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  • Alistair Strathern

Government refuses to improve dilapidated armed forces housing at Chicksands

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALISTAIR STRATHERN MP

MONDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Labour MP, Alistair Strathern, today demanded the government to ‘do right by all service personnel’ serving at Chicksands, after it was today revealed the Government had no plans to upgrade the standard of dilapidated service accommodation on the base over the next 6 years.


Mr Strathern pressed defence minister Andrew Murrison in the House of Commons to revisit their decision not to make any improvements to the base in Chicksands.


The government’s own statistics revealed that over 900 Single Living Accommodation bed spaces in Chicksands were at the worst grades of 3 or 4, meaning 75% of Single Living Accommodation in the base received the worst quality grades.


The government have announced their intention to close the base in 2030, though are yet to reveal their detailed plans relating to the closure. Failure to upgrade the accommodation in the meantime will mean potentially 6 more years of sub-standard accommodation for those serving there.


Commenting, Alistair Strathern MP said:

“Our armed forces deserve accommodation fit for heroes. It’s shameful that over 900 personnel are living in ramshackle housing at Chicksands.

“I’m concerned that rather than improve the housing, the Government are using the bases’ closure as an excuse to let it further decline.

“Anyone who makes the decision to put on a uniform and step forward to serve should expect to live in dignity in decent accommodation, it’s why I pushed the government to do right by these personnel today.”


<ENDS>


Editors’ Notes

  • Alistair Strathern MP asked the question at Defence Orals on 19th February, see exchange here.

  • In a written question answered by the MOD today (19th February), there were no plans to improve the single living accommodation (SLA) blocks to bring them to a standard above grade 3 or 4 before the base is scheduled to close in 2030. See here.

  • There are 489 SLAs graded 3 and 431 graded 4 in Chicksands, meaning 75% of accommodation is the lowest grade possible. See here.

  • Mr Strathern is a tireless campaigner to improve Chicksands, one of the forces bases in his constituency. He previously secured a Westminster Hall Debate on inadequate service accommodation where, within the debate, a Defence Minister was forced to reveal the planned closure of Chicksands in 2030. See here.

  • Labour’ Home Fit For Heroes pledge will legislate to establish an armed forces commissioner to act as a strong, independent voice for service personnel and their families. Find out more here.


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