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Early Day Motion: Post-service Housing

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Lantern Swinger
Thats right life is a S*it some times. However, why should forces personnel be forced into buying a property. The Lollipop lady isn't nor are the Nurses. I should know I work for the NHS...Ex nurses property is sold to them as well other public service agencies, so why shouldn't ex-service property be sold back to those forces families at a greater discount than present. £154 million made by the exchequer over the past 11 years with very little investment in those houses lived in by service families!

It's about equil rights to social housing stock and rent. As we all know these days, property is being built everywhere and some of those properties have to be handed over to local housing association. If the rules stay the same then more and more service personnel and their families will be forced into negitive equity and despair.... I'm also glad you brought up the project keyworker scheme; this scheme was only offered to service personnel due to its failure in other sectors.... look at the number of service families that have used it! or better still the overall number that have used the scheme.

As I stated when I started this campaign over three years ago. When I was being medically discharged in a wheel chair awaiting another spinal operation. There is no way I could get a mortgage due to the lack of prospects to gainfull employment. The local council tried to use the local connection rule on me and my familiy, and the amount of people that have contacted me stating the same of their local housing authority is disgracful.

Thank you for your input and all the best.


Regards

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Hitback

Lantern Swinger
In this link which is Annington Homes website. It states that the Government has made £154 Million in the profit shared agreement. Please look at the top of page four.

http://www.annington.co.uk/downloads/corporate/AnningtonInformation.pdf

However in the link below Derek Twigg states that the government has only made £140 Million! so where is the other 14 million gone?

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2008-04-21b.199231.h&s=bob+russell#g199231.q0

The issue of Annington Homes hasn't gone away. Who is keeping track of this money! and why is the story different depending on who's telling it!

Regards

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scabz

Lantern Swinger
How about this, everyone gets a gratuity (when they've done their 22) that's enough to buy a house....oh, wait....didn't it used to be that?
 

Hitback

Lantern Swinger
I managed to get meetings with yesterday with Ministers from the three main party's. My MP Nadine Dorries (Con) spoke with me about about areas of housing to medical discharge of or soldiers. I believe she is going to table several questions in the House of Commons in relation to these areas.

Nick Harvey Shadow Defence (Lib Dems) is also going to table questions on the above areas. These details will be passed on soon.

Derek Twigg also took my information about medical Discharge and the issue of the Homelessness Legislation amendments, which the government promised a year ago on the 21 June 2007. Mr Twigg did state that the amendments have been drawn up but are yet to be voted on in the House of Commons. I asked him for a date in which they will be introduced, his reply was "thats upto the DCLG not his department". To that end, could the CoC please ask when they will be introduced!

The following is questions that I put to my MP Nadine Dorries. I have included the main part of my letter plus the questions: I have now had a reply from my MP but she has failed to answer a single question, in fact she has sent my questions to Bob Ainsworth MP (Lab). The fact he is from the Labour Party and will not be able to answer any of the questions on Conservative Party interests from the past, is nothing short of a side swerve from the facts needed. I have pasted these questions onto the Nick Harvey and Dereck Twigg in person yesterday. I await their replies!

Letter



I believe £1.67Bn was given for approx 57,000 properties average of £29,000 each. This incumbent government has had £154 million from the profit shared agreement since they came to power.


If the Conservative Party wants to be accepted by the service community and veterans then they must stand up and state how they will correct this massive mistake.



I would like Nadine to get answers to these question and the ones below:

1. Has or does any Conservative Party Members ( MP's, Lords) receive[d] contracts from the property that was sold. Thats directly or indirectly?

2. Has / does the Conservative Party receive any donations from this Company or any senior members of the board?



Questions asked in the House of Commons on Monday 16th June 2008

Annington Homes
3. Bob Russell (Colchester) (LD): What estimate he has made of the rent to be paid to Annington Homes for service personnel accommodation in 2008-09. [210790]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg): Rent to be paid in the financial year 2008-09 is £150 million. That represents 42 per cent. of the agreed market rental price for the properties listed from Annington Homes.

Bob Russell: I pay tribute to the five soldiers from the Colchester garrison who lost their lives in Afghanistan in the last week, and I extend condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of those five brave young men. The town mourns, but there is immense pride in the knowledge that the Army is doing an excellent job. They did not die in vain.

As for Annington Homes, will the Minister confirm that over the past 12 years, the Government have paid more rent to Annington Homes than the Tory Government received during the privatisation in 1996? If that money could be invested in upgrading the homes of Army families, instead of lining the pockets of Annington, perhaps retention would be better than it is.

Derek Twigg: As the hon. Gentleman knows, the amount paid for the sale was around £1.6 billion, and I have written to him with the details of the rent that is being paid. The key thing is that most people now accept that that deal, which was done by the previous Government, was not in the interests of armed forces personnel or their families, and we have had to deal with a legacy of decades of underinvestment. After 18 years in power, the Opposition could not solve that problem. We are spending a significant amount of money on housing—more than £8 billion in the next 10 years—and we are making inroads and improving a large amount of family accommodation and single-living
16 Jun 2008 : Column 662
accommodation. There is more to do. We are not complacent about the matter, and we will continue to press for improvements.

Linda Gilroy (Plymouth, Sutton) (Lab/Co-op): Not only does that deal not represent good value for money, as my hon. Friend confirmed, but Annington Homes must be making a handsome profit out of the arrangement. People are always looking to the Government for such things, but it is right to look to industries that make handsome profits out of the defence market. What discussions has the Under-Secretary had with Annington Homes to ask what it can do to put money back into the armed services?

Derek Twigg: My hon. Friend makes an important point, and I know that she takes a great interest in the matter. There is a contract, which was signed under the previous Government, to pay a set amount of money to Annington Homes under a deal that most people now recognise as pretty disastrous for accommodation for armed forces personnel. We have met representatives of Annington Homes to discuss what more we can to do to improve the housing position of our armed forces personnel. They are willing to discuss things with us—we are considering several ideas with them at the moment. When we reach a conclusion, I will be happy to report further on the matter.

Robert Key (Salisbury) (Con): But does the Under-Secretary agree that what matters to our armed forces and their families is the quality of the management of those homes? The Defence Committee found lamentable shortcomings in everyday management—taps working, loos flushing—issues that matter so much. In the new supergarrisons, will there be a new housing management system, which is an improvement on the current system? Will polyclinics be considered with the Defence Medical Services, as is happening in Tidworth in Wiltshire?

Derek Twigg: I know that the hon. Gentleman takes a great interest in the matters that we are considering. The response, repair and maintenance service in England and Wales now shows sustained performance levels, with more than 96 per cent. of service family accommodation meeting the move-in standard. More than 99 per cent. of emergency calls are dealt with in 24 hours, and customer satisfaction with the response, repair and maintenance service is consistently above 90 per cent. However, I accept that more needs to be done. We must ensure that we stop the problems occurring in future and that services continue to improve. We will obviously examine a variety of ways in which to do that, but I stress that we are considering a relatively new contract. There were many teething problems when it came into being, but significant improvements have been made. I reassure the hon. Gentleman and the House that we will continue to monitor the position and put a great deal of effort and work into ensuring that we get the further improvements.
 
Hitback

I have checked the current Official Register of Members (Commons) Interests and come up with nothing declared for Annington Homes. Of course if they operated as a subsidiary than that company name might be registered instead. Companies House should have a record of all subsidiaries.

Since the official edition of the Register of Members Interests was published a number of unofficial supplimentary issues have been published which you could search individually. If an MP or Peer has not included their connections with Annington Homes then your MP will be in no position to disclose this information to you.

You can access to recent registers for the Commons via the link below:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmregmem/memi02.htm

You can access the updated Lords register (in HTML only) via the links below:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld/ldreg/reg01.htm

Steve
 

Hitback

Lantern Swinger
Hi Thingy,

Thank you for that information. The letter sent back to me via my MP was avoiding the issue to say the least.

I will look up those sites.

Thanks and sorry for the delay in my reply.

Regards

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Hitback

Lantern Swinger
This has finally put in place the meaning of the campaign. I hope it also put those that believed it was a waste of time in their place.

If veterans and serving soldiers and their families stand together and voice issues of concern, they will be listened to. However, the issues of concern must be factual with evidence to hand. There are several bodies within the forces that should be representing service personnel and their families. But they are limited on what they are permitted to say or do….

That is why we need an organisation like the BAFF. If you haven’t joined up yet or are unsure, then go to their website and read what they are doing for our veterans and serving soldiers.

http://www.baff.org.uk/index.htm


I believe the actions of the homelessness Legislation Campaign will aid many thousands of service leavers and veterans in the coming years. Maybe the JSHAO could start working on a future project for affordable housing ownership for service personnel at all levels? I do have a paper drawn up on how this could be achieved, if interested then please contact me via PM.

SUMMARY of PAPER
This Circular is issued by the Secretary of State to housing authorities in England under s169 of the Housing Act 1996.
The Circular provides guidance for authorities when framing their allocation scheme to provide for applications from serving and former members of the Armed Forces and gives effect to a commitment in The Nation's Commitment: Cross-Government Support to our Armed Forces, their Families and Veterans, the Command Paper issued by the Ministry of Defence in July 2008.
Housing authorities are required to have regard to the guidance in exercising their functions under Part 6 of the 1996 Act.

Link for main paper to housing rights
http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/1200095.pdf


Housing allocation for members of the armed forces
http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/armedforcesallocations


Regards

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janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
BAFF website gives very little information, who are the people running it, were they elected or did they just decide to start the organisation? I see that the website is being updated at the moment maybe you could give a heads up when this is done.

From memory there was another organisation set up at the same time, is that still going?
 
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