Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has secured a debate in the House of Commons to discuss the plans to close 91 military bases across the UK. This is a key milestone in her fight to convince the Government to abandon its plans to close Invicta Park Barracks in Maidstone.
Helen made the application to the Backbench Business Committee, which was co-signed by MPs from across the House. The co-signatories were comprised of 6 Conservative, 3 Labour and 2 SNP members and represented constituencies across the Country from Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in the far North to Brecon and Radnorshire in the West.
Mrs Grant led and opened the committee hearing by setting out her firm view that it is essential that MPs have the opportunity to debate the proposed base closures before the Government implements the policy. The Committee also heard representations from Owen Thompson MP and Chris Davies MP who supported Helen in her attempts to convince the committee of the broad impact of the decision to close the bases.
Following the session the committee have allocated a debate to be held in parliament on Tuesday 21st February. It will last 90 minutes and will allow MPs from across the country to present their arguments opposing the base closures in their constituency to the Government Minister responsible.
Helen said, 'The decision to close 91 military bases up and down the UK will have an immense impact upon service personnel and communities across the country. I am delighted that the Backbench Business Committee have allocated time for this debate. It will provide a much needed opportunity for MPs to air their views and importantly will require the Minister to respond. The committee do not always approve the applications they receive for debates and so this is a great boost to our campaign to save Invicta Park Barracks'