Edinburgh MSP calls for clarity over barracks

The SNP has condemned the MoD after it refused to deny or clarify media reports about a potential u-turn on the closure of the army barracks at Redford and Dreghorn and the HQ at Craigiehall in Edinburgh.

SNP MSP for Edinburgh Pentlands Gordon MacDonald wrote to Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence, expressing his concerns following news reports the MoD will no longer close Edinburgh's historic army barracks.

But in his reply, Mr Robathan said it was “not possible” to provide a more detailed response.

Mr MacDonald, said:

“The MoD is playing with the future of these communities.

“After a potential u-turn was leaked to the media, I wrote to the Minister of Defence but his reply failed to address any of my or my constituents’ concerns.

“The MoD is refusing to deny or clarify these reports – but we need assurances the army homes will stay put.

“With the MoD appearing to keep changing its mind, there is no guarantee for the army homes and but if they go this would be devastating for the local community.

“These barracks have a huge impact on the community, bringing jobs and supporting local businesses.”

Richard Lewis, SNP council candidate for Colinton - Fairmilehead, said:

“Colinton and Oxgangs deserve more than rumours printed in the press.

"The Tories need to stop playing with the future of these communities and put an end to the uncertainty and speculation they have created.

“Local businesses have expressed concern about the MoD’s inconsistent approach.

"Redford and Dreghorn are part of the history and character of Colinton but they have become a victim of the Tory chancellor's cuts agenda.”

Dennis Williams, owner of Broadway Convenience Store in Oxgangs, said:
"As one of many local businesses who benefit from custom from Dreghorn and Redford Barracks, both from the soldiers and their families, we find the uncertainty over the future very unsatisfactory.

“It impacts on our business plans, and at a time of on-going economic uncertainty, it would be helpful to at least have a decision. Everyone you speak to has a different story and opinion on which way the decision will go, and it does cast a pall over what is a very close-knit community.”

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