21/05/2010

Ieuan Wyn Abuses his position


St Athan CPO Decision

When will the Inspectors report on the draft St Athan Compulsory Purchase Order be published and when will a final decision on the Compulsory Purchase order be made?

Bearing in mind that the whole St Athan project has been severely scaled down, which removes all logic for building a new college from scratch, evidence given to the public inquiry by MoD officials revealed the capacity of the proposed college to have been scaled back from 6,000 trainees to 2,700.

We were told on Monday 17 May that the Inspectors report had not gone to the Minister but on Thursday that it had indeed gone to the ‘Welsh ministers’ and ‘you will be provided with a copy as you requested, when the Welsh Ministers have considered the matter and reached their decision’ Who actually decides, Jane Davidson?

On Monday they told us that they didn’t know which minister to send it to! Are they are trying to cover themselves, as they can't decide on CPOs as necessary in the public interest if the DTC is not to proceed? Or has Persimmons been bought off, so avoiding a CPO decision?

It's unfair if the applicant Ieuan Wyn has seen the report - or participated in any decisions on when and whether to grant the CPOs. The applicant is abusing a privileged position!

Ieuan Wyn Jones Plaid Cymru (minister for the Economy and Transport) in a letter dated May 5 said  “under the Compulsory Purchase by Ministers (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 19994 (SI 1994 No 3264) an Inspectors report is normally published at the same time as the issue of a decision by Welsh Ministers on whether or not to make the order. The Inspectors Report on the draft Compulsory Purchase Order was received on March 26 and is currently under consideration. Although there is no specific time limit for such decisions to be made, we hope to publish a decision before the summer recess, once the Ministry of Defence has announced whether or not it is proceeding with the Defence Technical College investment at St Athan.  The decision and the Inspectors report will be published on our website at the appropriate time…

Is this in line with the rules? Rules that were drawn up by the Westminster Government 5 years before the establishment of the Assembly and some 10 years before the Freedom of Information Act. The public have the right to know. Shame on you Ieuan Wyn Jones! Keep Raytheon out of Wales! 


Notes
CPO - compulsory land purchase for access roads to a proposed tri-service college at St Athan.


Affordability
By the start of 2009, the project looked so unviable that Ministers had to quietly slip an “unnumbered  command paper” through the Commons providing Metrix with a £32 million risk guarantee to prevent the partnership going ‘belly up’. 
 Then Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for the Wrekin, obtained an MOD memo which stated “Currently there is a £1.3 billion affordability issue in the programme”. The programme referred to is the Defence Training Review (DTR) programme, the official name for the contract Metrix is bidding for.
The leaked memo indicates that central to Metrix’s problems is the price of borrowing money. Supporters  of PPPs, which usually involve bank borrowing, frequently refer to such deals as ‘more efficient’ than schemes funded directly through tax revenue. But the memo states Metrix has a problem “borrowing money at a reasonable rate”. The Swiss UBS bank has  down-rated its investment advice on Metrix, suggesting its a very high risk venture.

and another thing the people of Wales are not aware that the noise levels will be unacceptable to local residents or  the track vehicles ...tanks and such. Or that MoD added to the planning permission for a golf course and a field exercise area!.....could go on forever!!

19/05/2010

Planning inspectorate uphold objections on St Athan

Goodbye St Athan & Metrix


Will college setback benefit Blandford camp?


Blandford Camp could benefit from a setback for a planned £12 billion defence training college in Wales.
The government’s planning inspectorate recently upheld objections over compulsory land purchase for access roads to a proposed tri-service academy at St Athan.
Now Max Wallis, who spoke at a public inquiry on behalf of Friends of the Earth, says Blandford’s training base could benefit from the inspectorate’s ruling.
“We found the whole St Athan project is severely scaled down, which removes all logic for building a new college from scratch,” said Mr Wallis.
He said evidence given to the public inquiry by MoD officials revealed the capacity of the proposed college to have been scaled back from 6,000 trainees to 2,700.
“The 4,000 units of accommodation and associated facilities at the Blandford base would be more than sufficient.
“Little new-build would be needed for service family accommodation, unlike the 473 units planned at St Athan at around £100 million from the MoD.
“If the tri-service training was sited at Blandford, the 200 administrative staff would not need to move to St Athan or be paid redundancy,” said Mr Wallis.
North Dorset MP Bob Walter, who has served as president of the inter-parliamentary European Security and Defence Assembly, said the St Athan project had cost the MoD about £500 million a year and could be shelved in the new government’s Strategic Defence Review.
“Blandford Camp is perfectly capable of continuing to provide first class training in information and communication systems, which is why the MoD committed £100 million of funds to it about 10 years ago,” said Mr Walter.
An MoD spokesperson said the department was awaiting the decision of the Welsh Assembly’s first minister.

12/05/2010

Ditch St athan PFI invest in green jobs

ditch St Athan project To Cheryl Gillan Mark Pritchard, Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for The Wrekin, said the government’s Defence Training Review “would be reviewed and examined in fine detail” if David Cameron became Prime Minister. Will you be consider as the New Secreatrary of State for Wales the Blanford cheaper option?

Will you consider these figures and whether Blandford would have the capacity for the scaled down St Athan tri-service plans:
St Athan plans  2750 trainee and single persons accommodation (cost to Metrix)
            553 Service Families accommodation (483 new build, cost on MoD)
Requires about 700 trainer staff and 700 others of which 200 are managerial.
 Blandford Camp, has accommodation for 4,000 people and capacity to train 8,000 personnel a year. 200 civilian jobs at risk.

Would she support our arguing that Blandford could be a cheaper fall-back option, which would save the MoD from building new services housing (say £100k each = £50M) and make use of the other accommodatiion for trainees etc.  Their 'civilian staff' would be sufficient for the new managerial numbers planned by Metrix (apart from a few top guys). 

Cheryl Gillan is new Secretary of State for Wales
Cheryl Gillanhttp://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2010/05/12/cheryl-gillan-is-new-secretary-of-state-for-wales-91466-26434297/May 12 2010 WalesOnline

Cheryl Gillan is the new Secretary of State for Wales – the first woman to hold the post – Downing Street announced today.
Ms Gillan, 58, was born in Cardiff but represents the English seat of Chesham and Amersham. She had been shadow secretary of state since December 2005....Ms Gillan has  said she wants to have a “constructive” relationship with the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition in Cardiff Bay.
Items near the top of her bulging in-tray include the proposed referendum on the Assembly’s powers, rising unemployment – now at 9.3% according to figures released this morning – and the future of big-ticket investment projects like the £13bn Defence Training Academy at St Athan.
But won't bring sustainable high value jobs -

 To the new secretary of state for Wales...


She can be contacted on.....gillanc@parliament.uk
My Constituency Secretary - Mary Shaw - is based at 7a Hill Avenue, Amersham, Bucks HP6 5BD or phone on 01494 721 577 or fax on 01494 722107. shawmj@parliament.uk
My House of Commons Researcher - Sam Gibbs can be contacted on 0207 219 4061 or by email gibbss@parliament.uk

Raytheon Opens New Office in Portsmouth, England, Focused on Training

The privatisation of British military training continues with Raytheon war profiteers settlting into UK in a feeding frenzy as new labours crazy programme continues! The school for mercenaries is happening!

Tories promise Cosford move review
Shropshire Star Mark Pritchard, Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for The Wrekin, said the government's Defence Training Review “would be reviewed and examined in ...

raf-cosfordControversial plans to transfer jobs from RAF Cosford to Wales would be reviewed if the Conservative Party came to power, it was claimed today.
Mark Pritchard, Tory prospective parliamentary candidate for The Wrekin, said the government’s Defence Training Review “would be reviewed and examined in fine detail” if David Cameron became Prime Minister.As part of the programme the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE), based at the airbase near Shifnal and providing training for aircraft engineers and tradesmen across the British armed forces, will move to St Athan in Wales from 2014.....
Mr Pritchard, who has been campaigning to secure the future of the 70-year-old base, said today: “If the Conservatives form the next government we are committed to a major Strategic Defence Review which will examine every major defence spending commitment by Labour ministers.
“This will include the flawed Defence Training Review programme which will tear the heart out of Cosford and the local community.”
Mr Pritchard’s Back RAF Cosford campaign on Facebook has attracted more than 700 followers.
Raytheon Opens New Office in Portsmouth, England, Focused on Training
PR Newswire (press release)
... has also begun providing early training transformation solutions for the UK Ministry of Defence for the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Program. ..

Raytheon Opens New Office in Portsmouth, England, Focused on Training

PORTSMOUTH, England, April 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) has opened a new office in Portsmouth, England, that will focus on delivering training to United Kingdom customers.
"We have a number of training activities under way in the United Kingdom, and this site will enable us to work more collaboratively with our customers and demonstrate how our low-risk capabilities provide the best value," said David Appel, Raytheon Technical Services Company LLC director of U.K. military training programs.
Raytheon is currently competing for the U.K. Royal Navy Fleet Outsourced Activities Project. As part of the competitive dialogue now under way, Raytheon is focusing on low-risk, cost-effective training solutions that remain flexible to future challenges. As a member of the Metrix Consortium, Raytheon has also begun providing early training transformation solutions for the U.K. Ministry of Defence for the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Program.
The Portsmouth facility will enable Raytheon to leverage worldwide training experience and adapt the company's proven solutions to the United Kingdom. Training activities performed at the site span multiple programs and functions, including delivery, design, development and management support. The Raytheon personnel based at the site will have management responsibility for more than 100 training professionals in the country.
Raytheon Company, with 2009 sales of $25 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world.
With a history of innovation spanning 88 years, Raytheon providesstate-of-the-art electronics,
mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 75,000 people worldwide.