Gosport MP, Caroline Dinenage, today welcomed the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans The Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, to her constituency to visit several MOD sites.
Caroline and the Minister were joined by representatives from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and Gosport Borough Council for a tour of HMS Sultan, Fort Blockhouse and MOD retained land at Royal Clarence Yard.
The visit came in the wake of the Ministry of Defence plans for "A Better Defence Estate" published in November 2016 which includes the disposal of 91 sites, including two, HMS Sultan and Fort Blockhouse, which are in Gosport
For centuries the Gosport Peninsular has played a key role in serving the armed forces, and particularly the Royal Navy, with the facilities to accommodate, train, feed, equip, arm and prepare for their vital roles. Despite substantial sites like Haslar Hospital and HMS Daedalus being sold off in the last 20 years, approximately 21% of land in Gosport still remains in MOD ownership.
Speaking after the Minister's visit, Caroline said:
"I invited the Minister to visit Gosport to show him how important this area is to the armed forces and particularly the Royal Navy. I am keen to see sites such as Fort Blockhouse and the remaining section of Royal Clarence Yard released by the MoD in a way which will maximise local economic benefits, creating jobs and prosperity. But I also took the opportunity to discuss alternatives to the proposed disposal of HMS Sultan and make a strong case to the Minister that its sale would be to the detriment of Gosport, the Royal Navy and the MoD."
Defence Minister, Tobias Ellwood MP, said:
"I was please to visit Gosport to confirm the symbiotic relationship that the military has with Gosport, historically with the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force being here and also to learn more about what's happening in Gosport now. I am pleased to confirm that this relationship will continue."