British Army

Petition to save Woolwich Barracks from closure

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A petition urging the reversal of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) decision to close Woolwich Barracks launched on Armed Forces Day has already received more than 1,000 signatures.

Greenwich Conservatives launched the renewed campaign to keep the Army in Woolwich with a petition started by Cllr John Hills, the local oposition’s spokesperson for armed forces and veterans.

The move has again appealed to defence chiefs to rethink the plan for closure, which was first announced in November 2016 as the Ministry of Defence looked to reduce its property ownership by a third.

It is due to take effect by 2028.

Councillors united at that time to condemn the decision, and passed a unanimous motion opposing it.

Since then local residents, the council and Greenwich and Woolwich MP Matthew Pennycook have continued to lobby for a reprieve, but there has been no sign yet of this happening.

Mr Pennycook last year presented a petition with 4,000 signatures rallying against the closure in the House of Commons last year.

“Woolwich is a military town, and we have a proud history with the Army locally, going back hundreds of years,” Cllr Hills, himself an Army veteran, said of the most recent move.

“The decision to close the barracks is simply wrong, and it needs to be reversed as soon as possible.

“I hope as many people as possible will sign this petition and let the government know the strength of feeling locally before it’s too late.”

The leader of Greenwich Conservatives, Councillor Nigel Fletcher, said borough residents were proud of their links to the Army.