Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 22nd April 2021.

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Photo of James Sunderland James Sunderland Chair, Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill, Chair, Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill 12:36 pm, 22nd April 2021

I thank my good friend from Kettering for his question. It is recognised from continuous attitude surveys that members of the armed forces are not fully satisfied with service accommodation. As a former commanding officer, I was very fortunate with what we had in Aldershot—that is an exemplar—but there are other parts of the estate that need work and money, and I know that the Ministry of Defence has got that.

In respect of the request for a visit, I cannot comment on behalf of the Secretary of State as to why permission was refused. I can surmise that it was not a good time because of covid-19 and because it was just before the Easter recess, so units may have been on leave. We wrote to the Minister. We have had a response saying that he would look at it again, and my indications are that the opportunity of visiting service accommodation for members of the Committee who want to will be made available in due course.