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Defence Sub-Committee reacts to “fundamentally wrong” MOD decision on Service accommodation

22 September 2023

Today the Defence Sub-Committee on Service Accommodation has published a letter to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) reacting to the Department’s decision not to allow Service personnel to contribute to its inquiry.

The Defence Sub-Committee, chaired by Robert Courts MP, launched its inquiry into Service Accommodation in July 2023. The Sub-Committee’s inquiry is examining the current issues with Service accommodation, asking what the MOD’s plans are to improve services, as well as modernise and invest in single living and Service families’ accommodation. The Sub-Committee inquiry asks what should be included in the Future Accommodation offer and whether enough has been done to address failures in accommodation provisions by the MOD.

The Sub-Committee had requested that the MOD to provide special dispensation to allow Service personnel to contribute to this inquiry.

Chair comment

Chair of the Sub-Committee on Service Accommodation, Robert Courts MP, said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the Secretary of State has decided not to allow serving personnel to contribute to our inquiry into Service accommodation.

“It is fundamentally wrong that members of our Armed Forces are being prevented from contributing to our inquiry. Service accommodation is a personal experience that personnel should be allowed to share with the Committee. Stifling those voices hinders thorough parliamentary scrutiny.

“It is concerning that the MOD has cited the number of routes through which personnel can already give feedback or raise issues with their accommodation as a reason to block them from contributing to this inquiry. As the MOD knows, this inquiry is focused on their accommodation policies and the Committee will not take up individual cases. It appears that the MOD has misunderstood the Defence Committee’s role in Parliament and the purpose of this inquiry.

“Despite the Secretary of State’s decision, we have received several submissions from serving personnel, and we may receive more. Submissions made by serving personnel can be expected to be treated confidentially. Whilst we cannot reference them directly in our eventual Report, their input will be valuable in informing our work.”

Further information

Image credit: UK Parliament