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Barrack sale proceeds must go on repairs

#1
Today's Daily Telegraph.

Sale proceeds 'must go on repairs' demand

By Stephen Adams
22/10/2007

Ministers faced growing demands last night to guarantee that they will spend the full proceeds from the £900 million sale of Chelsea Barracks on repairs to soldiers' dilapidated homes.

Senior Army figures and Forces' families said it would be "outrageous" if all the money was not handed back to the military for improvements to accommodation.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, promised earlier this month that £550 million from the sell-off would be spent on new and refurbished living quarters, but there are fears that the Treasury will retain the remaining £350 million.

The Royal British Legion has highlighted the poor state of military accommodation, particularly single men's quarters. Men's digs were recently described as "disgraceful" by a committee of MPs and "frankly shaming" by Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army.

Col Douglas Young, the chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, said yesterday: "It really is outrageous if the windfall is not used for accommodation when everybody knows – and the Government itself has admitted – that there is an urgent need for single people's accommodation to be upgraded."

He warned: "We have heard of the increasing concern about retaining troops. Well, decent accommodation is absolutely key to retention."

...
Full story at LINK

(not heard the last of this story)
 
#3
Well it was the caveat for council home sales, so I can't see why it shouldn't be applied to military homes too. No doubt the Government will spin and wriggle out of it, per normal, but keep on the pressure!
 
#4
Unsurprisingly the article I linked to also has a quote from Bob Stewart, and why not. I only omitted it because of the tendency of some posters to have a go at the guy.

(Two radio interviews today on a different subject, two print journalists briefed on 2 other subjects. More importantly I spent time supporting a BAFF member in a jam. Other BAFF members have been working away on other issues. Our best campaign so far in my opinion was led by a CSgt, another vital current campaign is led by a retd WO2.)
 
#5
Rollstone training camp SPTA was use at one point as a temp open prison early 90s ? and Xm£ was spent at the time to bring it up to sub prison standards before it was used . so will the money be spent on accommadition to bring it up to that standard ?
 
#6
hackle said:
Unsurprisingly the article I linked to also has a quote from Bob Stewart, and why not. I only omitted it because of the tendency of some posters to have a go at the guy.

(Two radio interviews today on a different subject, two print journalists briefed on 2 other subjects. More importantly I spent time supporting a BAFF member in a jam. Other BAFF members have been working away on other issues. Our best campaign so far in my opinion was led by a CSgt, another vital current campaign is led by a retd WO2.)
Doesn't that say so much? The backbone of the British Army, its experienced senior NCOs, leading and coordinating the fight. Well done those men!

It's good that some senior officers have also spoken out, but far, far too few... True, Bob Stewart gets a fair amount of verbal from some here (probably myself included) but if he gets the message out there then he's at least doing something useful.
 
#7
Well the last time they had one of these giveaway sales i did not go on updating military accommodation, the government walked off with the lot
 
#8
So just how much as the treasury made from the sale of MOD land, camps and houses in the last 20 years? I would hazard a guess that if the money made from sales had been ploughed back into forces accommodation we would not have the appalling problems we have now.

At the rate of investment planned for the next decade many presently serving personnel will see little change during their service career. What is needed is vision and money and I see very little of either from the ruling political class.
 
#9
Skynet said:
So just how much as the treasury made from the sale of MOD land, camps and houses in the last 20 years? ............. What is needed is vision and money and I see very little of either from the ruling political class.
Very little vision shown in the sale of Cultybraggan for a start. They raised a pathetic £350k. ( The price of a single decent sized house locally.) Well done Defence Estates, so well known for driving a hard bargain on behalf of the tax-payer.

We need to be very careful. The head-shed in DE are convinced that we have too much training area and are pushing to reduce it - hence the current review by DTE. This is the third time the question "How much training area is needed" has been asked and the third time that the Army has been told to "reshow" because the answer was bigger than DE wants to hear.
 
#10
Ministers faced growing demands last night to guarantee that they will spend the full proceeds from the £900 million sale of Chelsea Barracks on repairs to soldiers' dilapidated homes

Ha Ha..... unlikly with this lot, thats already been earmarked for some labour vote appeasment.....

One thing that can be guaranteed though is the bill from DE to the Army for clearing the place and making it secure etc.
 
#11
DozyBint said:
Well it was the caveat for council home sales, so I can't see why it shouldn't be applied to military homes too. No doubt the Government will spin and wriggle out of it, per normal, but keep on the pressure!
No it wasn't Dozy. In fact the government of the day FARBADE councils to spend money on council houses whilst they had loans outstanding. Not loans they couldn't service but any loans.

Since 1979, when the Conservative government came in under Margaret Thatcher, local authorities have been gradually emasculated. Suspicious of over-powerful local government,
the Tories brought in strict rules restricting councils’ borrowing powers and subsequent investment in housing.

Alongside this, tenants were given the right to buy their council houses on very attractive terms, but councils were prevented from reinvesting the proceeds of these sales in new housing. Furthermore, the government channelled grants for construction of new social housing to housing associations. Combined with the need to slash local government costs many councils transferred their housing stock to housing associations.
REgenerativeLive
 
#12
This whole thing absolutely breaks my heart. All these assets being stripped away at backroom deal prices and the MOD will never be able to afford to buy them back. And we're still building new accomodation in Germany because there's no room to put troops back in UK?!?!?

And don't get me started on PFIs and hospitals, off the balance sheet accounting....

Can't bear to read Private Eye anymore as it's too bloody depressing.
 
#13
Sven said:
DozyBint said:
Well it was the caveat for council home sales, so I can't see why it shouldn't be applied to military homes too. No doubt the Government will spin and wriggle out of it, per normal, but keep on the pressure!
No it wasn't Dozy. In fact the government of the day FARBADE councils to spend money on council houses whilst they had loans outstanding. Not loans they couldn't service but any loans.
Apologies - an about-face remembered 'fact'! :slow:
 
#14
MoD sale to be spent on soldiers homes

By Stephen Adams
Last Updated: 3:31am BST 23/10/2007

Defence ministers have caved in over the £900 million sale of Chelsea Barracks and promised all proceeds will now be spent on improving soldiers' "disgraceful" living quarters.

When The Daily Telegraph highlighted the issue last week, the Ministry of Defence failed to guarantee that anything above £550 million would be "ring-fenced" for military accommodation.

But the Government succumbed to pressure and the MoD announced that all the money would be spent refurbishing existing digs and building new homes.

Col Bob Stewart, the former commander of British forces in Bosnia, said: "The Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has apparently now agreed that about £550 million will be spent on service accommodation in the Comprehensive Spending Review period from 2008 to 2011, with a promise that the remaining £350 million or so will be spent on accommodation after that.

"Was it, I ponder, a piece in the Daily Telegraph that prompted this announcement?"

Senior military figures, Army families and opposition MPs had been concerned that the "extra" £350 million from the sale could go to the Treasury.

There was no announcement on what would happen to that money and, as recently as Sunday, the MoD said no decision had been made.

However, yesterday it confirmed that all the receipts from the sale of Chelsea Barracks — to a development consortium backed by the Qatari government — would be ploughed back into troops' housing.

A spokesman said: "The Ministry of Defence will retain the full benefits from the Chelsea receipt, which will be ring-fenced for Service accommodation."

Col Douglas Young, the chairman of the British Armed Forces Federation, said: "I congratulate The Daily Telegraph on drawing attention to this very important issue."
Daily Telegraph
 
#15
HM Treasury will simply reduce MoDs budget for next year by the amount they were expecting to get from land receipts.

HMT is convinced there is a treasure chest of publicly owned land waiting to be opened (with some justification, although much has already been sold), and the MoD is seen as one of the greatest opportunities (what with HMT not understanding defence). Unfortunately, a number of the land deals the MoD appears to get involved in are atrociously bad value.
 
#16
Dilfor said:
HM Treasury will simply reduce MoDs budget for next year by the amount they were expecting to get from land receipts.

HMT is convinced there is a treasure chest of publicly owned land waiting to be opened (with some justification, although much has already been sold), and the MoD is seen as one of the greatest opportunities (what with HMT not understanding defence). Unfortunately, a number of the land deals the MoD appears to get involved in are atrociously bad value.
Indeed, but the concession over Chelsea Barracks will help to increase the pressure for accelerated expenditure on Project SLAM etc over the coming years and past the next General Election.

I understand there are five other MOD sites in London up for disposal.
 
#17
hackle said:
Dilfor said:
HM Treasury will simply reduce MoDs budget for next year by the amount they were expecting to get from land receipts.

HMT is convinced there is a treasure chest of publicly owned land waiting to be opened (with some justification, although much has already been sold), and the MoD is seen as one of the greatest opportunities (what with HMT not understanding defence). Unfortunately, a number of the land deals the MoD appears to get involved in are atrociously bad value.
Indeed, but the concession over Chelsea Barracks will help to increase the pressure for accelerated expenditure on Project SLAM etc over the coming years and past the next General Election.

I understand there are five other MOD sites in London up for disposal.
Yes but the real issue is that once these 'assets' are sold off (no doubt at bargain rates to the government's pals) they are gone forever. In a commercial situation the assets would have been assessed for viability and, as necessary, redeveloped. That in turn would have provided a source of revenue whilst retaining the base assets. The revenue could have been used to fund the building of new or improved accomodation. Never sell land unless by doing so you can buy even more.

Here, the Treasury is doing no more than asset stripping. It's complete piracy. The notion of 'ring-fencing' the resultant capital is monumentally stupid. What steps is MoD going to take to ensure that the pot of cash does not diminish in relation to inflation etc? Maybe they are intending to use it to buy some of that gold that Brown flogged off so cheaply.
 
#18
The fact that there is such a division between the services and the govt says it all. There should never be an argument between the two over the accommodation of soldiers.
 
#19
I can add some fuel to the fire of this little debate (if you'll forgive me blurring the figures a little for the sake of OPSEC).

Not only is London District not getting a penny of the money from the sale of Chelsea Barracks, they are now having to actually pay for the sale to go through. Some of the costs (in the hundreds of thousands of pounds) resulting from the prep of the site for the sale will have to be borne by the District's normal infrastructure budget, depriving Soldiers in London of money for improvements to existing facilities.

Fecking disgraceful IMHO!

B-T
 
#20
Income from the sale of Defence Estates Property going back into the MOD pot? That will be a similar process to the one that sees every penny of our Road Tax being channelled back into road improvements? :)
I suspect not, but think of how many additional non-jobs can be fashioned to secure more votes for Broon and the gang! :thumleft:
 

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