In a letter sent to army families last week, the MOD issued a formal apology, admitting multiple failures within the army housing system. The various accommodations had doors with missing locks, holes in the walls of children’s bedrooms, and mould issues. The letter also indicated that the MOD were aware of families and soldiers arriving in accommodation which was not adequately prepared, in addition to repairs and maintenance checks not being carried out in a timely or structured manner. Many saw this letter as a promise by the government to reverse the lasting damage of poor conditions dating back decades.
The letter reflects the vast disparity in the level of care provided to soldiers and their families compared to recent accolades for our armed forces during the Queen’s funeral.
In April 2022, the MOD entered into management deals with housing contractors covering 49,000 houses. These contracts, worth a staggering £650m, ‘were designed with families firmly in mind’ and came with high praise from Leo Docherty, defence secretary.
The director of accommodation at the MOD’s defence infrastructure organisation, David Bowden, apologised for the ‘disruption and inconvenience these failures had caused.’ He admitted there had been ‘unacceptable levels of service…under the new accommodation.’
In response to the apology, the CEO of the Army Families Federation, Collette Musgrave, stated that ‘what families want to see is real and immediate improvements to deliver that service they were promised.’
Under the management deals provided, £144m was paid to Pinnacle Group and £506m was paid to Amey Community and Vivo Defence jointly. Records show that the highest paid director within Amey earnt £732,000 in the year 2000 alone. Vivo Defence is yet to file accounts.
In a joint statement Pinnacle, Vivo Defence and Amey commented that ‘the new contracts are complex… [we are] working hard to deliver the service standards to which we all aspire.’
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