Dame Caroline Dinenage, Member of Parliament for Gosport, has welcomed the news that the Second Sea Lord, Martin Connell, has decided to close Vivian Block at HMS Collingwood. This site has been in disrepair for many months.
In a post on Twitter last night, the Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral Connell said:
“Last week I visited HMS Collingwood to see the state of accommodation for myself.
Despite recent efforts, I’ve made the decision to close Vivian Block & everyone affected will be relocated. It’s clear we need to do more to give our sailors the accommodation they deserve & expect.”
The Gosport MP has been raising concerns about the quality of the onsite living accommodation in Naval establishments HMS Collingwood and HMS Sultan in her constituency, having received numerous complaints from those living there.
Dame Caroline raised this issue in the Parliament in January, calling the accommodation “truly awful” and has urged Defence Minister, Dr Andrew Murrison MP, to come and see the sites for himself.
The Ministry of Defence have recently announced £1.6bn to improve service accommodation.
Welcoming the action from the Second Sea Lord, Caroline said:
“I am relieved that this issue is finally being taken seriously and hope that we will see swift progress to resolve the situation.
Our service personnel persistently show up, step up and fill in, not just in defence of our nation but in the stead of other public sector workers. They absolutely deserve to be treated with dignity, respect and care - and this must start with good quality living accommodation.”