Monday, 19 November 2007

The Controversial Military Academy Issue

A comment from one of our readers


Anne said...

Jill is the only politician in Wales with the courage to challenge the privatisation and concentration of military training at St Athan to be delivered by a consortium which includes arms dealers Raytheon associated with the deliver of cluster bombs.
Where did this figure of 5,000 even 6,000 jobs come from? That is pure spin at best or deliberate falsehood! The BBC, Peter Black, Huw Lewis and Bryant are all quoting 5/6,000 jobs at St Athan when they know that most are to be transferred in to St Athan and that the MOD has announced 1,100 after it dumped half the initial plan - or package 2? It will be 1,100 - yes 1,100 and nothing near the 5,000 jobs promised and that Emperor Rhodri Morgan was drinking champagne to celebrate! Most of the ‘high skill’ jobs been transferred in are for instructional officers who are in the main ex-forces with additional training of 5 years on top of that. Not many of those going to Barry job centre will have those qualifications.
PCS, the union that represents many MOD staff says that the number of jobs in scope of package 1 has dropped from 1500 to 1100. These 400 posts are those not directly linked to training delivery. Package 2 has been dumped by the government as it is too expensive.
This contract will be the largest PFI/PPP project ever undertaken by the Ministry of Defence and will be the largest partnering arrangement ever undertaken in the UK. A Private Finance Initiative (PFI) for DTR in simplistic terms means that the winning consortia will effectively own all of the real estate and services for training for the next 25 years. For this they will be paid an annual sum and must, by law, make a profit for their shareholders. The contract is worth £19 billion.
They couldn’t make a privatised railway work so it is pretty unbelievable that we even suggest privatising military training never mind applauding it especially when it is to be delivered by private arms companies that are excluded from any ethical investing country, bank or charity as in Norway and Belgium.
In a recent press release PCS, (Union) welcomed the MoD U-turn on training privatisation and the announcement by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to halt the privatisation of approximately 4,000 staff who train the armed forces in driving armoured vehicles, lorries and jeeps as well as languages. The union hailed the decision to keep one half of defence training in the public sector as a victory for common sense which would ensure world class training for the armed forces whilst providing value for money for the taxpayer.
PCS called on the MoD to see sense and halt the privatisation of the other half of defence training which includes technical and mechanical training. The union warned that pushing ahead with remaining half of defence training would represent poor value for money and lead to a loss of knowledge and experience as staff would refuse to relocate to the new training base in South Wales….
Jill is right that we should stop and take an honest look at what is being proposed for St Athan.
For more information See http://www.cynefinywerin see also our blog
our briefings on:Qinetiq -
Raytheon -
and our cluster bombs press release -

19 November 2007 10:15

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