Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin wins commitment to expansion of Dudley reserves base

Dudley MP Ian Austin has secured a commitment from Government Ministers that Dudley’s Army Reserve squadron will be able to expand.

Speaking at Defence Questions in the House of Commons yesterday, Austin called on Defence Ministers to do more to support A Squadron, a unit of reserve regiment The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry based at Vicar Street in Dudley.

Defence Minister Philip Dunne praised the work of A Squadron and committed to its future expansion by allowing the unit to recruit by 125% of its current strength.

Ian Austin said:

“Dudley’s A Squadron are a credit to the unit and their community. When they were threatened by a Government shake-up last year, I worked hard together with local campaigners to raise concerns.

“I’m pleased that Ministers are now recognising the squadron’s brilliant work and offering support for its future expansion.”

The text of Austin’s question is as follows:

“The Secretary of State will be aware that Dudley is home to A Squadron The Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry, a brilliant reserve unit that is well supported and has deep roots in the local community.

“Will he join me in congratulating it on the brilliant recruitment day it organised a few weeks ago, which I was privileged to be invited to attend? Is that not exactly the sort of initiative we need if the reserve forces are to help Ministers meet their targets?”

Philip Dunne, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, replied:

“I am delighted to hear the good recruiting result. Reserve units can recruit beyond their structured liability in the event that they have success in recruitment, and we intend for the Dudley and Telford squadrons to be able to continue to recruit to up to 125% of their strength.”

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