Doubts over defence training deal
cosford2.jpgMajor doubts arose today about the multi-billion pound defence training contract won by South Wales in a controversial deal which threatened the future of RAF Cosford.
For the first time, the Government has admitted that the contract won by the Metrix consortium for a new defence academy at RAF St Athan could fall foul of the credit crunch.
Despite the project being awarded to St Athan last year, Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth admitted last night that the Ministry of Defence has not yet signed a contract with Metrix.
He told Tory MP for The Wrekin Mark Pritchard in a Commons reply that the MoD continues to work with Metrix “on a range of issues to achieve an affordable, value for money, acceptable and deliverable project”.
He added: “Cost growth and the implications of the credit crunch on borrowing have been a significant factor.”
Mr Pritchard commented: “This is the first public acknowledgement by a Government minister that the Defence Training Review programme is unravelling.
“The affordability gap would impact on defence training for all of HM armed forces and would also severely affect the capability of Britain’s frontline forces.”
RAF Cosford’s future has been uncertain since the Government awarded the contract, estimated to be worth £16 billion, to South Wales. The MoD’s current position is that Cosford could become a super-garrison for thousands of troops returning from Germany.
14 July 2008
No sign if this contract being signed what with pfi and the 'affordability' gap. So what are the Welsh Assembly Government spending money on a sham inept consultation?
Armed Forces: Training
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the impact on Defence Training Review project financing of levels of demand from residential developers for his Department’s land at (a) Aborfield and (b) Borden. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Defence Training Review (DTR) Package 1 Project plans to improve and rationalise phase 2 and phase 3 technical training. As a consequence of this rationalisation both Bordon and Arborfield Garrisons will be released for sale from 2012 onwards.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Department continues to work constructively with the Metrix consortium on a range of issues on DTR Package 1 to achieve an affordable, value for money, acceptable and deliverable project. Cost growth and the implications of the credit crunch on borrowing have been a significant factor. The Department has been working jointly with Metrix to drive the price down to seek to eliminate the affordability gap without materially affecting the scope of the project.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to discuss with the Comptroller and Auditor General the treatment of the financing of the Defence Training Review programme in his Department's accounts. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ministry of Defence has not yet entered into a contract for the delivery of Defence Training with the Metrix consortium. The treatment of the financing of the Defence Training Review (DTR) programme does not therefore appear in the Department's accounts and consequently there are no plans to discuss DTR with the Comptroller and Auditor General. One
minor entry for a contingent liability of £9.5 million will, however, be included in this financial year's account. This undertaking was laid as a departmental minute before the House for 14 working days on 29 January this year.