory politicians about defence in Scotland before the independence referendum ring hollow.

“These cuts prove beyond any doubt that the Tory UK government cannot be trusted with the defence of Scotland.”

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