Latest blow for military families living in Thorney Island barracks

Soldiers of the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery take part in a re-unification parade of their regiment and associated batteries at Thorney Island. Picture Ian Hargreaves (161299-4) PPP-161118-183529006
Soldiers of the 16th Regiment Royal Artillery take part in a re-unification parade of their regiment and associated batteries at Thorney Island. Picture Ian Hargreaves (161299-4) PPP-161118-183529006

Deprived military families - including those living in barracks on Thorney Island - are being forced to beg to use their neighbours’ baths as a backlog of almost 2,000 repair jobs mount, leaving scores of service personnel living in squalor.

An investigation has revealed the shocking state of Hampshire’s military homes, with 1,889 repair jobs needing to be tackled by a private firm charged with fixing the properties.

Figures obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the bulk of the work to be carried out by CarillionAmey includes broken heaters, plumbing and faulty electrics.

It has enraged MPs, armed forces campaigners and service families – who are calling for CarillionAmey to be stripped of their multi-billion pound deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

CarillionAmey has said improvements are on the way and that it completes 95 per cent of repair works.

At the Thorney Island Barracks, which is home to the 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, there are 166 outstanding jobs.

It comes just weeks after The News - the Observer’s sister paper - revealed soldiers on Thorney Island were without heating for months.

One senior soldier living at the base believes the latest revelations are only the tip of the iceberg, claiming many more problems go by unreported.

The Afghanistan veteran said: “The repair jobs are of rubbish quality. People are so fed up moaning (about CarillionAmey) that they have just given up.”

Hampshire has the largest armed forces population in the UK, with 7,500 service family accommodation homes – about 15 per cent of the nation’s total UK military housing stock.

Former armed forces minister, Penny Mordaunt, said: “It is clear this company cannot deliver the required contract and they should go.”

A CarillionAmey spokesman said: “In January we complete up to 2,000 maintenance tasks a week in the Hampshire area, this is normal and overall there were very few delays.

“In March four new local suppliers are joining us in the South West, together we are committed to providing a more engaged service to our customers, which forms part of our ongoing enhancements to service delivery on the defence estate.”

An MoD official added: “We take very seriously the quality of the accommodation provided for our Armed Forces and their families.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.chichester.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ChichesterObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @Chiobserver

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Chichester Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.