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Military accommodation not fit for animals

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Military accommodation not fit for animals

Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:30
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Military accommodation not fit for animals

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknew...PIB?li=AAnZ9Ug

somethings never change, however the fire risks and the fact they are ignoring them is scandalous, perhaps it is time in light of Greenville to inform these civil servants ignoring the problem both past and present that they will be held responsible on manslaughter charges if in the end injuries happens.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 05:29
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It’s not civil servants who are to blame. Decisions were made over the last 20 years by senior Service officers to manage the decline of the defence estate and spend the money on projects deemed more important. After alll, what’s going to happen if a building doesn’t get a lick of paint this year?

I spent a bit of time building new accommodation for what was the Centre TLB so got to see across the Services. The army’s approach to their soldiers’ accommodation could be described as wilfully negligent, using terms such as ‘well, this accommodation is still better than they would have had at home’ and ‘they get married early and will move into SFA’ or the monumentally short sighted ‘they don’t stay in long’. The Navy approach has always been to encourage their personnel to live away from their hone ports and not to use service accommodation. Indeed, the worst accommodation I saw was at HMMB Clyde, where sewage routinely flooded the single rates accommodation decks.

The RAF has, traditionally, placed a big emphasis on good quality and well maintained accommodation. At least it used to. A visit to any station will see how poorly maintained the infrastructure is - and that this neglect has been allowed to happen for decades. New builds are generally related to PFIs and often this technical accommodation has a short design life and lacks any architectural merit. Meanwhile we have the unfit for purpose DIO trying to manage contractors who are infamous for underperforming in the outsourcing world.

I visited some some friends who are in SFA in NW London - I was shocked to see the state of their quarter and the estate as a whole. No money had been spent for a very long time; about 1 in 4 houses were abandoned or condemned; there’d been no grounds maintenance on the trees for a similar length of time (causing all sorts of second order issues) and the interior of the houses were a throwback to the 1950s. The kitchens were antiquated;the boilers were very old and grossly inefficient and the bathrooms wholly inadequate in this day and age (a shower being regarded as a luxury..).

I really dont don’t know how this mass of dog poo can be turned around. Do we need a Grenfell type incident on a MOD estate before there will be real investment? Perhaps the RAF needs to UDI and look after itself and establish a professional works branch rather than using well meaning but hopelessly ill experienced Admin Officer to administrate the budget?
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 09:48
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Accommodation affects retention too...

Say, RAF Waddington...

SAC Joe Bloggs wakes up, no hot water. He is in a non-SLAM block. He walks to work, where he has a brand new building to work in. He does his 8 hours, walks back to the block where the hot water still doesnt work, there is no WiFi and a poor TV signal. Meanwhile at another RAF base down the road, the same type of block that he lives in, this is only used for urgent transit cases and air cadets....everyone else has SLAM.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:02
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This situation is far from new. When I was posted to Middle Wallop in 1985 the MQ we were allocated had two missing windows and the ancient lino tiles covering the entire ground floor were secured using 2" nails which protruded by around 1/4". When I asked the RQMS (a LSL WO2 who was biding his time to demob) what could be done I was told nothing, after all I was only there for a year. We had two children, one aged 2 and one aged 6 months, who we couldn't allow to play in case they injured themselves on the nails. The entire year was spent with plywood nailed over the missing window panes.

That period ignited an increasing desire to leave, consolidated by various degradations of service life and culminating in the Options For Change spending review.

NEO
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:08
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Folks. Acceptable Accomodation? There is no political will and no public interest in making it so. Our Armed forces have been reduced in numbers so much and have little voice so that nobody out there is interested. Those (of us) that ARE concerned are of course, a dying breed. All the government (of whatever colour) needs to do is delay the rectification until we are all gone...bit like the Brexit thing really.

Sad
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:09
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The RAF has, traditionally, placed a big emphasis on good quality and well maintained accommodation. At least it used to.
The old Boulmer OM back in the 70-80s had a block known as “the swamp”, because it flooded every winter and was routinely condemned as unfit for human habitation. They’d vacate the flooded rooms but those at the back were still above water, you just had to wade down the corridor or get to them.

Then in spring it would dry out and they’d move new arrivals back in again.

The other blocks had one socket a room with a circuit breaker for the block just inside the entrance which you could hear clattering as it approached load so the inhabitants knew to reduce usage. For those who remember “Green Acres” on TV it was similar - but without Zsa Zsa Gabor......
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:45
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Originally Posted by Moi/ View Post
Accommodation affects retention too...

Say, RAF Waddington...

SAC Joe Bloggs wakes up, no hot water. He is in a non-SLAM block. He walks to work, where he has a brand new building to work in. He does his 8 hours, walks back to the block where the hot water still doesnt work, there is no WiFi and a poor TV signal. Meanwhile at another RAF base down the road, the same type of block that he lives in, this is only used for urgent transit cases and air cadets....everyone else has SLAM.
There is no doubt that the junior ranks accommodation at Waddo is terrible. Plenty of money being spent elsewhere but if you are a singly at Waddo it's tough sh*t as by the time they build SLAM it will be time to close the place!
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 11:10
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As with most of us, I could recount many tales (and have done so previously!) of the utterly **** standard of service accommodation and its woeful management...some of which are frankly laughable.

But I'll resist this once, and merely point out that I think whenurhappy is onto something...

Perhaps the RAF needs to UDI and look after itself and establish a professional works branch rather than using well meaning but hopelessly ill experienced Admin Officer to administrate the budget?
Agreed, but it's worse than that IMO...all to often the ultimate and sign off responsibility for all sorts of buildings and their budgets falls to someone as a secondary duty. This is flat wrong. In fact (excuse the digression) I would suggest the whole secondary duty concept is decades behind its "expiry date".
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 11:13
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Proper SLAM - ie MOD owned and funded, but maintained under a long term contract by Balfour Beatty - is a good product but it was killed off over 10 years ago, even though £4.5 Bn had been profiled across the Services. The Army pulled out and preferred to do down the ruinously expensive pfi route, resulting in crappy ‘Slam like’ ghettos, and managed with the same derisory mindset. The Head of Accommodation at DIO thought the whole thing was too expensive and eventually pulled the plug. She, of course, got promoted.

I think the days of heavily subsidised accommodation of any sort are numbered. Poor accommodation conflated with lifestyle changes and increasing expectations means that an inexorable shit to the private sector will occur - and NAM is wholly inadequate for the task.

The concept of living and fighting together will become a distant memory.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 11:34
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Its almost like you need an organisation to look after estates, run by the MOD - you could call it, say, MOD (PE)?

Googling MoD PE to research my pithy comment above, I came across this article. No wonder the UK has so little money when greedy people are given the opputunity to strip the assets of the nation bare. Scandalous doesn't even begin to cover it.

Last edited by thunderbird7; 2nd Jan 2019 at 12:06.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 12:11
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
The old Boulmer OM back in the 70-80s had a block known as “the swamp”, because it flooded every winter and was routinely condemned as unfit for human habitation. They’d vacate the flooded rooms but those at the back were still above water, you just had to wade down the corridor or get to them.

Then in spring it would dry out and they’d move new arrivals back in again.

The other blocks had one socket a room with a circuit breaker for the block just inside the entrance which you could hear clattering as it approached load so the inhabitants knew to reduce usage. For those who remember “Green Acres” on TV it was similar - but without Zsa Zsa Gabor......
but the New Mess, built 89/90, was a vast improvement on what preceded it.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 12:14
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Originally Posted by thunderbird7 View Post
Its almost like you need an organisation to look after estates, run by the MOD - you could call it, say, MOD (PE)?

Googling MoD PE to research my pithy comment above, I came across this article. No wonder the UK has so little money when greedy people are given the opputunity to strip the assets of the nation bare. Scandalous doesn't even begin to cover it.
Defence Infrastructure Organisation is charged with managing the estate, apparently. Fire fighting service, more likely, in many ways.

The disposal of quarters must be one of the greatest financial rapes of the century; moreover the legacy of the MOD still maintaining and upgrading them (and paying for voids) is fiscal lunacy.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 12:36
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It’s not just the standard of accommodation either - patchy at best when viewed across the estate - outdated and discriminatory policies are still implemented which alienate people.

I have had several juniors and NCOs approach me in the past year complaining that they are paying accommodation charges despite being homeowners whilst married colleagues have all charges waived. Formal complaints have been made in the hope that the nature of the issue - discrimination - would strike a chord with an MOD hell bent on equality. Instead the MOD has chosen to hide behind technicalities such as complaints being made ‘out of time’ - a 3 month window from the date of the incident, in tris case posting in, being deemed the maximum time allowed. There are other issues such as those in long term relationships but not married or in a legally recognised relationship being forced to make choices between family and job.

The entire MOD accommodation system is rotten to th core, both physically and morally and nobody seems willing to do a damn thing about it other than suck teeth, blame predecessors and point to the Future Accommodation Model as being the proverbial cavalry coming to save the day. Given that the FAM trial is already delayed and I would guess will take at least a decade to implement across the MOD, how many more people are we willing to lose before we sort this out. As an organisation we need to hang our heads. People are clearly not our best asset judging by the way they are treated.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 12:38
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Simple solution to the problem.....prohibit MOD families from having Companion Animals in MOD Housing.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 13:29
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but the New Mess, built 89/90, was a vast improvement on what preceded it.
IIRC the design was that planned for Akrotiri and the internal circular colonnade was originally planned to be open air. As it was it was still lethal on a rainy day once the tiles got slippery.

I grow old, was it there Aileen broke both her wrists and sued and got compensation?
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 14:23
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Originally Posted by Nigerian Expat Outlaw View Post
This situation is far from new. When I was posted to Middle Wallop in 1985 the MQ we were allocated had two missing windows and the ancient lino tiles covering the entire ground floor were secured using 2" nails which protruded by around 1/4". When I asked the RQMS (a LSL WO2 who was biding his time to demob) what could be done I was told nothing, after all I was only there for a year. We had two children, one aged 2 and one aged 6 months, who we couldn't allow to play in case they injured themselves on the nails. The entire year was spent with plywood nailed over the missing window panes.

That period ignited an increasing desire to leave, consolidated by various degradations of service life and culminating in the Options For Change spending review.

NEO
Same patch, a couple of years later; woken one Saturday morning by four-year-old daughter who'd opened-up the connective tissue between thumb and index finger on exposed metalwork on the sink/draining-board and was fascinated by the now-visible ligaments. Response - a two-foot length of garden-hose, split lengthwise, glued over exposed sharp edge. The MQ at Wallop should have been condemned, but as you say, the standard retort was always "Suck it up, you'll be gone in less than 12 months."
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 16:24
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There are other issues such as those in long term relationships but not married or in a legally recognised relationship being forced to make choices between family and job.
I found myself in a position where I had to make that decision at the age of 38 and I was married!
I kept my family... but not the RAF.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 16:57
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Originally Posted by thunderbird7 View Post
Its almost like you need an organisation to look after estates, run by the MOD - you could call it, say, MOD (PE)?

Googling MoD PE to research my pithy comment above, I came across this article. No wonder the UK has so little money when greedy people are given the opportunity to strip the assets of the nation bare. Scandalous doesn't even begin to cover it.
What an article.

"This had another consequence: the high borrowing costs meant that all the hundreds of millions paid in rent by the MoD in the last two decades has washed straight offshore, endlessly servicing debt. Annington’s investors – the biggest winners in the deal – have made the largest profits. And because all the rental income floods offshore, Annington has never made an operating profit in the UK. Despite receiving £168m in rent from the MoD last year, Annington didn’t pay a penny of corporation tax."


Veterans freezing on the streets and you read that.
Draft in a few ex VSO's as supposed top cover and crack on!
I wonder how many involved, both mil and civ service, were mentioned in New Year awards over the decades??
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 17:35
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Whenurhappy

In your post 9, was "an inexorable shit to the private sector" a Freudian slip?
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 17:38
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Originally Posted by weemonkey View Post
What an article.

"This had another consequence: the high borrowing costs meant that all the hundreds of millions paid in rent by the MoD in the last two decades has washed straight offshore, endlessly servicing debt. Annington’s investors – the biggest winners in the deal – have made the largest profits. And because all the rental income floods offshore, Annington has never made an operating profit in the UK. Despite receiving £168m in rent from the MoD last year, Annington didn’t pay a penny of corporation tax."


Veterans freezing on the streets and you read that.
Draft in a few ex VSO's as supposed top cover and crack on!
I wonder how many involved, both mil and civ service, were mentioned in New Year awards over the decades??
AVM Sandy Hunter ring any bells?

Last edited by Whenurhappy; 2nd Jan 2019 at 17:50.
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