British Army in Wiltshire

I am proud to be standing to serve the constituency with the largest number of British soldiers in the country. 20,000 serving personnel are stationed in the camps and garrisons at Tidworth, Netheravon, Bulford, Larkhill, Perham Down and Upavon.

In recent years the armoured brigades have been successfully repatriated from Germany and I'm glad that the military and civilian communities around the Plain have integrated so happily. 

Army accommodation in our area continues to improve. Nevertheless there is still not enough high-standard housing, or housing big enough, for Army families. I have campaigned for improvements here and I am hopeful that the new accommodation offer that the Government is planning will see real progress. 

My overall concern - perhaps the most important issue we face as a country - is that our national defence is simply not strong enough for the tasks we may require of it in the years ahead. After the Cold War we thought we had a 'peace dividend', and steadily defunded the Armed Forces. Now we are scrambling to rearm, and I commend the Government for the very significant additional investment we have seen, with the defence budget growing by 30% since 2019 - from £38 billion to £51 billion. We are now spending around 2.25% of GDP on defence, which is a lot more than most of our European allies. 

But it is still not enough.

I have campaigned vigorously for additional spending - as well as for reform of the MOD procurement process which sees so much of the current budget wasted. I will continue to do so if I am re-elected. 

 

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Newsletter - 11 March, 2024

Most of an MP’s work is out of sight, working on individual constituents’ battles with some faceless agency of government, or in meetings to discuss some detail of legislation.