AN ARMY reorganisation which will see civil service jobs relocated from York to Catterick will go ahead before the end of the year.

15 North East Brigade will move its HQ from Imphal Barracks in Fulford Road to Catterick Garrison, which will house the newly-formed Adaptable Force Brigade.

A union leader claimed staff in York will be left facing the unpalatable choice of a daily commute of more than an hour each way from York to Catterick, moving home to the Catterick area or going on to a redeployment pool at Imphal, with redundancy if they have not found alternative work within six months.

Ian Craven, of the PCS union at Imphal, said it had been trying in vain to seek information justifying the relocation of the work to Catterick and estimating the costs of the move, including travel, welfare and risks.

He has claimed previously that the relocation will cost taxpayers money, with staff leaving a single refurbished building at Imphal, which met all equality and accessibility standards, for two separate buildings, plus additional portable buildings, at Catterick, which would require work to bring them up to full equality and accessibility standards.

York Central MP Hugh Bayley has also claimed that York has enough space to accommodate the new brigade and the Headquarters 1st Division, which is moving to the city from Germany, and claimed £18 million would have to be spent on Catterick to bring its accommodation up to standard.

York Outer MP Julian Sturdy has written recently to Mr Craven, to say the proposals should be transparent and based on a thorough analysis of financial and efficiency implications, and also to say he had written to Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois to request the rationale behind the relocation.

An army spokesman said: “As announced as part of the Army 2020 restructuring, 15 (North East) Brigade and 4 Mechanized Brigade will merge to form 4 Infantry Brigade by the end of December being located in Catterick.

"There is very little change in the overall establishment with jobs planned to be located in Catterick. Post mapping to determine how posts change from the current to the future structure is ongoing and once the appeals process is complete and the Trade Union process has concluded, personnel will formally be notified of the outcome.”