The Navy has 'held Plymouth back' – MP
The Royal Navy has over the years been a "dead hand" in Plymouth, slowing the regeneration of the Westcountry's largest city, an MP has warned.
Oliver Colvile, Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, said he hoped the proposed part-privatisation of a Ministry of Defence procurement agency would stop the Navy "preventing things from happening".
Devonport is the largest naval base in Western Europe but vast tracts of the city's military land is now redundant. Mr Colvile said he was not criticising the current management and cited the senior service blocking Ford motor company setting up a factory in the city in the 1950s.
The MP, speaking in Parliament, said he wants to ensure regeneration plans vital to growing the private sector in Plymouth are not hamstrung. He told MPs: "Over the years, the Navy has been the dead hand, stopping any other activity taking place in Devonport.
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"We need an organisation, such as the one being proposed, to ensure that the Navy is not preventing things from happening and to develop a proper and better-paid skills base."