What Defence For Arms Trade? – St Athan latest

What is the delay in the latest negotiations on the St Athan training academy development?
Earlier this year Derek Twigg (junior defence minister) explained: “Metrix Consortium have been declared the preferred bidder for package 1 of the Defence training review programme.
“For package 2 there is a significant affordability gap and work has been ongoing to develop a whole programme solution.
“The scale of the facility to be constructed at St. Athan will therefore depend on the outcome of this further work with Metrix.
“Our current forecast indicates that construction at the St. Athan site is planned to start after contract signature in late 2008, or early 2009, with the final phase of completion scheduled for 2013.”
It was always the second stage which was going to be the most difficult. But an article about Metrix chief executive Mike Hayle in the Cowbridge-based Gem in February estimated that “Metrix has around three months to convince the MoD that it offers the best option for that package”.
Those negotiations continue and two weeks ago (Hansard, September 3) Twigg updated Parliament on events since Metrix was chosen in January.
“Since then we have been exploring with the Bidder possible synergies and economies of scale across the whole programme,” he said. “Significant work has been completed, but has not yet been concluded. Once it is, I expect to make a statement later this year.”
Meanwhile, the campaign against the massive military project continues.
Vale of Glamorgan John Smith has asked local residents to contact him on 01446 743769 with questions about the academy ‘on many issues ranging from jobs to housing and schooling’.
“Let’s take him up on this,” says one campaigner.

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