Helen champions forces families in question to Defence Minister

21 May 2024
Helen at RAF Shawbury

Military housing campaigner and North Shropshire MP Helen Morgan has once again championed armed forces families who are having to put up with substandard housing.

This comes a week after Helen took the case to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, confronting him in PMQs over the appalling state of military housing across the country – and in particular at Shawbury and Tern Hill.

This comes after a message from Air Commodore Leah Griffin to service families revealed that all but the most urgent repairs to military accommodation have been cancelled. Serving personnel and their families are having important requests for home repairs and upgrades denied as a lack of funding means only emergency work is being approved.

Much of the military housing stock in Shropshire is in a state of disrepair. After a rat infestation at Tern Hill last year, a number of servicemen and women were even asked to live in storage container-style temporary blocks for several months.

Helen Morgan, MP for North Shropshire, asked, “The new head of infrastructure at the DIO, Air Commodore Leah Griffin, has written in her monthly newsletter to military families that the current financial situation is more challenging than ever, and only non-urgent repairs will be considered.

“We can see this on the ground in my constituency, where a service person whose partner has had abdominal surgery, has not been able to climb in and out of their bath to have a shower, and has been refused any kind of modification to assist them. This kind of financial challenge has a real impact on servicemen and women's lives.

“So can the minister look at this problem and commit to ensuring that we have a decent standard of accommodation for those people who put their lives on the line for us.”

James Cartlidge MP, Minister for Defence Procurement, said, “I am grateful to the Honourable Lady, she is consistent in raising accommodation issues as ever. If she has a specific case she is more than welcome to write to me, if she hasn’t done so already.

“On the funding, we did commit an extra £400 million, and because of our commitment to 2.5% we have confirmed we are able to put an extra £4 billion into SFA over the next ten years, a significant investment.”

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