Alun Cairns MP

12 Jun 2010 11:37:12

Caroline Dinenage and Alun Cairns use their maiden speeches to back military ventures in their constituencies

Caroline Dinenage Commons The new MP for Gosport, Caroline Dinenage, used her maiden speech on Wednesday to celebrate her constituency's "800-year history as a vital part in the defence of the realm":

“We still have a range of military facilities including for engineering training and helicopter maintenance, but the prospect of shutting any more of those bases would be a disaster for my constituency. Any thought of moving the Royal Navy engineering school at HMS Sultan to Wales would be a huge upheaval for those from Portsmouth-based ships and their families, as well as a vast and unnecessary drain on the defence budget. If amalgamation of engineering training is so vital, why not bring the Royal Air Force and Army to Gosport and save huge amounts of money? We would welcome them with open arms, and it would save a huge sum.

"Also under the previous Government, the wonderful Haslar hospital was closed. It was not only the last remaining military hospital in the country but a well-used community resource. Now Gosport is inadequately served for accident and emergency and other services, and this great hospital sits there in a mummified state of limbo at a time when we need military hospitals so badly."

Alun Cairns Commons Meanwhile, addressing the House of the first time on Tuesday night, Alun Cairns - who gained Vale of Glamorgan from Labour - spoke of his determination to continue the campaign of his Labour predecessor for a defence technical college at St Athan in his constituency:

"I wish to conclude my remarks by returning to the issue of the proposed defence technical college, which is the largest private finance initiative scheme. I recognise that the strategic defence review needs to take place and that the Government also face financial challenges, but this project would use money that is already committed and is already being spent by the Ministry of Defence, and it would spend it more efficiently and effectively. We owe this to our armed forces; it is important to Wales and the Welsh economy, but it is most important for our brave men and women who serve in our armed forces, because it will give them the world-class training that they most desperately need and deserve."

Jonathan Isaby