DAME Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, has lobbied Defence Minister Dr Andrew Murrison about accommodation standards at local defence establishments such as HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood.
She had met with the commanding cfficers of both military sites previously to discuss concerns that had been raised with her regarding the quality of living accommodation.
Following an announcement of £1.6 billion in spending to improve defence accommodation, Caroline took the opportunity in Defence Questions to raise the poor accommodation standards at the local sites.
The MP said: “I warmly welcome the announcement of £1.6 billion to repair and refurbish on-site base accommodation. As the Minister rightly says, the accommodation at both HMS Sultan and HMS Collingwood is truly awful.
“Meanwhile, we hear that in the Portsmouth area alone millions of pounds a year are being spent putting people up in hotels while Fort Blockhouse in my own Gosport constituency, which he knows very well, remains empty.
“When are the MoD going to address this?”
Dr Murrison said in reply: “I know she knows Fort Blockhouse intimately, as indeed so do I. It is aesthetically charming, but it is beyond reasonable repair, where accommodating service men and service women are concerned.
“We are spending money on HMS Collingwood and I hope that it will be brought up to spec shortly.”
Afterwards Dame Caroline discussed the situation with the Minister in greater detail and invited him to the Gosport peninsula to see for himself the challenges and opportunities of the accommodation in some of the constituencies naval establishments.
PICTURED: Defence Minister Dr Andrew Murrison