Annington Homes - Latest

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Adjutant, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. Defence Housing (Private Eye)

    Boom-boom time at Annington

    "Times are tough in the property game, where even at the top suits are feeling the squeeze - but not if they are in charge of Annington Homes, the property company that gets its income direct from the desperately over-stretched defence budget.

    Recently-filed accounts for the company that owns Britain's dire military family accommodation (see last Eye) show that chief executive James Hopkins trousered £2.56m including bonuses in 2008/09, more than 100 times a squaddie's pay and more than twice the basic wedge of even an RBS chief executive. The year before, Hopkins earned £2.65m; and in ten years since joining Annington from Hanson PLC he has raked in north of £17m.

    Annington acquired £1.7bn worth of military housing from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1996 in a deal that the National Audit Office found shortchanged taxpayers by around £140m. Under the contract, Annington leases the properties back to the MoD (which still has to maintain them) even if they are empty, so guaranteeing Annington's income.

    In 2008/09 this increased by 2.5 percent to £153m despite a fall in the number of properties following earlier sales. This was because under the contract's generous ongoing rent reviews, payments to Annington were put up by 22 percent over the five years to 2007 (having been hiked by 48 percent up to 2002).

    As part of its cushy contract Annington sells properties when the MoD judges them surplus to requirements, repaying the taxpayer a declining share of the profits, fixed at 15 percent last year. This arrangement has generally provided the MoD with around £10m a year; but in the sluggish housing market of 2008/09 it generated just £0.9n - the poorest yet on an already dire deal.

    This makes Hopkins' remuneration and the barely less generous deals of fellow directors Barry Chambers and Nick Vaughan, who together with the non-executives earned £7.7m, look all the more extraordinary. For example, the chief executive of Britain's largest private residential landlord, Grainger PLC, which owns a similar amount of property and has a higher turnover but without anything like Annington's captive Markey, earned a fifth of Hopkins' wedge - a still healthy £0.5m - last year. The enormous Annington pay packets nevertheless seem to have passed muster with Chairwoman Elizabeth Filkin, one time scourge of excess as a tough parliamentary standards commissioner (Eyes passim).

    The rent paid out of the defence budget that doesn't end up in Hopkins and Co's pockets is paid out to the ultimate economic owner of Annington, Japanese investment bank Nomura, removing all but a few pounds of taxable profit from Britain (and leaving a tax bill of just 0.1 percent Annington's operating profit). Nomura's interest is managed offshore by Annington Management Guernsey Ltd, part of the Terra Firma private group whose directors are themselves the nominal shareholders of Annington's parent company, Le Grand Annington Ltd, and thus the legal owners of Britain's military housing.

    The offshore management arrangements make the fees earned by Terra Firma from running military housing both highly secret and highly tax efficient, just like the personal tax affairs of its boss, Guy Hands. Last year he did his patriotic bit for fiscally-strapped Britain by moving to Guernsey in protest at personal tax rises."

    So the Exam Questions for today are:

    Should we continue to tolerate the Annington Homes deal given the state of the Nation's (and the MoD's) dodgy finances?

    Should we tolerate the fact that the likes of Hopkins, an Ex Army Officer is busy fleecing the Nation and indeed those of us who have to put up with sub-standard accomodation? He could at least pay tax so that this can get turned into kit and and equipment for us?

    The Board of Annington is full of Ex Servicemen and Women. Loyalty, it seems, doesn't begin at (Annington) Home.

  2. I am a Tory and in this matter I am thoroughly ashamed!
  3. No blame lies with Annington Homes - they are duty-bound to maximise returns for their shareholders.

    Blame instead the MoD half-wits who negotiated, or had oversight of, the contract.
  4. And it does (or should) not surprise anyone.
  5. How many of them got jobs with this shower afterwards, I wonder?
  6. Why should they show loyalty towards the MOD just because they used to be in the services? It is not soldiers they are screwing, it is the government and why not?

    It is the MOD that sold our homes, the MOD that drew up the rubbish contract and the MOD that has failed to maintain them to an acceptable standard.

    Can you blame Annington for screwing the stupid MOD? No.
  7. And the saga continues...Annington is in panic in Cornwall since RAF St Mawgan closed....They have over 120 three bed houses lying empty on a particul;ar estate. There was an offer by an external contractor for 100 of these on the basis that he could demolish a few semi's and build new houses amongst the balance. In return they would build shops and a pub which is needed to provide thwe community a central point. Both the council and planning team turned down this request so thety pulled out of the deal. Now the houses are starting to be vandalised by the bored youth and those of an unsavoury chararacter wishing to make a fast buck out of fixtures and fittings. One of the main problems is that the houses whilst being sound are in fact unmortgagable due to the contruction being of "Cornish Unit Style". The houses are great, in a lovely location, I know because I rent one privately from a guy that bought one as a retirement plan for cash when Annington sold a few off to raise funds to upgrade some other house to make them mortgagable.

    Watch this space
  8. Do they have back boilers in them mines packed up and im after a cheap one?
  9. I dont mind commuting if it gets me out of this Rabbit hutch Im in at the moment??
  10. I would give a comment but I am too busy packing my windows and door with toweling to keep out the rain. I should only see daylight through glass not wood. Twats!
  11. What a surprise, another badly thought out contract with the a Civillian contractor? surely not!! The more I learn about the MOD, the more I'm staggered at the money wasted on contracts that have already recently resulted in us regular serving members not getting the uniform & training we need.
  12. Well I believe they are the lot responsible for my 'freshly renovated' quarter.

    That will be the one with heating that does its own thing, cracks (some really big) at almost every ceiling join and the phone system ('you will be happy to know that every room has a phone socket & TV point' thanks, the TV system was wired up wrong in the attic, and the only phone socket that works is in the living room)

    They must have employed cuffit, bluffit & scarper.
    Shocking work