Chester MP, Chris Matheson, cautiously welcomed the announcement made by the Ministry of Defence this week to delay the closure of Dale barracks which he argues will give Ministers more time to change their decision.
Chris continues his campaign to prevent the closure of Dale barracks in Chester, which has been the depot of the Cheshire Regiment since 1939.
In a recent parliamentary debate, Chris welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Defence to delay the closure of Dale barracks, viewing it as an opportunity to recognise the vital role played by the Dale barracks in our community and for its nationwide operational reach. He said: “This delay provides time for Ministers to reconsider the importance of Dale barracks and hopefully reverse their decision to close it.”
Chris said: “The Minister is absolutely right to talk about the importance of links between local communities and their service personnel. Nowhere is that more true than in Chester.”
“Retention rates are higher; accommodation is of a higher quality: social infrastructure—for example, schools—is well built up to support our service personnel; and the operational footprint in the north-west needs to be maintained to maintain operational efficiency.”
“Chester is a historic garrison city and I am proud of our long association with the British Army”.
“We like having the army in Chester and the army likes being in Chester. We have not lost this battle yet, and I will continue to fight to prevent the closure of the historic Dale barracks.”
In the revised plan, the Ministry of Defence have delayed the closure until 2027. In the meantime, the Army will continue to rotate infantry battalions through the Barracks with 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment moving in during 2022 when 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment replaces them in Cyprus.
Chris hopes to take a group of army personnel who have served in Dale barracks to meet the Minister for Defence in the near future.