Pasty and petition bid to protect Devonport Dockyard

Image caption,
Devonport is the only site in the UK equipped for nuclear submarine refits

A petition urging the government to protect Devonport Dockyard has been handed in at 10 Downing Street.

About 25,000 people have signed the petition in less than three weeks.

Trade union leaders, politicians and dockyard supporters will also hand over a giant pasty amid fears Plymouth would be hit badly if Devonport dockyard is closed.

The government's Strategic Defence and Security Review will be announced next week.

The Ministry of Defence is looking at cuts to its budget of between 10% and 20%.

Devonport is Europe's largest naval base and one of Devon and Cornwall's largest employers.

It is the home base of the Royal Navy's largest ship, HMS Ocean, 14 frigates, seven Trafalgar class submarines, four hydrographic survey ships and is the only site in the UK equipped to handle nuclear submarine refits.

The Unite union says the dockyard contributes 10% to Plymouth's economy, with 7,000 jobs associated with the Royal Navy and dockyard and a further 7,000 depending on it.

Unite spokesman Dave Springbett has claimed the city "could not survive" without the dockyard.

"If you take it out of Plymouth, it will almost be a ghost town," he said in September.

The cross-party delegation, travelled to London by coach and handed the petition over - together with the pasty - on Wednesday afternoon.

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