Wednesday, 20 October 2010

One cut that's good news for Wales

One cut that Wales should welcome is the news that the UK Government's plans for a privatised military training college at St Athan have been scrapped.

The military college, it was claimed by Labour and Tory politicians alike, would bring "thousands of jobs" to the area. They were wrong from the start. The project was in reality job reduction over the three armed services and it is now clear that only a few hundred unskilled jobs could be available for Vale of Glamorgan people. In fact, more job seekers would have come to the Vale
than new jobs [1].

Max Wallis from Cynefin y Werin and Barry Friends of the Earth said today:

‘This overblown project is opposed by many local people and has blighted the St. Athan area, as we argued at the public Inquiry [2]. Advance payments from MoD and the Welsh Assembly of many millions of pounds have been a gravy train for private consultants, instead of funds going to upgrading MoD training facilities.’


Anne Greagsby Cynefin y Werin and Wales Green Party commented:
‘We are jubilant that this shows we might actually halt the militarisation of Wales and the training of military personnel from unsavoury regimes here.’
‘Regarding any further development of aerospace business at St Athan, its viability has to be fully considered by the Welsh Assembly Government. A fraction of the money squandered on this project would have breathed life into many more sustainable green jobs in Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan.’
Max Wallis further added:
‘We support the many in the military who wanted to keep all training within MoD, confident this gives better value, flexibility and effectiveness. As with many PFIs, this one was rigged to favour privatisation over the public sector comparator. Since that, the private sector price has leapt from £11 billion to £14 billion, mainly with financial/banking charges. The Commons
Committee Report that over half the £10.5 billion for the FSTA (Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft) PFI will go to profit and banker fees, sets a big question over the cost claims.’



Notes

The up-to-date St Athan Briefing with myth-busting facts attached or can be
found here

http://www.antimetrix.org/2010/09/st-athan-defence-training-college.html

[1] False claims about jobs for Wales (references given in the Briefing)

At the Welsh Affairs Committee in July 2006, local AM and Welsh Minister, Jane Hutt spoke of “the creation of 5500 permanent jobs”, while Chris Bryant MP upped it to “maybe 6000”. The MoD baseline numbers in DTR1 are 2400 military staff, 1600 civilian staff, 6000 defence trainees (standing population) plus contractor personnel in catering, security etc.

· At the Public Inquiry (Jan. 2010), Metrix gave 3000 total, of which 700 are military staff and 500 are non-project staff

· The 1800 civilian jobs include 1200 managers, contractor personnel and trainer staff transferring to Metrix. The jobs available for local job seekers are in cleaning, maintenance, transport and catering.

· The Inquiry was told military trainee places have reduced from the 6000 to 2700, a figure that could be cut to about 2000 by the Defence Review.

· The 2400 transfers to St Athan will bring in many job-seeking spouses and family members, estimated as 1200-1900. These job-seekers far outnumber the few hundred (up-to 600) jobs provided.

[2]The verdict from the Public Inquiry was known at the end of March, but WAG is sitting on the results. Local people and particularly Llantwit MajorCommunity Council are highly critical of this

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