AN IMMEDIATE ASSURANCE must be given by the Ministry of Defence over the future of Kinloss Barracks.
That is the view being expressed today by Angus Robertson MP, who was first to reveal that the Moray base was under consideration under a nationwide defence land sale review.
Today Mr Robertson says that he has written directly to the Prime Minister seeking her assurance that a military presence will remain at Kinloss.
He highlighted that a prior promise by the MoD to consult with the local community before taking any final position has already been reversed – and points the Prime Minister to the relatively short time that has passed since the base was vacated by the RAF with promises made over future basing of Army personnel on the site.
The Moray MP said today: “The risk of closure of Kinloss Barracks such a short period of time after the basing of 39 Regiment there is deeply concerning.
“Promises were made by the Conservatives over the basing of army personnel at Kinloss after the untimely ending of the Nimrod programme and it would be a complete betrayal to go back on those promises just a few short years later.
“I have emphasised to the Prime Minister the level of support in our local communities for our military personnel and their families and the fact that it would be foolish to ignore the importance of that.
“The strong links between our bases and the local communities is a major strength for both Moray and for the MoD. That strength has been built up over many decades with military families making their life here and settling in to the community as their permanent home.
“The mutual support that endures from those link should not be underestimated and should be considered as a major positive by the MoD instead of the constant uncertainty that is coming from successive reviews.
“It is not conducive to good defence and it is not conducive to a strong local economy.”
The MoD are expected to announce this month if the land at Kinloss will be included in their deliberations as they seek to sell off surplus land so that the proceeds can be re-invested for other defence purposes.
However, insideMoray continues to understand that the land at Kinloss, should it be placed on the market, would have to first be offered to its original owners. There are further issues with contamination of the land that would also require to be addressed at great cost should the MoD decide to vacate the base entirely.