North Devon Liberal Democrats, led by Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Kirsten Johnson are confident that the campaign they launched in 2016 to save Royal Marine Base (RMB) Chivenor has been successful.
MoD sources are saying that the decision was made before Christmas and will be announced in late March. Lib Dem faith in the strategic military value of Chivenor to the UK, and the local economic benefits it brings to North Devon, will have been vindicated.
Kirsten Johnson says, “This has been a long and hard-fought Liberal Democrat campaign in North Devon, as well as at Westminster. I would like to thank Sir Nick Harvey and other senior Lib Dems, including the late Paddy Ashdown, who have helped to bring this anticipated reprieve about. The Lib Dem Groups on, Braunton Parish Council, North Devon District Council and Barnstaple Town Council have also all played their part. This is an example of real Lib Dem team effort, which DOES change lives for the better in North Devon. This decision, when it comes, which has taken this Conservative Government so long to make, means that jobs at Chivenor will be secure. It means that the enormous economic contribution the base brings to North Devon can continue.”
Cllr Derrick Spear, Chair of Braunton Parish Council says, “This would be a win win for Braunton and the whole of North Devon. Chivenor is vital to the economy of North Devon and an essential part of the defence of our country in an increasingly unstable world.”
Sir Nick Harvey adds, “It was clear to me from the start that the decision to close RMB Chivenor made no sense – either militarily or financially. I’m delighted that the Government and Peter Heaton-Jones appear to have done a U turn on this, both having said in 2016 that Chivenor will definitely close and implying that there was nothing that could be done about it. This has proved to have been totally misguided. Thank goodness we ignored him and have continued as Liberal Democrats to campaign to not only keep Chivenor open but also to expand it. There is a growing sense of relief that the right decision will be made and I am glad to have played my part in this Lib Dem campaign for North Devon”