Des Browne announcements Bournemouth

#1
Apologies for starting a new thread. There is of course an ongoing discussion about the Council Tax rebate announcement.

Thing is, for obvious reasons I am tracking the various announcements speeches and press releases as they emerge during the day.

Unless Des Browne visited some lucky Service establishment near Bournemouth at 0001 hrs this morning, the following publication on the web at that time seems to have been a trifle premature, but neverthless very helpful!

Browne boosts homes for troops
Des Browne

The government has promised an extra £80m for improvements to armed forces living accommodation.

Defence secretary Des Browne announced the extra funding, which will pay for 1,350 en-suite rooms, during a visit to a training facility near Bournemouth on Tuesday.

And he also announced a £140 council tax rebate for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The £80m, which means a 20 per cent increase to the £350m project to provide single accommodation, has been found through the sale of Ministry of Defence (MoD) land and disused bases.

Earlier this year the government was severely criticised by MPs and service organisations for the state of some homes and barracks.

The Ministry of Defence has since said that it intends to spend more than £5bn on its accommodation facilities over the next five years.

Browne said servicemen and women were owed a debt of gratitude for their work.

"A crucial part of this is the welfare package we give our personnel - and central to this is providing good quality accommodation," he added.

"I know we have a long way to go with some of our accommodation, but I'm determined to see improvements across the board. This new money offers an excellent opportunity to make a real difference to our servicemen and women and underlines the priority we place on this issue."
Web source, which also covers the council tax rebate.

Preview of conference speech to follow.
 
#2
Browne Conference speech preview

Des BrowneDefence Secretary Des Browne will address conference this morning and ask members to offer a strong message of support to our armed forces.

He will tell delegates that we owe our troops an enormous debt of gratitude for risking their lives daily to keep the British people safe.

He will offer a robust explanation of what our troops are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will say that they are taking on the Taliban daily and winning in Afghanistan. In Iraq they are helping to get the Iraqis to the point where they can take responsibility for their own security.

He is expected to say: “The government has a responsibility to look after our troops at home and abroad.

“In the last year the government have spent millions of pounds on new armoured vehicles for our forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. But we have to make sure we look after the welfare of our forces and their families at home too.”

And he will say that improving accommodation for our troops is going to be one of his priorities in coming months – with an additional £80 million pounds going into refurbishing single living accommodation over the next three years.
Web source - Labour Party Conference pages
 
#3
Hackle,
Are you anticipating the usual flood of invective that any announcement by the job-sharing SofS provokes? I suspect you will not be disappointed. As for me, the depths of my cynicism astound even one as jaundiced as I. Swiss Tony could turn up on my doorstep with a suitcase full of used notes as part payment for a life in the Service and I would still look for the turd in the suitcase......
 
#6
Seems he was (is?) in Bovington.

80 million pounds for new forces' accommodation
Source: Ministry of Defence
Published Tuesday, 25 September, 2007 - 08:28

Thousands more members of the Armed Forces will benefit from the best quality accommodation, Defence Secretary Des Browne said today as he announced additional funding for Project SLAM (Single Living Accommodation Modernisation).

The MoD has allocated an extra £80 million, an increase of over 20 per cent, to the £350M SLAM Phase 2 project to improve single living accommodation. This increases funding on all phases of the SLAM programme to around £1.4 billion and will allow a further 1,350 new en-suite bedspaces to be built. 50,000 single living bedspaces will now be built or improved over the next six years.

Mr Browne made the announcement as he visited Bovington Armour Centre, near Bournemouth. The camp has already benefited from Project SLAM, with 300 new bedspaces being created since 2005. A further 300 bedspaces are expected to be built by 2009.

Mr Browne said:

"The nation owes our servicemen and women a huge debt of gratitude for the hard work they do on our behalf. A crucial part of this is the welfare package we give our personnel - and central to this is providing good quality accommodation.

"Today, I've seen for myself the high standard we can achieve for single living accommodation and I want this mirrored across the country. I know we have a long way to go with some of our accommodation, but I'm determined to see improvements across the board. This new money offers an excellent opportunity to make a real difference to our servicemen and women and underlines the priority we place on this issue."

Project SLAM provides single en-suite rooms for trained personnel of all ranks. These greatly improved living conditions are expected to have a beneficial impact on recruitment and retention of servicemen and women.
Web source
 
#7
Is the funding ring-fenced?
Is it part of GB's recycling strategy (previously announced initiatives)?
 
#8
hackle said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
Is the funding ring-fenced?
The accommodation funding appears to be no more ring-fenced than the Council Tax rebate. It is described as 'MOD-funded' with no indication whatsoever that it will be new money.
[PS see later update]
 
#9
I understand that Des Browne will be speaking at the Conference after 2.30, but it seems to be part of a '"Britain in the World" sequence also involving the Foreign Secretary and the International Development Secretary. Speech by David Milliband has just started.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#10
hackle said:
Seems he was (is?) in Bovington.
Sneaked in and out without having a chat with DRAC. Must have gone for a meeting at the Bee Hive with the lads.
 
#11
Swiss Des was on tv lunchtime news touring some new accommodation ("do they have the internet?" he asked), and drinking tea in a cookhouse. I do hope it contained some extra protein, just to help his energy levels at Conference, you understand.

So, with £80m going towards accommodation (and it still won't be enough), what's happening to the rest of the money from the sale of Defence land?
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#12
ViroBono said:
So, with £80m going towards accommodation (and it still won't be enough), what's happening to the rest of the money from the sale of Defence land?
If you x £10,000 (new allowance for setting up a web site) by the number of MP's you can see where some of it's being syphoned off to.
 
#13
hackle said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
Is the funding ring-fenced?
The accommodation funding appears to be no more ring-fenced than the Council Tax rebate. It is described as 'MOD-funded' with no indication whatsoever that it will be new money.
Update. The £80m "has been found through the sale of Ministry of Defence (MoD) land and disused bases." Normally such capital income would go direct to the Treasury, with no benefit to MOD. So from an MOD perspective, it IS new money.

[hr]

I am just off the Glen Mansell show on BFBS Radio 2 where I was speaking about the partial Council Tax refund. (I also mentioned the accommodation programme but they didnt take me up on that). A Minister will be interviewed later. I suggested on air that the Minister be asked to confirm that the rebate will apply to everybody on ops, regardless of home station or what type of accommodation they are in.

D.Y.
 
#14
hackle said:
hackle said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
Is the funding ring-fenced?
The accommodation funding appears to be no more ring-fenced than the Council Tax rebate. It is described as 'MOD-funded' with no indication whatsoever that it will be new money.
Update. The £80m "has been found through the sale of Ministry of Defence (MoD) land and disused bases." Normally such capital income would go direct to the Treasury, with no benefit to MOD. So from an MOD perspective, it IS new money.

[hr]

I am just off the Glen Mansell show on BFBS Radio 2 where I was speaking about the partial Council Tax refund. (I also mentioned the accommodation programme but they didnt take me up on that). A Minister will be interviewed later. I suggested on air that the Minister be asked to confirm that the rebate will apply to everybody on ops, regardless of home station or what type of accommodation they are in.

D.Y.
Hackle,

Good news on the (one-off) change in Treasury rules.

On the subject of council tax (or more accurately for those occupying SFA?SLA) the key question is what is funding this 'rebate'. If it ain't the councils, where is the money coming from?

PAW
 
#15
ViroBono said:
Swiss Des was on tv lunchtime news touring some new accommodation ("do they have the internet?" he asked), and drinking tea in a cookhouse. I do hope it contained some extra protein, just to help his energy levels at Conference, you understand.

So, with £80m going towards accommodation (and it still won't be enough), what's happening to the rest of the money from the sale of Defence land?
Or from the 15% raked back from all service charity events held on DE land over the past five years :?
 
#16
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
hackle said:
hackle said:
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
Is the funding ring-fenced?
The accommodation funding appears to be no more ring-fenced than the Council Tax rebate. It is described as 'MOD-funded' with no indication whatsoever that it will be new money.
Update. The £80m "has been found through the sale of Ministry of Defence (MoD) land and disused bases." Normally such capital income would go direct to the Treasury, with no benefit to MOD. So from an MOD perspective, it IS new money.

[hr]

I am just off the Glen Mansell show on BFBS Radio 2 where I was speaking about the partial Council Tax refund. (I also mentioned the accommodation programme but they didnt take me up on that). A Minister will be interviewed later. I suggested on air that the Minister be asked to confirm that the rebate will apply to everybody on ops, regardless of home station or what type of accommodation they are in.

D.Y.
Hackle,

Good news on the (one-off) change in Treasury rules.

On the subject of council tax (or more accurately for those occupying SFA?SLA) the key question is what is funding this 'rebate'. If it ain't the councils, where is the money coming from?

PAW
PAW, I reckon this is nothing to do with the settlement between HMG and Councils, and there is nothing to suggest this is truly new money from the Treasury, although to be fair the first payments will not be made until the next financial year. I made this point in my BFBS interview. Thanks for raising the issue earlier.
 
#17
Des Browne: "The state of accommodation for some is a disgrace, but it is not a disgrace of our making..."

And he's just mentioned 'Social Housing Discrimination'. Strike one for BAFF, RBL and above all for our fellow ARRSEr, Hitback.
 

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
#18
hackle said:
Des Browne: "The state of accommodation for some is a disgrace, but it is not a disgrace of our making..."
Has he any thought on who's making it was or is he suggesting like Brown that the present bunch have not been around for the last 10 years.

Good one Hitback
 
#20
on the way home from work 30 mins ago i heard my local radio station talking about the piss poor housing , and what they were going to do to improve it...............a labour polotician was speaking (missed his name)"he said it is not our fault as the previous govenment reduced the MOD allowence when they were in power"

what a load of bollox, any govenment that has been in power for 10 years cannot continue to blame the previous parliment :x
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top