Metrix Mouthpiece

Metrix mouthpiece = article fronted by Sion Barry in the Western Mail of 27 August St Athan defence college would be good for Wales – and UK taxpayers Aug 27 2010 by Sion Barry,

 Numbers of Trainees.....Metrix has been briefing MPs on 20,000 trainees per year, as the trainee places have shrunk from 6000 to 2700.  Thus courses shortened to 5 or 6 weeks average.  The Western Mail equates 20,000 short-term stayers to a town like Risca, but a large Butlins holiday camp is a better analogy.  Like at Butlins most of the food and other supplies come from far away, and most of the leisure activities are on-site, while employment for locals is in cleaning, security and maintenance.

 Value for Money

Metrix mouthpiece says “inflation has pushed the cost of the project slightly northwards” instead of 30% upwards, to still claim £500M saving over the alternative.  There is no updated financial assessment – the Minister gave £400M more to use the Cosford, Blandford and Gosport sites, with upgraded facilities (2008 Private Eye). Now, with reduced numbers, only two sites would be needed and their cost has inflated perhaps by 10%, so could be £1500-2000M cheaper. The saving through some “1000 military personnel being released back to active duties” comes under any integrated training option (the MoD says 1200 saving).


What alternative ?

Metrix mouthpiece says “the upkeep of its aging existing facilities across nine sites”, but the specialist ‘Package 2’ training is remaining within MoD, while the ‘Package 1’ affects 9 sites and allows 2 to be vacated.  Depending on the forces reductions in the Defence Review, Package 1 training would be accommodated on one or both of Cosford or Blandford, plus Gosport Navy training that is to be retained till 2020 or longer in all options.


What prospects for WAG’s Aerospace Business Park ?

Metrix mouthpiece says it is hoped “to leverage significant investment from its close proximity to the college – a gross value added of more than £500m annually would be generated”.  This is repetition of the WDA’s failed speculations.  They used to claim “synergy” with DARA, then “complementary” to the Training College , and here only ‘proximity’.  

… aerospace in recession;   no longer in favour with WAG’s low carbon transition.

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