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HOUSING Infrastructure Funding is put on ‘Pause’

Air Member for Personnel’s Briefing Team is asked very many questions as it tours Stations and Units. Here we feature their reply to a timely question on infrastructure funding.

Question to AMPBT: How does the Senior Leadership Team reconcile the People Campaign Plan’s aspiration to provide ‘improved public accommodation for both single personnel and families’ with the recently announced decision to freeze spending on accommodation for three years?

Team’s response: The spending pause on Service Families Accommodation (SFA) and Single Living Accommodation (SLA) upgrade programmes for three years from Apr 13 is disappointing.

The decision was taken as a Planning Round 11 measure and was necessary to reduce the financial shortfall in Defence and to release funding for the front-line. Other Planning Round options that sought to make greater savings from accommodation funding and to deliver these savings earlier than Apr 13 were rejected and the Senior Leadership Team played a critical role in protecting the funding that remains.

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Nonetheless, the pause in the upgrade programme will make it more difficult for the People Campaign Plan (PCP) to deliver its commitment to improve accommodation. However, rather than

concentrate on what the PCP cannot do, we will focus our effort on what the PCP can do and there are four areas where we will look to maintain progress.

Firstly, and importantly, planned investment in accommodation will continue until Apr 13 and this will include major upgrades and new build projects. This will result in a Defence-wide investment of circa £100M between now and Apr 13 in SFA and, for the RAF, an investment of circa £51M for FY 11/12 and £34M for FY 12/13 in SLA.

Secondly, we will maintain accommodation funding for routine and response maintenance and for minor new works. Thirdly, and in certain circumstances, Station Commanders will be able to use some of the annual Local Initiative Grant Money (£3.6M issued this year) to improve accommodation.

Finally, AMP, as the Single Service representative on the Defence Infrastructure Board, will continue to press for accommodation to receive the necessary funding and priority so that following the 3-year pause, the upgrade programme can be revived with the urgency and scale necessary to deliver the PCP’s commitment.

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Envoy Winter 2011

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