from todays pompey news;

Bombshell as MoD axes training base
THE government today said it will close the Royal Navy's biggest training base in 10 years' time.
It is handing a £13bn contract to train UK soldiers, sailors and airmen to a private consortium.
The 25-year deal, clinched by the Metrix group, signals the beginning of the end for the engineering school at HMS Sultan in Gosport, which will close in 2017.
Instead, sailors will be taught electro-mechanical and aero engineering skills alongside army and air force trainees at a new super-base at St Athan, near Cardiff.
The news comes as Portsmouth naval base faces threats of cuts or closure as part of a separate review.
Business leaders, politicians and union bosses in south Wales are jubilant at the prospect of thousands of uniformed and civilian personnel moving into their region.
But it spells gloom for Gosport, a town hit heavily in recent years by the loss of several naval establishments and with more closures in the pipeline.
Sultan has up to 3,000 sailors, instructors and support staff – including 1,000 civilian jobs.It also pumps millions of pounds into the local economy every year.
Although the naval engineers will have to move to Wales for their trade and professional training, most of the civilian employees are expected to quit rather than relocate.
And as the government announced the outcome of its Defence Training Review this afternoon, angry civil servants were gearing up for strike action.
Picket lines are expected outside Sultan, the naval base and other MoD establishments on January 31 as staff voice their frustration over the privatisation deal and low pay.
Tom Start, an official with the PCS union, said it didn't matter whether Metrix or rival consortium MC3 won the contract.
He said: 'Whatever happens, Sultan is a goner and Gosport will lose millions of pounds a year.
'It's got the space to expand but not the road system. The A32 is so congested they couldn't get a Challenger tank down there for soldiers to train on.
'In any case it's a political decision.
'Tony Blair's got to keep his Labour MPs in south Wales sweet.'
MC3's failed bid would have seen marine engineering move to Bordon, north of Petersfield, with the aeronautical side going to Cosford in the midlands
[email protected] thenews.co.uk

I thought they were only speculating last year - i guess not.


ooh - a Flagship picket line on the 31st of Jan ! A Whole day without the sound of dripping in the office - think they should do it every week !


So with Dolphin gone, Daedalus gone, Haslar going and Sultan going there aint much else that HMG can close in Gosport apart from the armament depot and Fleetlands. Is it a case of watch these spaces?

Semper Strenuissima.


War Hero
Canaldrifter said:
Yet more asset stripping.

Once gone, the experience and know how cannot be replaced. Lets face it the armed forces across the board are skint due to fighting other peoples battles for them!! Hence all of these slash and burn tactics!! It wouldn't ******* hurt NATO to get some more troops into these war zones to take the financial/operational pressure of us. As seen on dispatches last week, there were 8 lithuanian medics working with british forces, the only NATO forces that could be mustered in the whole of the Helmand province.
Is the area unlikely to vote for Tony's mob then, certainly they hope to get one or two seats in South Wales from this on both at Westminster and Cardiff.


Lantern Swinger
Gosport is a Tory seat anyway and it will certainly not flop to Labour now. This decision really is a disaster for Gosport. It just goes to show how unjoined up our so called Government is. SULTAN is a first class facility with a great reputation. If it is not used as a military establishment of some sorts it will doubtless become part of the land that fatty Prescott puts houses on. It is impossible to improve the road links into and out of Gosport unless there is some compulsory purchase orders -and that won't happen. So with God knows how many new houses being built the roads will be completely gridlocked. Even worse than now. The idea of a tram to Fareham has been going on for as long as I can remember and gets no further. Top this off with the fact that Haslar is going and there will be no primary hospital care in Gosport. Sooner rather than later people in accidents will die as the ambulances cannot get them to QAs hospital in Cosham because the roads are impassable. It really is a sorry bloody story. Gosport is hardly a wealthy town and this move will just condemn it further. Blair really is twat of the highest order. :mad: