08/08/2008

Coun Nic Hodges questions Academy feasability

Critics ask plaid Thursday 31st July Glamorgan Gem
‘do you really want defence academy’ by Philip Irwin

The recent visit to communities close to the proposed St Athan Defence Technical Academy (DTA) by the schemes backers has prompted a live debate - with a labour MP and a conservative AM bith questioning Plaid Cymru’s enthusiasm for the Plan.

In last weeks GEM Coun Nic Hodges, the leader of Plaid on the Vale council, visited the DTA exhibition and complained of a “lack of detailed information.” and suggested that the academy would be an “isolated “gated village“. He also said that nearby towns would see an increase in “squaddie rowdiness and drop outs from the academy“

Vale MP john smith replied “This is complete and utter nonsense. Leisure and sports facilities including a swim pool will be available to local communities. “The precise number of jobs is incalculable, nut it will be many thousands, plus an extra 2,000 at the aero space park.”

Conservative AM Alun Cairns said that he was “amazed” by coun hodges remarks, and questioned Plaids commitment to the scheme. He said “We always knew that Plaids official policy is to oppose any military activity in Wales, but we were told locally they were in support . “These remarks, however, seem to suggest that we don’t want the investment. Certainly the remarks in last weeks Gem are sending the wrong message and suggest that we don’t want such an investment”.

John Smith said “benefits to the Vales, especially Barry, and the South Wales economy are enormous, not just in terms of jobs and investment . It will transform the reputation of the reputation of the Welsh economy. “I can not believe that any responsible politician, never mind a leading member of Plaid, is opposing this knowledge and skills -based investment.”

Alun Cairns said; “If Coun Hodges is complaining that the training will go to outsiders, then of course they will. These are specialist jobs and the whole point of the project is to bring these people, currently operating all over the country, to one location - here in the Vale. Their spend will be in local shops, they will eat in local restaurants and will bring new money to our community”.

Alun Cairns added; ”I remember saying on the day that the announcement was made that, if handled properly, the Metrix deal would be of huge benefit to the local community. Let’s put party difference behind us on this project . We need to work together to ensure the impact is positive “.

However, Coun Hodges was unmoved , he said “to mr smith, I would say billions of PFI “never-never money’ does not make it a proper scheme. As far as Mr Cairns is concerned he should spend more time getting the details and information his constituents need.”
http://www.barry-today.co.uk/tindlepool/PDF/Barry%20Gem/web/GC310708001.pdf

Alun Cairns is Tory parliamentary candidate designate. He and John smith happy do/say anything if they think they will get votes!?
e-mail: alun.cairns@wales.gov.uk Alun Cairns AM, 44 St Johns Street, Porthcawl
CF36 3BB Tel: 01656 773060

09/07/08Military Academy phoney consultation hides New Labour toxic legacy

http://www.antimetrix.org/2008/07/military-academy-phoney-consultation.html
TOP SECRET MEETINGS
However top secret meetings reveal a different story. Private Eye 1213 points out that privatising defence training could turn out to be one of labours more toxic legacies, (supported by all Plaid AMs and MPs !)So does the ministry of defence. Private eye tells us that “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.” Not ‘benefits in efficiency’ then! A confidential “post meeting readout” of deliberations led by deputy chief of defence staff (personnel) Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson exposes “major AFFORDABILITY issues” requiring a “realistic contingency plan” for the deal to privatise training. Hinting at serious difficulties on the deal, the “affordability gap” could not be disclosed even to the project board as it was too “sensitive”.


More alarming still was a list of 15 significant risks with the project, including some that will fill the military on engagements around the world with dread. “trained output fails to meet requirement of operational commands” is one of them, on the grounds that “there is a risk that the Metrix solution will not be able to deliver the numbers of suitably trained personnel that are required and/or that the training output is not to a sufficiently high standard.”


letter in the Gem -St Athan jobs dwindle while costs rise

The Vale's MP is living up to his nickname John 'Metrix' Smith if he
thinks the rise in cost of the contract to "a whopping £12 billion is
great news for the Vale economy" (The GEM July 24). Doesn't he realise
that the extra £1 billion goes to the consortium partners, and that it
more than wipes out the cost advantage of £400 million that his government
claimed justified choosing Metrix over the internal MoD bid?

The other figures Brigadier Neild disclosed to the 'stakeholder'
meeting were numbers of personnel. Military trainer jobs
transferring to Metrix number 1123, some being at other sites than St
Athan, for 8 other 'learning centres' are planned St Athan would have
under 75% of the 6000 standing trainees. Brigadier Neild estimated that
1000 military personnel would be associated with the project, not
necessarily based at St Athan.

The politicians including John Smith should now be admitting they
were misled by Metrix's claims to create 5500 and later 4500 jobs.
Alun Cairns at least is accepting that the trainer jobs are for
specialists moving into the Vale (The GEM July 31).

He says the Vale would benefit from their spending in local shops,
restaurants etc. Yes, £1000 each per year would add £6 million to
the Vale's economy. Increase it to £10 or 20 million to include
spending on home appliances and furniture. Do politicians think an
£12 billion contract should be welcomed on the basis of this tiny spin-off?

Leanne Wood AM did at least raise in a formal Senedd question on July 1
the Defence Training Review executive board's report listing of 15
significant risks of the Metrix proposal, including risks to training of
frontline troops. Brigadier Neild did not deny that report leaked to
Private Eye, which implies service chiefs remain critical and brassed
off over the Metrix proposals.

Doubts over defence contract Shropshire Star , UK- Jul 15, 2008 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 might not be ...
http://www.shropshirestar.com/2008/07/15/doubts-over-defence-contract/

send your thoughts to

Nic Hodges Address: 19 Lower Romilly Rd,Barry,CF62 3AZ ContactTel: (01446) 736906 Email:

NPHodges@valeofglamorgan.gov.uk

Anne says ...The campaign against the military training academy say that the true facts about the academy should be given to the people in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Despite the project being awarded to St Athan last year, Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth admitted that the Ministry of Defence has not yet signed a contract with Metrix! (1)

I agree with Coun Nic Hodges comments in the Glamorgan Gem that there is a “lack of detailed information.” - in fact there is an information dessert. People in the Vale are been given a lot of spin and lies about this training academy which will be for mercenaries and anyone with the money - not just our military services. The very fact that Military training is being sold off, privatised should ring alarm bells about effectiveness, cost and accountability. .

Private Eye has run a number of articles recently highlighting the defence training review executive board grave concerns that the privatisation ‘poses catastrophic risks on the front line’ or grave danger for our soldiers. Another serious problem is ‘major AFFORDABILITY issues”. In fact they found 15 significant risks with the project. Some of the facts that John Smith Mp and Alun Ciarns AM and the PR firm running this pantomime consultation forgot to mention. (2)

The consultation documents do not mention the involvement in the metrix consortium of war profiteers Raytheon (of cluster bomb fame) and Serco, and the already proven incompetent Eds. Raytheon have been boasting that they want to use training as a means of expansion and arms sales. (3)

Nic Hodges suggested that the academy would be an “isolated “gated village“ and yes, security will be high as this will be such a concentration of military services and will invite protestors from all over the world. No chance of community folk strolling in to use the pool then!

John Smith MP must apologise for all the false promises of 5,ooo plus jobs that were a figment of his imagination and not based on fact. It is more likely that because the privatisation of military training project has such serious flaws that the contract may never yet be signed.


Notes

(1) Doubts over defence contract Shropshire Star , UK- Jul 15, 2008 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 might not be ...
http://www.shropshirestar.com/2008/07/15/doubts-over-defence-contract/

- ANTI-METRIX http://www.antimetrix.org/
-
School for mercenaries, bright security companies, like blackwater? Campaign to oppose the St Athan privatised military academy - biggest PFI/PPP ever, with arms dealers Raytheon Serco Mike Hayle, chief executive Metrix consortium 'Our aim is that by 2013 if you travelled anywhere in the world and talked about military training, people would say that St Athan was the only place to go. 'It will genuinely be on the world map. People will come from Australia, the Middle East and other parts of the world to train.

Private has raised this issue numerous times and has raised some very worrying details not raised at the consultation. See below 1*


No mention of training mercenaries and who polices who comes to st athan for training. Blackwater? Who trains them - ex mercnearies from..anywhere...keep up the good work. My mobile 078 1751 3610


(2) 09/07/08Military Academy phoney consultation hides New Labour toxic legacy 1*
http://www.antimetrix.org/2008/07/military-academy-phoney-consultation.html

TOP SECRET MEETINGS
However top secret meetings reveal a different story. Private Eye 1213 points out that privatising defence training could turn out to be one of labours more toxic legacies, (supported by all Plaid AMs and MPs !)So does the ministry of defence. Private eye tells us that “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.” Not ‘benefits in efficiency’ then! A confidential “post meeting readout” of deliberations led by deputy chief of defence staff (personnel) Vice Admiral Peter Wilkinson exposes “major AFFORDABILITY issues” requiring a “realistic contingency plan” for the deal to privatise training. Hinting at serious difficulties on the deal, the “affordability gap” could not be disclosed even to the project board as it was too “sensitive”.

More alarming still was a list of 15 significant risks with the project, including some that will fill the military on engagements around the world with dread. “trained output fails to meet requirement of operational commands” is one of them, on the grounds that “there is a risk that the Metrix solution will not be able to deliver the numbers of suitably trained personnel that are required and/or that the training output is not to a sufficiently high standard.”

13/07/08
(3) Raytheon want to use training as a means of expansion amd arms sales.
Note The Metrix-WAG presentation for "key stakeholders" is from 6-7.30 pm Mon 14th July at the Methodist Church "Gathering Place", St Athan centre. See below*

Shows how Raytheon want to use training as a means of expansion amd arms sales. Protest now!!! Write to your AM, MP today
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=a6X0tNLjSjQM&refer=uk
This
……Next week's event allows Raytheon to highlight its role in the Metrix team that won a 16 billion pound ($31.5 billion) contract from the U.K. Ministry of Defense in 2007, Teel, 63, said. That work has drawn interest from North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and from customers in the Middle East, he said.

Raytheon Says New Training Division Will Build on NASA, GM Work By Edmond Lococo july 9 (Bloomberg) -- Raytheon Co., the defense contractor that helped train astronauts and Mr. Goodwrench mechanics, plans to capture a larger share of the $9 billion professional instruction market, a company executive said.
Raytheon, maker of the Tomahawk missile and Patriot air- defense systems, next week will open a global training division to consolidate business previously spread across the company, said Steve Teel, senior vice president for strategic initiatives. The unit will use expertise culled from working with NASA and General Motors Corp. to pursue commercial and military customers worldwide, he said.
``It was a matter of coming to the realization that training was part of our business, and that we had world-class capabilities,'' Teel said in a June 30 interview.
The company will unveil the unit at the Farnborough International Air Show near London, Teel said.
Training services added about $550 million to last year's sales, or 2.6 percent of Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon's revenue. International growth will help lift training-services sales by more than 6.5 percent annually, Teel said.
The Global Training Solutions unit provides curriculum development, instructor-led training, manuals and simulators. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Raytheon helps run a laboratory at the Johnson Space Center in Houston that prepares astronauts for spacewalks in a pool filled with underwater mockups. The company also helps operate a facility that features life-size models of the space shuttle and the space station interior.
`Mr. Goodwrench'
For Detroit-based GM, Raytheon has managed the Service Technical College that trains most technicians in the carmaker's Mr. Goodwrench program. The system has prepared 65,000 technicians for work at 7,000 dealerships in North America.
Raytheon redesigned training from a 98 percent instructor- based technique to one that blends Web-based methods and instruction by satellite. Customers include Pfizer Inc., the world's largest drug company, and Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-largest automaker, Teel said.
About 1,500 Raytheon workers are employed in training services, or 2.1 percent of the global staff.......Next week's event allows Raytheon to highlight its role in the Metrix team that won a 16 billion pound ($31.5 billion) contract from the U.K. Ministry of Defense in 2007, Teel, 63, said. That work has drawn interest from North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and from customers in the Middle East, he said.
Raytheon has a similar training role with the Army through a $11.2 billion program that provides live and computer-based training. Raytheon competes against training-services suppliers such as International Business Machines Corp. and Accenture Ltd.
To contact the reporter on this story: Edmond Lococo in Boston at elococo@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: July 9, 2008 00:01 EDT
See also
http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2008/07/08/new-homes-in-peril-as-1-100-jobs-axed-91466-21303481/
 This article also refers to DTR. In their new blurb Metrix say they plan to build 559 new homes. Thats not bad for the 5000 new jobs and families they promise !!


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=a6X0tNLjSjQM&refer=uk

HA HA
(Celtic News, France - 30 Jul 2008 Rhodri Morgan and Ieuan Wyn Jones Deputy First Minister. )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? ...http://www.agencebretagnepresse.com/fetch.php?id=11660&title=Rhodri%20Morgan,%20First%20Minister%20of%20Wales%20:%20We%20are%20willing%20and%20eager%20to%20make%20our%20own%20decisions

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