In an answer to a Parliamentary Question by Luke Pollard MP, the Government has admitted that the future of Stonehouse Barracks and the Royal Marines presence in the city won’t be confirmed until the second half of 2021 – nearly a year away.
The Government plans to close Stonehouse Barracks but has repeatedly pushed back the closure date from 2023 to 2027. Luke has repeatedly raised the future basing arrangements of the Royal Marines in Plymouth in debates and questions since being elected in 2017.
Luke Pollard said:
“When the Government u-turned on their promise to create a new Royal Marines superbase in Plymouth, I got very worried that they would keep kicking the future of Stonehouse Barracks into the long grass. I want to see our brilliant Royal Marines continue to be based in our city, close to the Royal Navy’s amphibious ships, and in first-class facilities.
“Stonehouse is the spiritual home of the Royal Marines and my preference would be to update the base, but we do need a plan from the MOD. Building a new base at Bull Point, for instance, would take time and if that is the plan. I want to see them get on with this work. We must not allow Ministers to move the Royal Marines out of Plymouth because I fear they would never return if that happens.
“As the local MP for Stonehouse, I have been pressing Ministers for a plan and I’m pleased we now have a timetable for the future of the barracks and the Royal Marines. I will hold Ministers to that timetable, but they’ve delayed and delayed before. We must not have any further delays. The Royal Marines are a source of enormous pride for our city and our country and I want to keep them in Plymouth.”