Conditions rougher at some UK bases than in Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. Conditions rougher at some UK bases than in Afghanistan, say MPs

    'Disgraceful' standards found at army barracks
    Forces minister accepts problem areas need work

    Richard Norton-Taylor
    Friday September 14, 2007
    The Guardian

    The state of some UK barracks means that British troops endure worse living conditions at home than on operations in Afghanistan, according to a report today by MPs. The Commons defence committee says repairs take too long, standards of service are "unacceptably poor", and the situation is exacerbated by "an alarming lack of recognition at senior levels that these problems are more than minor difficulties". Unless significant improvements are made soon, service men and women will be forced to live in sub-standard accommodation "for many years to come", the cross-party committee says.

    Its report, published a day after the British Legion launched an unprecedented campaign highlighting what it calls the poor treatment of armed forces personnel, will make further uncomfortable reading for the Ministry of Defence.

    Accommodation for two regiments now in Afghanistan - the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, based at Hounslow, west London, and the Royal Anglian Regiment, based at Pirbright in Surrey - is described as "disgraceful".

    The MPs say that at Hounslow they found "barrack blocks with overflowing drains and repairs which had been left unattended", with non-commissioned officers sleeping "eight to a room, with minimal privacy and negligible storage". They add: "We were told that soldiers from [the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment] on deployment in Afghanistan had more comfortable accommodation than their comrades left behind in Pirbright [barracks in Surrey]."

    Soldiers told the MPs that poor accommodation was having a "serious effect on morale and retention, especially among NCOs". They welcomed steps being taken to modernise single living accommodation and improve married quarters. The report adds: "However...some accommodation remains appalling. This is unacceptable."

    James Arbuthnot, the committee chairman, welcomed more resources being devoted to the MoD estate. However, he added: "Service personnel and their families should not have to put up with run-down buildings...especially at a time when we are asking the armed forces to put their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan. They deserve to be decently housed at home." Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "It's a national scandal. The government has thrown public money around, spending over £2.3bn on MoD consultants, but hasn't been able to provide decent accommodation for those who are asked to defend this country."

    Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister, said last night: "This is an issue we take very seriously and I recognise that good quality housing is a fundamental part of the welfare package we give to our armed forces personnel and their families. However, I acknowledge that there are problem areas of the estate which require significant work."

  2. "We take the issue seriously , there are problem areas that need significant work"

    ....... and when will this work commence?
  3. msr

    msr LE

    In his position as Minister for Dissembling....?

    Your guess is as good as mine!

  4. My last accomadation Sgts Mess Bellykelly 1990, I had Green Mold growing on one wall.
    Mind you it was tempory accomadation put up in WW II.
    Acceptable for NI on Ops but Substandard Mainland bases now are a disgrace.
  5. And of course in my opinion the present money allocated to improving the situation is too little to late. The problem is so extensive that £5 billion over ten years will barely keep present accommodation maintained never mind improved. Many service personnel will barely see any change during their career so therefore just how this will help to retain personnel is beyond me. How this money is to be spent and importantly what it will achieve has not been spelt out or as it? Surely a plan with targets was worked out prior to the money being allocated?
  6. I have seen my sons room at Pirbright and it is awful. I do have an insight in Army accommodation as I was in for a few years but my accommodation was way better in 1979 than his is today. It is disgraceful that they are living like this in 2007.
  7. And of course to cover such things like this up the MOD imposed a gagging order. Only good news must come from the MOD. The reason we are in this position is because there was no independent body to challenge this thought pattern. Why if the MODs most important asset is its personnel was more money spent, over decades, on other assets than the most important? That is why we need a strong independent BAFF to challenge these thought patterns.
  8. Is it me or does this government consistantly agree that there is a problem - but then do nothing about it. Maybe they have got the press right where they want them. In the past they would try and hide the problem and deny it to reporters who would then be all over them like a tramp on hot scoff. But now they (the minster) admit it and the story becomes a 30 second piece on the evening news with a minister say 'Yes there is a problem and we are looking at it' and it goes away.


    £5bn(as someone has quoted on this thread) is a lot of money - how much does it cost to build a z-type accom block holding say 200 soldiers ?
  9. Of course it is all a question of money.... but they managed to find something like £3bn to refurb Whitehall recently
  10. It is a comforting thought that the government would rather spend millions on illegal immigrant scum, giving them nice cosy places to doss and help and advice on claiming benifits that we pay for, but cannot put the funds aside to give us decent accommodation. Makes me ****ing sick !!
  11. Because conditions there became intolerable. Stop being so unfair.
  12. It's one of their favourite tricks;

    1. Take figure of available money 'as is' over period of time, say 10 years.
    2. Add an ammount.
    3. Announce total(1+2) as money being 'allocated' to admitted problem but "staged" over, say 10 years.

    Lying, deceitful, nest fethering bastards the lot of them.
  13. This government are a bunch of liars. It's mind-boggling that in 2007 our military personnel are still living in squalor. They stretch the soldiers' capacity on ops in Iraq & Afghanistan and then treat them like shit when they get home.

  14. And on the same day that this is announced, another "guv'mnt" department announces that many millions more money will be given to local councils to provide more council and social housing.

    New Liabour message to soldiers:

    If you want proper housing for your family, leave Army, become dependant on state and join council waiting list for social housing. Its all about control of the masses.
  15. Edited for accuracy. ;)