40% of servicemen live in cr*p housing!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by spike7451, Mar 23, 2007.

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  1. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    While checking my mail before bed,I found this;


    LONDON (Reuters) - More than 40 percent of those in the armed forces with families live in sub-standard accommodation and some personnel will be based in poor quality housing for the next 20 years, a report said on Friday.

    The National Audit Office, the independent spending watchdog, said despite substantial amounts invested by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), more needed to be done to improve living
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    conditions.

    "Praise is rightly bestowed on our armed forces for their achievements in very difficult circumstances," said Edward Leigh, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.

    "It is not right that, here in the UK, they should have to put up with shabby living and working quarters."

    The MoD is the second largest landowner in Britain and its worldwide estate is valued at 18 billion pounds.

    But recently senior military figures have accused the government of not providing enough resources for troops, particularly citing out-of-date housing as a problem.

    They warned that it could deter potential recruits from joining the armed services at a time when forces were stretched with operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In January Lieutenant General Freddie Viggers, who is in charge of housing, said there was too much accommodation that was old and of poor standard.

    The month before, Britain's former top soldier General Sir Mike Jackson said some living quarters were "frankly shaming".

    The NAO said nearly 28,000 homes for family accommodation -- about 60 percent -- were at the highest standard. However 19,000 still needed to be upgraded.

    Investment would also mean that the number of single bed living quarters reaching the required standard would be 75,000 by the end of 2012. However that would still leave 35,000 sub-standard spaces.

    "The scale of the remaining problem is, however, such that unless more resources can be found, a significant number of service personnel and their families are likely to be housed in poor quality accommodation for 20 years or more," the NAO said.

    "With the exception of urgent operational requirements, the Department should give priority to work necessary to meet the terms of the contracts, to maintain and where necessary improve the quality of the estate."

    The report also pointed out that in 2006-7 Defence Estates, the organisation responsible for improvements, had had to find savings of 13.5 million pounds in cuts or deferrals in planned maintenance or repair.

    However despite this, the MoD spent 45 million on fire safety systems, sports, toilet and shower facilities.

    "I ... am left wondering if resources are being targeted in the right way: while roofs are left to leak, money has been found to build new sports pitches," Leigh said.

    The Ministry of Defence said it was committed to providing good quality housing to its personnel.

    "We acknowledge that there are problems with some service accommodation, and are working hard to improve it," said Defence Minister Derek Twigg. "Over 5 billion pounds will be spent on service accommodation over the next decade."
     
  2. Also on the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6480721.stm

    Poor forces housing 'for decades'

    Pictures of poor conditions were sent to the BBC by soldiers
    A significant number of UK service personnel could be living in poor quality accommodation for the next 20 years or more, a report has claimed.
    The National Audit Office study says more than 40% of homes are sub-standard with no final date for an upgrade.

    While many improvements have been made, more resources are needed, it adds.

    Defence Minister Derek Twigg accepted there were problems with some living quarters but said more than £5bn will be spent over 10 years on improvements.

    The Ministry of Defence is the second largest landowner in the UK and has a worldwide estate valued at £18bn.

    The report - which looked into the management of the MoD's estate - estimated that the total operational costs in 2005/6 were £3.3bn.

    It is not right that, here in the UK, they should have to put up with shabby living and working quarters

    Edward Leigh
    Conservative MP

    The report says much has been done to improve service personnel's accommodation, and in some cases, targets have even been exceeded

    Since 2001/02, about 20,000 single living "bed spaces" have been built and about 12,000 service family houses have been upgraded.

    However, out of an estate of 46,800 homes, more than 19,000 remain below the "standard one" benchmark, it says.

    It goes on to say: "The scale of the remaining problem is, however, such that unless more resources can be found, a significant number of service personnel and their families are likely to be housed in poor quality accommodation for 20 years or more."

    Accommodation

    Conservative MP Edward Leigh, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, said the MoD faced a "battle royal" to improve homes.

    He said he acknowledged work was being done to address the situation but was unsure whether resources were being targeted in the right way.

    "While roofs are left to leak, money has been found to build new sports pitches.

    "It is not right that, here in the UK, they should have to put up with shabby living and working quarters," he said.

    Mr Twigg though said: "Armed Forces personnel and their families deserve good quality accommodation, and the MoD is committed to providing this.

    "We acknowledge that there are problems with some service accommodation, and are working hard to improve it."

    In January, BBC News published pictures sent in by soldiers of barracks and shower blocks with cracked walls, mildew and broken pipes.

    At the time, Chancellor Gordon Brown pledged to improve military accommodation.
     
  3. The Army, I believe, has in times past shown an enlightened attitude to substandard MQ i.e. not making you pay to live there. When I was born at the fag end of the swinging sixties, my parents, along with the rest of 9 Sqn, were in converted barrack blocks (Haig Lines, Church Crookham) rent free. Trade skills were put to good use, many having 'free' electricity as well.
     
  4. I was never a PAD, but som eof the stuff around Bulford was bloody awful. Some of the guy's and there families really had to live in what I would describe as squaler.

    And I have to say the Singlie's did not fair any better.

    Don't know what the blocks are like at 3 Div now though, only from past experience.
     
  5. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Coming from the "Coke Boiler" generation, I eventually discovered that MoD had installed central heating in some places, after which life got good.

    Nice touch was when RAF sold off some airmen's MQs in the 90's ... which had to be demolished as unfit for human habitation ...
     
  6. I haven't seen anything about this anywhere else on ARRSE but there was an interesting comment in Huw Edwards' Iraq Diary on the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6466587.stm

    If our accommodation in the UK is bad then some of the conditions that guys live in in Iraq are worse than should be expected. I know that this is an operational area, however you would have thought that after nearly 4 years in these locations, we could have got the basics right. If a soldier can not wash, shower with hot water or to use the toilet in decent conditions on within a base such as Basra Air Station then we are seriously letting our guys down.

    I have idea about the terms of the contract that Turners or whoever is responsible for this is under but if we are expecting soldiers to operate efficiently, then surely we can let him have a decent shower and a sh!t.

    A bit off topic I know but the mood has taken me for a bit of a rant.
     
  7. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Well ON-thread, I would say.

    Memories of Stanley, 1983, when Air Tragic plugged the 30mm holes in the water tank and got the flush toilet in the old Terminal Building operational again. Of course, the ATC Supervisor held the key, and if you wanted a sh*t in comfort ... we'll do a deal. Otherwise, outside to the "Sapper Crapper" in the fresh air ... in mid-winter!
     
  8. Tytus_Barnowl

    Tytus_Barnowl On ROPs

    Is this married accom or singles they are talking about. Most of the wives (with an appreciable number who have lived there) have little idea what bad quartering is like.
    TB
     
  9. Both. See the first post in this thread, eg: