Private Eye - UK Land Farces (Accommodation Issues)


Unfortunately no link as the article is not online but here it is anyway:

'The atrocious condition of defence housing was laid bare last month when Ministry of Defence officials were hauled before the public accounts committee (PAC) for a grilling on the subject.

Top MoD mandarin Bill Jeffery was forced to admit that 40 percent of accomodation was indeed "sub-standard" and that his job now was "undoing some years of neglect". His colleague Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, aka Mr Princess Anne, head of Defence Estates, exposed the false economy of skimping on essential maintenance when he said he wasn't surprised that servicemen were leaving in droves because of grotty accommodation: 40 percent of those quitting the services cited ropey housing as a reason.

Even with a bit of extra cash going in after the recent public outcry, it will take 25 years to upgrade 19,000 substandard houses. Meanwhile health remains at risk as there are only half the required safety engineers, a situation so desperate tHat Labour MP Alan Williams thought it might be helped by a spot of ambulance-chasing.

"Perhaps some of the no-fee litigation people who are trying to milk money out of the NHS should actually do us a social service by turning their attention to any incidents in the accommodation for which you are responsible," he cheekily suggested.

The MoD's committment to resolving the scandal reamins parsimonious at best: an extra £17m for upgrades and £35m for new boliers, redecoration etc this year, most of which is coming from already over-stretched armed forces budgets. In the same year, more than £1bn, 20 times as much, will go on 47 separate PFI projects, while a similar amount disappears in the Iraqi desert.

One of the top brass, on the other hand, is set to profit handsomely from the MoD's estate. Colonel Gordon Shipley, deputy chief of staff at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham on the pleasant Wilts/Oxon border, earlier this year bagged himself some prime land from his employer when the Academy put up three quarters of an acre for auction.

Strangely the sale was only advertised in a local Swindon paper and attracted little interest when it was put under the hammer in London. Shipley duly acquired the plot, large enough to build three expensive homes in the desirable village. An MoD spokeswoman would only say that its Defence Fraud Analysis Unit is investigating.'

So thats all right then!
No surprise is it. The present investment in forces housing is not sufficient to make progress up stream. If it takes 25 years to upgrade present below standard houses this leaves little money to maintain present standard houses which will in turn fall into disrepair which in turn will boost the 40% of sub standard houses! It would be cheaper to sell the lot and let MOD buy service personnel a new house which they then paid the MOD for during their service in the form of a mortgage. This would help retain significant numbers of personnel who would not have the worry of families being left behind when on operations in slum housing and let them all get a good foot on the property ladder. Just how the MOD expects to retain good quality personnel with this albatross God only knows.
I was paying for a room at my previous unit which the RSPCA stated is legally too small to house a dog in as a kennel, on top of having to pay for it. while i was there they upgraded the local prison 1.5 mile away into single man en suite cells bigger than single man accommodation on our unit.
Think i got into the wrong career at times
So the chap at the top of the ladder in relation to service housing lives in Palaces paid for out of the public purse yet those he seeks to look after live in squalor? That's an appropriate appointment then... :x
If only I'd stuck in at skool instead of spending most of my time pinging Mary's bra in front of me as an alternative to learning about anything, I'd be able to travel first class and buy huge swathes of land at knock-down prices. :evil:

Having said that, Mary was a big girl for 13 (36DD) 8O and helped me fathom out some things in geometry (like cantilevers!) so I'm probably happy with my lot after all!
Defence estates or Dickensian estates as I like to call them and whoever wrote the JSP on service accom are really taking the wee wee, I was told yesterday that I would not get a bigger quarter until all of my children are over 10,G 14, B13 the youngest 2 currently sleeping in my room, as a baby not a drama as a 4,5,6,7,8,9 year old, Are you taking the pi$$? Its only a small flat and I am packing them off to the UK where they can swing a cat indoors. I wonder if Col Shipley has got a house for rent
About 4 years ago I was interviewing the CO of the loggie Bks in Aldershot about things that affect retention.

Over 1000 soldiers (IIRC) living in - but his Bk maintenance budget was smaller than that of the local fire station.

As a result, everybody was getting ££ back from HM Gummint (sub-standard accom etc) but in the 21st Century, it cannot be right that guys and gals have no access to hot showers in bks, FFS.

I note that the Private Eye story did not cover living-in accom.
(I do remember also being told that the 'Shot had recently opened a new sports stadium - brainchild/legacy of the resident 2-star - which had no maintenance budget associated with it. No need for a brainy Archbishop to figure out where they planned to find the ££ to keep that running. :roll: )

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