Service Family Accommodation

Nato – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 16th May 2011.

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Photo of Alison Seabeck Alison Seabeck Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 2:30 pm, 16th May 2011

What plans he has for the future of service family accommodation; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

In the strategic defence and security review published on 19 October last year, we announced that we will undertake a detailed review of our approach to accommodation with the aim of meeting the aspirations of service personnel for affordable and good-quality housing. Work is now under way and we will report in the summer of 2012.

Photo of Alison Seabeck Alison Seabeck Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

I draw the House’s attention to the entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests of my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich and

Woolwich (Mr Raynsford), for reasons that I have put on the record on a number of occasions already this Session.

All the evidence is that constant moving, perhaps every couple of years, between homes and schools for service personnel and their families is extremely destabilising and not good for family life. Has the Minister therefore made any representations to the Department for Communities and Local Government about the impact of the flexible tenure proposal in the Localism Bill, and about the effect that it will have of perpetuating the cycle that such people currently experience?

Photo of Andrew Robathan Andrew Robathan The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

The hon. Lady is quite right: service personnel can be disadvantaged in many ways by the many moves that they make. As it happens, not two hours ago I was at a meeting at the Department for Communities and Local Government with the Housing Minister to discuss that among other matters. Unfortunately, I left before that matter came up on the agenda in order to come to the House, but I can assure the hon. Lady that we are looking at the issue very carefully and we did have that conference this lunchtime.