Army chiefs spent £121,000 revamping regiment hound kennels, while over 9,199 complaints were lodged by families living in vermin, damp and mold-ridden army homes
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Army chiefs have spent £121,000 transforming regiment hound kennels while thousands of service families live in squalor.
The Ministry of Defense spent money last year to install a new power and water supply for the Royal Artillery Hunt kennels.
During the same period, over 9,199 complaints were filed by families living in military homes riddled with vermin, damp and mold.
Troops’ dissatisfaction with services reached a peak in April, when over 867 complaints about the quality of accommodation were lodged with the MoD.
A serving soldier, who asked not to be named, said: “I’ve been waiting for months for dampness and mold problems in my home to be fixed and I live on the Salisbury Plains where the Hunt is based.
“Most of the accommodations are in poor condition. My children have to sleep in bedrooms with damp walls.”
An Army woman added: “The Department of Defense clearly prioritizes dogs over service personnel. That £121,000 would go a long way towards solving many of the problems with service accommodation.”
Expenditures for the kennels at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire have been disclosed in a freedom of information request.
Established in 1907, the exclusive Royal Artillery Hunt is the last remaining military hunt in the country.
According to their website, “The Royal Artillery Hunt is made up of all kinds of people. We count serving members of the Armed Forces and Household Cavalry, as well as farmers, writers, academics and people from the equestrian and agricultural worlds.”
Anyone participating is expected to be smartly dressed at all times. The website adds: “The idea is to look as smart as possible – and it’s a military hunt, so polish your boots!”
The Defense Department’s transformation has been blown up by a former senior officer who advocated better treatment of staff.
Colonel Philip Ingram, a former NATO planner and military intelligence officer, said: “The Ministry of Defense spending public money on gundog kennels while families and lone soldiers live in squalor around the Salisbury Plain garrisons is a disgrace. This shows a complete disrespect for the staff and their families who suffer from poor accommodation.
“If the kennels needed any updates, the Royal Artillery should have paid for this out of their own charity. This is another example where people are obviously not the Department of Defense’s most important asset. On this occasion, sporting dogs rank higher.”
Last month we revealed that troops live in unsafe apartments and houses.
The Ministry of Defense admitted they were housed in 779 buildings clad in “combustible material” similar to Grenfell Tower – where a fire killed 72 people in 2017. Up to 25 of these buildings are classified as high-rise buildings with more than six floors. Rats, mice and fleas have now infested thousands of family homes. Since 2015, pest control companies have been called to over 38,000.
Electricians have been called over 460,000 times. And there were 428,000 heating failures and 40,000 roof problems in the same period.
The Ministry of Defense has also revealed it spends at least £38million a year renting vacant properties. A spokesman said: “We are focused on providing the best services to our staff and have invested over £930m over the last seven years to improve the accommodation of service staff and their families, with a further £176m invested this financial year provided for improvements.
“Over 96% of occupied properties meet or exceed government standards and we have a robust grievance process. Where problems arise, we are determined to address them quickly; Over 95% of reported complaints are dealt with satisfactorily the first time.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/defence-chiefs-splash-out-121000-27207485 Defense chiefs are spending £121,000 on kennels while soldiers live in damp and moldy homes