01/08/2008

Plaid sell out - St Athan deal dead - somebody tell them


Celtic News, France - 30 Jul 2008 Rhodri Morgan and Ieuan Wyn Jones Deputy First Minister. here

Rhodri Morgan,
First Minister of Wales : "We are willing and eager to make our own decisions.................The Defence Training Academy at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan will provide thousands of high quality jobs, training service personnel in an academic environment that will turn Oxford and Cambridge green with envy when it opens for business next decade."
really? ...
Don't think so!....this school for mercenaries by war profiteers will bring nothing more trouble IF it goes ahead..

Where was the decision to bring the defence training academy to Wales made? In Westminster by the hated new labour government!

Leanne Wood AM..."I accept that the decision around this development is not an Assembly decision and that it is not a devolved issue, but Members need to be satisfied that if this project falls apart, the Assembly’s budget will not be adversely affected." (more here)

Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour) recently "The right hon. Gentleman is right that this is taking longer than is ideal. The financial appraisals have thrown up some difficult issues, and we are working them through with a view to taking a decision before the end of the year."

Sold out ...Plaid....Ieuan Wyn Jones...what ever you say Rhodri!!!

The Government has finally acknowledged major affordability gaps in the delivery of the defence training review programme. Given the worsening of public finances, would Rhodri Morgan and Ieuan Wyn Jones think to ask the prime minster to give an undertaking to have a review of this undeliverable and unaffordable project - Documents produced following a recent meeting of the “defence training review executive board” reveal that the project, under which training will be handed to the Metrix consortium through a 30m PFI contract worth around £11bn, poses catastrophic risks on the front line.” dummies...Call for the prime minister to immediately instigate a National Audit office investigation. STILL NO SIGNED CONTRACT..BIN IT!!!

other stories

Accusations fly on defence training Shropshire Star, UK - 22 Jul 2008
http://www.shropshirestar.com/2008/07/22/accusations-fly-on-defence-training/
The Government has been accused of backtracking on the defence training contract won by South Wales in a two-headed contest with RAF Cosford, reports London ...

Union leaders at Cosford believe that it is increasingly likely that the St Athan deal will fall through...Welsh Nationalist MP Adam Price told Mr Ainsworth yesterday: “This project was announced with considerable fanfare in the run-up to the Welsh Assembly elections, but, 18 months on, there is still no signed contract.

Yesterday in parliament
guardian.co.uk, UK - 22 Jul 2008
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jul/22/houseofcommons.lords

Defence ministers were accused of "backtracking" over plans for a new defence training academy in south Wales. Adam Price, for Plaid Cymru, said there was ...

New defence training academy in south Wales
Defence ministers were accused of "backtracking" over plans for a new defence training academy in south Wales. Adam Price, for Plaid Cymru, said there was "fear and concern" in St Athan that the multi-billion pound investment would not go ahead. Armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth conceded that the project had taken longer than expected. ...
...is this the same Adam Price who is against privatisation , war ? Yes fear and concern if it goes ahead..

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence
Defence Technical AcademyAll Commons debates on 21 Jul 2008
« Previous debate Next debate »
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2008-07-21a.515.5&s=Adam+Price#g517.0

2:30 pm

John Smith (Vale of Glamorgan, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source | Watch this

What progress is being made on the defence technical academy, St. Athan; and if he will make a statement.


Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source | Watch this

The Department continues to work constructively with the Metrix consortium on a range of issues on defence training review package 1 to achieve an affordable, value-for-money, acceptable and deliverable project. Negotiations with Metrix are continuing and both parties are working hard to drive down costs and obtain maximum value for money for the taxpayer.
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John Smith (Vale of Glamorgan, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source | Watch this

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Will he take this opportunity to pay tribute to the integrated project team, Metrix and the Welsh Assembly Government for the way in which they are progressing this £12 billion private finance initiative, and especially their involvement of the local community in the planning and design stage, which has already resulted in a number of major improvements? Does he agree that, with a project of the scale, complexity and importance to the armed forces of this technical academy, it is important that we get it right and do not rush it?
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Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. As part of the planning process, we and Metrix are committed to an ongoing programme of consultation with the local community in Wales. We have involved the community in the redevelopment of St. Athan. That is a priority, and local comments will have a direct impact on how the details of any plans evolve. Public consultation exhibitions will take place—and, as my hon. Friend is aware, some are taking place at present.
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James Arbuthnot (North East Hampshire, Conservative)
But while it is important not to rush it, as John Smith says, the defence training review does seem to be taking longer to come to signature than everybody had thought. In Bordon in my constituency, this is a very important matter because the regeneration of the town depends on everybody having a clear idea of the Ministry of Defence's intentions. Are there any problems with the sale of MOD land that we need to be aware of? What is going on?


Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour)
The right hon. Gentleman is right that this is taking longer than is ideal. The financial appraisals have thrown up some difficult issues, and we are working them through with a view to taking a decision before the end of the year.
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Chris Bryant (PPS (Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC (Leader of the House of Commons)), Leader of the House of Commons; Rhondda, Labour)
The Minister will know that there is a warm welcome for this project not only in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Glamorgan, but across the whole of south Wales. There are people in my constituency who formerly worked at St. Athan and who are looking forward to the prospect of working there again in the near future, and many of them have important skills. Will the Minister confirm that none of the delay that has so far occurred has been because any of the services is reluctant to work with the other services, because where all the services work together in providing training they can significantly add value?
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Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour)
The St. Athan proposal added significant value to training in the whole area that was covered by package 1, and that was why it was considered to be value for money. That is not the reason for any hold-up. We are getting total co-operation from within the services, and also from the local community in Wales. There are affordability issues, however, which we are trying to work through with Metrix. That has caused some delay, but we are still doing our best to bring this to a good conclusion.
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Adam Price (Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government; Culture, Media and Sport; Defence; Transport; Ministry of Justice); Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, Plaid Cymru)

This project was announced with considerable fanfare in the run-up to the Assembly elections, but, 18 months on, there is still no signed contract. We already have one empty aircraft hangar in the area that John Smith serves as a result of a previous MOD U-turn. Does the Minister understand that there is fear in the community that the Government may be backtracking on the scale of the project, and can he reassure it that there is no truth in that?

what adam had to say ...no to miliatarism no to privatisation.. but yes to the academy on 'economical grounds!!! See his letter here


Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour) Link to this | Hansard source | Watch this

All I will say to the hon. Gentleman is that he and his nationalist colleagues ought to reflect upon the size of the defence training capability in Scotland and Wales were they to get their way and form governments in either of those places.
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Robert Walter (North Dorset, Conservative) Link to this | Hansard source | Watch this

There are obviously serious difficulties with package 1, and it is clear that package 2 will never get off the ground. Does that not challenge the financial viability of the whole scheme, and has the Minister considered looking again at some of the investment the MOD has already made in my constituency at Blandford in the Defence College of Communications and Information Systems—more than £100 million over the past eight years—and at not sticking with the original defence training review plan, which was to locate communications and information systems training at Blandford?


Bob Ainsworth (Minister of State (Armed Forces), Ministry of Defence; Coventry North East, Labour)
We have announced a change in policy on package 2. As the hon. Gentleman will know, the synergies and, thus, the advantages in bringing people together, in the package 2 area were never as strong as those in package 1, so we are examining alternative solutions in those areas. Package 1 remains the best way of enhancing defence training, and we are committed to working through these problems and trying to deliver the proposal for St. Athan.

...........

The Defence Training Academy at St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan will provide thousands of high quality jobs, training service personnel in an academic ...
Architects’ new regional director...WalesOnline, United Kingdom - 22 Jul 2008
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2008/07/23/architects-new-regional-director-91466-21385813/

“We have been appointed as the architect and landscape architect on the Defence Training Review in St Athan, which represents a significant regional ...

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