21/07/2010

DEFENCE TRAINING PFI No retreat

Article Private Eye July 2010 

DEFENCE TRAINING PFI
No retreat
NOW that the government has slashed one PFI programme - building schools - by ditching scores of unsigned contracts, will it rethink the biggest single PFI deal on which it has yet to put pen to paper: the long-delayed £13.5bn contract to hand defence training to a consortium led by struggling defence firm QinetiQ?
As with the axed schools deals, millions of pounds have already been paid to consultants for preparatory work; but this pales next to the billions that could be saved from future defence budgets if defence secretary Liam Fox doesn't sign. As the Eye reported two years ago (Eye 1218), the deal that would centralize all forces' training at a new £840m defence academy at St Athan, South Wales, was supposed to save the Ministry of Defence £400m over 30 years. That was before the price increased by five times as much, £2bn, with latest figures suggesting yet another £0.5bn rise.
Earlier this year a Welsh planning inquiry revealed that in the age of austerity the number of trainees going through the proposed academy would not be the 6,000 anticipated when the deal was planned and the savings predicted, but 55 percent fewer at 2,700 - hardly enough to justify building a new academy. It now seems undeniable the deal will cost a lot more than improving, or just maintaining, longstanding and in some cases historic facilities
that the military remains pretty happy with. But the coalition seems reluctant to cut the deal. At defence questions this month, Lib Dem armed forces minister Nick Harvey, who is known to have had
his ear bent by QinetiQ, even defended it: "To change course now", he told Tory backbench opponent of the deal Mark Pritchard, "would undo a great deal of investment that has already been made and add considerably to the final cost".
Just two years ago in opposition, Harvey was an outspoken critic of an earlier botched defence training PFI deal. When the National Audit Office found that a contract to train armoured vehicle
drivers had been scrapped after six years of confusion over "transfer of course pass rate risk"
(and £15m down the plughole), Harvey complained: "PFI projects should only be used where they can be clearly proved to provide the best value for money. Instead, the MoD appears to be signing up to PFI schemes without thinking, then throwing away millions abandoning them years later."
Oddly enough this is what he now proposes to do on a massive scale.
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Actually its now £14bn 
 The largest PFI in history whose costs have risen to £14bn for just package 2 as Nick Harvey said in a written answer 7th July 2010 
When first announced, the FULL training package was announced as £14 billion.Then Package 2 was cut out and it shrunk to £11 billion. 
In 2008, the MOD agreed to shrink the trainee contact hours by 25%, but still the cost crept up to £12 billion. 
Late in 2009, the sum of £13 billion was mentioned and used at the January 2010 Public Inquiry. 
Now on their website (www.metrix.uk.com), we see £13.5 billion over 30 years. Now Nick Harvey says £14bn! Remember Liberal Democrat then shadow Defence Secretary Nick Harvey was even more outraged about MoD PFI projects, accusing the MoD of wasting millions of pounds. He said "This report shows that the Governments blind faith in PFI projects is leading to millions of pounds being lost in inefficiencies. 
"PFI projects should only be used where they can be clearly proved to provide the best value for money. 
Millions wasted in defence PFI deals 
http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=7543 
Friday, October 31, 2008 
 
In 2008, there was only a few £100 million between the Metrix deal and the public sector comparator. £2.5 billion later, what is now the difference? 
 
No surprise that the MOD officials are telling the Minister not to bother with a proper review of alternatives 
more info here 
http://www.antimetrix.org/ 
 
JONATHAN RUTHERFORD ARTICLE 
Is that all, Mr Pocklington? 
 
The government has committed nearly £160bn on the never-never with PFI projects. How can they possibly deliver value for money?... 
The largest PFI scheme in UK history is a military university which will be built at St Athan in Wales. It will be run by Metrix consortium which includes QinetiQ, Land Securities Trillium, Sodexho, Italian owned arms manufacturer AgustaWestland and US military giant Raytheon. How much is it going to cost? There is no straightforward answer. According to press reports the project is worth £10bn. But Metrix claim the overall value is £16bn. 
A second phase of the scheme has run into "affordability challenges".http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/28/isthatall 
mrpocklington 
 
[It would be interesting to see Jonathan Rutherford doing a follow up article as he was proved right about escalating costs (see below march 2008--- 
soundings magazine dicussions 
http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=15848&uid=32150551470#!/topic.php?uid=32150551470&topic=15848 

12/07/2010

A proper review needed!

Questions on the Metrix project at St Athan.

We engaged in the Public Inquiry in January/February this year, so have up-to-date information..Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat) - the  Minister's answers on 5th July do not give us confidence that he is undertaking a proper review.

Questions the minister needs to answer as the Minister's answers on 5th July do not give us confidence that he is undertaking a proper review.

a) “obvious synergy” with other work at St Athan
b) “add considerably to the final cost”.

# Has he up-to-date cost estimates for a scaled-down College for 2700 trainees (given at the Public Inquiry in January) or for 2000 Trainee places (possible figures after the Strategic Defence Review)?

# Could he give a breakdown of MOD expenditure to date towards the Metrix development, both as capital, for re-design and preparation of new courses and towards site preparation costs?


Note - At the public inquiry, the Welsh government was unable to justify synergy with the training project;

  •  they did claim synergy between the Aerospace Business Park and the Red Dragon aircraft refitting and maintenance
  •  there’s none with the Training College , just providing security and Service Families accommodation for staff seconded to the training function
  • the “superhangar” built for servicing large aircraft is to be converted to create the College, so new hangars have to be built for future ABP servicing contracts
  • the aeroengine testing facility has to be closed as too noisy near the College, and would have to be re-built elsewhere
  • The Training project has been scaled down from 6000 trainees to 2700 (at the Inquiry) and 2000-2200 after expected SDR cuts.
  • Much of the £830M capital cost would be saved by using existing bases (including £370M on new accommodation at St Athan) and upgrading existing sports, eating and admin facilities (see attache jpg image).
  • little MOD money has been spent, apart from ~ £60M to Metrix to cover course redesign and office costs (not be lost if they sited the training elsewhere). £60M capital costs have been authorised shared 50/50 with WAG, but only design and consultancy parts of this have been spent; the major roads contracts have not been let.

09/07/2010

Newspapers near the Blandford and Cosford Camp

Newspapers near the Blandford Camp: - it's future looks very dicey once it loses the training to St Athan.  This Royal Signals  base is close to the Minister Nick Harvey's constituency and  the MOD is sensitive to rumours of its closure. 
http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk

Crucial to write to the papers so email for example Shropshire Star covers Cosford
StarMail – Letters to the Editor: starmail@shropshirestar.co.uk

Express and Star
Letters to the Editor for publication: letters@expressandstar.co.uk

Western Mail max 150 words
readers@walesonliine.co.uk

The £billions creep up



7th July 2010  Caroline Dinenage (Gosport, Conservative) asks a question re the cost of St Athan PFI.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of the proposed private finance initiative project for the Engineering Training School at RAF St Athan over the next 30 years.
Photo of Nick Harvey
Nick Harvey (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)
holding answer 5 July 2010
The current estimate of the cost of Defence Training Rationalisation Package 1 project is £14 billion. This represents the cost for the provision of the construction of new facilities at St Athan and the whole operating costs for the entire 30 year life of the project. These operating costs include staff, catering and maintenance costs, themajority of which we already carry today.
....When first announced, the FULL training package was announced as £14 billion.Then Package 2 was cut out and it shrunk to £11 billion.
In 2008, the MOD agreed to shrink the trainee contact hours by 25%, but still the cost crept up to £12 billion. 
Late in 2009, the sum of £13 billion was mentioned and used at the January 2010 Public Inquiry. 
Now on their website (www.metrix.uk.com), we see £13.5 billion over 30 years. Now Nick Harvey says £14bn! 

In 2008, there was only a few £100 million between the Metrix deal and the public sector comparator. £2.5 billion later, what is now the difference? 
No surprise that the MOD officials are telling the Minister not to bother with a proper review of alternatives! 

Remember that on 
Friday, October 31, 2008
lib Dem then shadow Defence Secretary Nick Harvey was even more outraged about MoD PFI projects, accusing the MoD of wasting millions of pounds in defence PFI deals. He said "This report shows that the Governments blind faith in PFI projects is leading to millions of pounds being lost in inefficiencies. 
"PFI projects should only be used where they can be clearly proved to provide the best value for money.

MP should argue the case for Cosford more strongly!

MP should argue the case for Cosford more strongly!

Mark Pritchard MP argued for keeping training at Cosford and sending the army logistics brigades to St Athan during Defence Questions in the Commons on 5th July.

Tory MP Mr Pritchard said: “Does it not make sense, given the presence of the extra special forces support group and the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment and indeed the logistic hangars and the very long runway indeed at RAF St Athan in Wales, to actually have 1 and 2 logistics brigade return to St Athan rather than RAF Cosford in Shropshire?”

The Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering would then stay at Cosford airbase.
While this alternative was not chosen originally, the large down-sizing of the integrated Training College (from 6000 to 2700 or even 2000 trainee places) brings the Cosford option back into reckoning.  Little investment would be needed for the reduced numbers.

Nick Harvey’s ministerial reply showed he’s unaware of the down-sizing and unwilling to make a proper reassessment.  Too much a prisoner of his civil servants!


Cosford training base

A question in parliament on Monday has revealed that there is fresh doubt over the future of RAF Cosford as a military training base. The new coalition government has indicated that it has no intention of halting the plans to construct a defence super-centre in St Athan, Wales.
Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin) (Con): If he will consider, as part of the strategic defence and security review, the merits of the Army returning to RAF St Athan rather than RAF Cosford. [5314]
The Minister for the Armed Forces (Nick Harvey): Plans for the defence training review package 1 project remain unchanged, and consequently it is still planned for 102 Logistics Brigade to relocate to RAF Cosford in 2018 under the BORONA programme. Like everything else in the defence world, that is subject to the strategic defence and security review. At this point, no decisions have been taken.
Mark Pritchard: Let me be clear: Shropshire has a long and proud history of working with the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, but does it make sense, given the presence of the excellent special forces support group and 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment, and indeed the logistic hangars and a very long runway indeed at RAF St Athan in Wales, for 102 Logistics Brigade to return to St Athan rather than to RAF Cosford in Shropshire?
Nick Harvey: My hon. Friend is aware that there were two different proposals in the final analysis for the defence training review facilities: Cosford and St Athan. Those were subject to the most detailed scrutiny to decide which was the better fit for our defence requirements and the decision was that the defence training review should relocate facilities to St Athan. We believe that there is an obvious synergy between that and other work at St Athan, particular in high technology, and a lot of work has already gone into preparing for that move. To change course now, as he suggests, would undo a great deal of investment that has already been made and add considerably to the final cost.
The Express and Star report on the recent announcement:
Tuesday 6th July 2010, 11:30AM BST.
Fresh doubt was today cast over the future of RAF Cosford as a military base after the the new coalition Government signalled it had no intention of switching plans to construct a defence super-centre at an air force base in South Wales to the Midlands instead.
Campaigners’ hopes for a reversal of the previous Labour government’s decision have been dashed after Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey indicated it was out of the question.
The Conservatives promised a review of the transfer if they won power.
Mr Harvey stopped short of guaranteeing the £13bn project currently under way at St Athan would get the green light from the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition as part of its strategic defence review, which is expected to be driven by the need to scale back spending.
But said to “change courses” would “add to the final costs considerably”.
In addition, he was unable to shed any further light on shelved plans to move UK troops based in Germany to RAF Cosford – its only other hope of staying alive as a military base.
Plans for the movement of 2,600 troops from Germany to Cosford, due to start in 2016 under Operation Barona, have been delayed to 2018 – putting 400 jobs at the air field near Wolverhampton at risk.
Mr Harvey said the plans were still under review.
His comments came after Telford and Wrekin MP Mark Pritchard urged him to consider the merits of relocating some brigades to St Athan, while suggesting Cosford should remain the principal training centre for the armed forces.
Raising the issue during Defence Questions in the Commons yesterday, Mr Pritchard said: “Shropshire has a long and proud history of working with the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy.
“But does it not make sense, given the presence of the extra special forces support group and the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment and indeed the logistic hangars and the very long runway indeed at RAF St Athan in Wales, to actually have 1 and 2 logistics brigade return to St Athan rather than RAF Cosford in Shropshire?” asked the Tory MP.
Work is under way to move the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering (DCAE), currently at Cosford airbase near Shifnal, to Wales from 2014.
Mr Harvey said the decision had been made that St Athan was “better fit for our defence requirements”.
He went on: “We believe there is an obvious synergy between that and other work at St Athan, particularly in high-technology areas.
“To change courses as you suggest now, would undo a great deal of investment that has already been made and add to the final costs considerably,” he added.
Welsh Labour MP Chris Bryant said he was delighted the Government was going to “stick with St Athan”.

Jobs and trainee numbers

Severe shrinkage of the grand ‘Academy’ Project
 
How many Trainees?
The original estimate was 6000 Trainees, for both ‘Packages’ 1 and 2, when the grand  “ Defence Training Academy ” was announced in January 2007.  The 2009 estimates for the ‘ Defence Technical College ’ were under half that - after dropping Package 2, shortening courses, and distributing some training at the nine “learning centres”.  The Inquiry document CD5B.7 Table 1.4 of January 2010 gave 2700 DTC places while the Metrix presentation in March/April 2009 gave 2500.
 
The Strategic Defence Review is likely to cut standing forces; eg. a reduction in the army from 100 000 to 80 000.  A proportional cut in trainees leaves 2000-2160, one third of the original estimate.
 
cccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc
old figues
Metrix DTC numbers given at St Athan Inquiry
 
The original estimates for the  “ Defence Training Academy ” were based on 6000 Trainees, for both ‘Package 1 and 2.  The present estimates are under half that, after dropping Package 2, shorter courses, reductions from integration and reorganising with some training at the nine “learning centres”.   Numbers used at the Inquiry were in document CD5B.7 Table 1.4.
 
It appears that the reduced trainee population could be accommodated at the Blandford site’s 4000 living units.  Surely the requirement for new-build Service Family Accommodation would be reduced and the loss of civilian personnel in transfer to St Athan would be reduced too, if the integrated tri-service training were provided there.
 
The MoD has still not decided on alternative use for Blandford facilities. The minister told North Dorset MP Bob Walter (late Feb.): "We are pursuing alternative defence uses for Blandford Camp, but it is still too early to say what these might be."
 
Is the use of Blandford rather than almost full new-build at St Athan being considered, as a lower cost fall-back option?
 
Details of numbers:
Rebuttal Proof of Michael Grimmel/Sodexo  AA 4.2
 
  •  Trainees – planning for 2750 trainee population (as put in the planning submission document; 2500 was given elsewhere, a later figure from April 2009) 
  •  Single Living Accommodation 3240 units – includes ‘single’ military staff and  some awaiting courses. 
  •  Military staff – 700 project staff plus 310 Non-Project Units (includes Museum, and REME band from Arborfield).  The 700 project staff is also as in the planning submission, 655 was given later in April 2009.
Rebuttal Proof of Lieut Colonel J R Wheeler (of DTR Integrated Project Team) AA7.1
 
# Service family accommodation – need for 483 new units plus the 70 existing units (128 for Officers, grades 2-5, 355 for other ranks Types C,D)
- total need was based on 787 (not 700) project staff; reduce by 17% if really 655.
then total need for SFA reduces from 553 to 460.
 
Civilian staff numbers:  under “facilities and estates” Metrix give 910 (or 865 April 2009) which include security, transport, catering, as well as project management.  The 200 higher grades at Blandford may not be sufficient, but would make a good basis for recruiting others, instead of losing the majority of such experienced personnel by the move to St Athan.
 
Civilian Staff
Metrix numbers in facilities and estates are 910 (CD5B.7) or 865 (April 2009) which include security, transport, catering, as well as project management.
 
Civilian Trainer Staff
Trainer staff to be transferred from existing training centres number ~700
 
Military staff 
Military staff to be seconded to the project number 700 (CD5B.7), or 655 (April 2009).
 
The case to the Inquiry gave 3000 jobs total from the ABP development, by including non-project staff (including Museum and the REME band).  The 3000 total appears chosen in advance, then the subtotals adjusted upwards from the April 2009 figures to give the round sum 3000, whereas the DTC project total is ~2200.   This will presumably be cut further in the Strategic Defence Review.
 
QUESTION – as the Project is near one third of the original size, why not review it for fitting into an existing MoD base, where housing and other facilities would lie unused?

St Athan Myths and downright lies!

SCRAPPING the planned armed forces training college in St Athan would let down the people of South Wales, Labour leadership favourite David Miliband will say today after being briefed with propaganda from MoD. Miliband forgets that this dodgy project to privatise military training without a debate in the Senedd is already £2bn over budget. How dare he choose to promote this privatisation of the military at the pacifist Kier Hardie Lecture in Mountain Ash, Cynon Valley.How can he dare he speak for the people of Wales who don't want and haven't been asked if they would allow Wales to become a major cog in the military machine! 
There are very fundamental questions that must be asked about the military academy at St Athan

910 JOBS for civilians? The REAL figures The REAL jobs...catering low value jobs Is this all they have to offer the people of Wales 


Civilian Staff in facilities and estates are 910 (CD5B.7) or 865 (April 2009) which include security, transport, catering, as well as project management.

310 Non-Project Units (includes Museum, and REME band from Arborfield).
Civilian Trainer Staff

Trainer staff to be transferred from existing training centres number ~700

Military staff – 700 project staff  

Downsized 

The original priviatisation was for 6,000 trainees and now 2,700 (Numbers used at the Inquiry were in document CD5B.7 Table 1.4.) The reduced trainee population could be accommodated at the Blandford site’s 4000 living units.As the Project is near one third of the original size, there should be a review for fitting into an existing MoD base, where housing and other facilities would lie unused?

Is it cheaper?  
The PFI project is already 2 Billion MORE EXPENSIVE THAN ORIGINALLY PLANNED with lead member of the consortium pulling out. The deal was originally lined up with Metrix, a consortium owned 50/50 by now in trouble company Qinetiq and property developer Land Securities. On this dream ticket " Metrix achieved the highest technical score" and was named "preferred bidder" however when Land Securities withdrew in December because of delays and cost overruns it was replaced in desperation by unbelievably a caterer - Sodexo! Sodexo whose catering is so very bad in a hospital trust a MP has filed a bill to set minium standards. How we can then expect a good sodexo to reliably run military training?
!MP serves up Bill to improve food in hospitals, schools and care homes

 Miliband claims that it will it will also save money... through consolidating exisitng sites and releasing service personel to frontline duties and sales of surplus estate it should save £500m over the 25 year life of the project ?  Miliband forgets that with the housing market hitting rock bottom, predicted revenues are now substantially less than first believed. Rising inflation has led to a ballooning of costs to £13bn.The amounts spent already are peanuts in comparisioon tyo the long term additional costs of being locked into to a PFI contract.
Metrix want to spend £23 million for a unnecessary museum at a time when decrepid schools are being denied funding.


“It would dramatically improve the training we provide for our troops,” says Mr Miliband?? Privatising defence training could turn be one of labours more toxic legacies, the MoD agrees even before a catering company became a lead in the consortium . An MoD risk assessment revealed that the project, under which training will be handed to the Metrix PFI poses catastrophic risks on the front line - trained output could fail to meet requirement of operational commands - is one of them, “there is a risk that Metrix will not be able to ... deliver the numbers of suitably trained personnel that are required and/or that the training output is not to a sufficiently high standard."!!troops inferior training witn new Metrix PFI
MoD and Miliband claims there will be savings by releasing service personnel to front line duty although the trainers are not active serving soldiers. Will hated Raytheon arms dealers provide better training?  

PFI has a troubled history 

MoD PFI trouble

PFI crazy economics 

WHO GAINS the most?
Troubled firm Qinetiq who have ripped off the tax payer big time already!
New Labour politicans like John Smith and Chris Bryant hoping to get cushy board jobs! Raytheon arms dealer  

  
COST to the community 
No one has calculated the additional costs of policing and the additional costs and burden to the NHS! There has been No impact assessment of the effects of the base on the Welsh language!

Local communities in the Vale are totally against this plan. Two petitions have been to WAG P-03-227 on the uneeded expensive access road in Llanmaes and P-03-252 on opposing the RAF St Athan northern access road. 

SECURITY
Having a 'school of the americas in Wales and with additional capacity to fill with trainees we will be at risk of training mercenaries - and a huge influx of trainees from regimes all over the world
We face much opposiiton to firms such as Raytheon in Wales casuing permanent disruption

St Athan has to go ahead, says Miliband

WalesOnline - Tomos Livingstone - ‎3 hours ago‎
SCRAPPING the planned armed forces training college in St Athan would let down the people of South Wales, Labour leadership favourite David Miliband will ...

Severe shrinkage of the grand ‘Academy’ Project

Severe shrinkage of the grand ‘Academy’ Project

How many Trainees?
The original estimate was 6000 Trainees, for both ‘Packages’ 1 and 2, when the grand “ Defence Training Academy ” was announced in January 2007. The 2009 estimates for the ‘ Defence Technical College ’ were under half that - after dropping Package 2, shortening courses, and distributing some training at the nine “learning centres”. The Inquiry document CD5B.7 Table 1.4 of January 2010 gave 2700 DTC places while the Metrix presentation in March/April 2009 gave 2500.

The Strategic Defence Review is likely to cut standing forces; eg. a reduction in the army from 100 000 to 80 000. A proportional cut in trainees leaves 2000-2160, one third of the original estimate.

OLD figures
Metrix DTC numbers given at St Athan Inquiry
The original estimates for the “ Defence Training Academy ” were based on 6000 Trainees, for both ‘Package 1 and 2. The present estimates are under half that, after dropping Package 2, shorter courses, reductions from integration and reorganising with some training at the nine “learning centres”. Numbers used at the Inquiry were in document CD5B.7 Table 1.4.
It appears that the reduced trainee population could be accommodated at the Blandford site’s 4000 living units. Surely the requirement for new-build Service Family Accommodation would be reduced and the loss of civilian personnel in transfer to St Athan would be reduced too, if the integrated tri-service training were provided there.

The MoD has still not decided on alternative use for Blandford facilities. The minister told North Dorset MP Bob Walter (late Feb.): "We are pursuing alternative defence uses for Blandford Camp, but it is still too early to say what these might be."
Is the use of Blandford rather than almost full new-build at St Athan being considered, as a lower cost fall-back option?

Details of numbers:
Rebuttal Proof of Michael Grimmel/Sodexo AA 4.2  Trainees – planning for 2750 trainee population (as put in the planning submission document; 2500 was given elsewhere, a later figure from April 2009)

# Single Living Accommodation 3240 units – includes ‘single’ military staff and some awaiting courses.
Military staff – 700 project staff plus 310 Non-Project Units (includes Museum, and REME band from Arborfield). The 700 project staff is also as in the planning submission, 655 was given later in April 2009.

Rebuttal Proof at St Athjan inquiry 2010 of Lieut Colonel J R Wheeler (of DTR Integrated Project Team) AA7.1
# Service family accommodation – need for 483 new units plus the 70 existing units (128 for Officers, grades 2-5, 355 for other ranks Types C,D)

- total need was based on 787 (not 700) project staff; reduce by 17% if really 655.
then total need for SFA reduces from 553 to 460.

Civilian staff numbers: under “facilities and estates” Metrix give 910 (or 865 April 2009) which include security, transport, catering, as well as project management. The 200 higher grades at Blandford may not be sufficient, but would make a good basis for recruiting others, instead of losing the majority of such experienced personnel by the move to St Athan.

Civilian Staff
Metrix numbers in facilities and estates are 910 (CD5B.7) or 865 (April 2009) which include security, transport, catering, as well as project management.

Civilian Trainer Staff
Trainer staff to be transferred from existing training centres number ~700

Military staff
Military staff to be seconded to the project number 700 (CD5B.7), or 655 (April 2009).
The case to the Inquiry gave 3000 jobs total from the ABP development, by including non-project staff (including Museum and the REME band). The 3000 total appears chosen in advance, then the subtotals adjusted upwards from the April 2009 figures to give the round sum 3000, whereas the DTC project total is ~2200. This will presumably be cut further in the Strategic Defence Review.

QUESTION – as the Project is near one third of the original size, why not review it for fitting into an existing MoD base, where housing and other facilities would lie unused?

07/07/2010

Missing report from St Athan CPO inquiry

In January members of the Cynefin y Werin anti-metrix group gave evidence to the St Athan military training PFI CPO inquiry but as yet no report from the inspector has been made available to us!  Why has the inquiry failed to issue a decision?
WAG and MoD are working together to delay the publishing of the inspectors report! Has the applicant Ieuan Wyn or any of his officials seen the report r participated in decisions on when and whether to grant the CPOs requested?

Has minister Ieuan Wyn Jones abused his position of privilege in his efforts to promote this privatisation of military training?

 Has the inspector decided that the Weycock Cross road junction development is necessary or essential?
Has a case been made for spending £10million plus on an unneeded road junction which wasn't ewven in the Vale of Glamorgans UDP?

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 enquiry by MoD officials revealed that the capacity of the proposed college to have been scaled back from 6,000 trainees to 2,700! Yet they still plan to  spend £240 million on SLA (single living accommodation) and £130.5 million on housing out of a total of £830.5 million!

02/07/2010

Sodexo appalling food

Sodexo is the lead partner in the Metrix consortium and coming to Wales to provide trainin g to our armed forces and lousy meals!
MP serves up Bill to improve food in hospitals, schools and care homes

It came following a surge in complaints after catering giant Sodexo took over the trust's multi-million meals contract. And when the long-serving Labour MP ...

MP JOAN Walley wants the law changed to safeguard food standards in public buildings after the storm over meals served at the region's biggest hospital.

Ms Walley, pictured, has introduced a Private Members' Bill which would set legal standards for food served in hospitals, schools, to the armed forces and at care homes.
Two years ago, the Stoke-on-Trent North MP demanded improvements at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire (UHNS). It came following a surge in complaints after catering giant Sodexo took over the trust's multi-million meals contract.