Royal Marines routinely left without hot water of heating in barracks

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The Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard, has criticised the government for its disregard towards the Royal Marines after it was reported that Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth regularly lacks both heating and hot water. He expressed the need for proper investment in heating, hot water systems, and other amenities for those living on base.

According to available data, a boiler breakdown has been happening every day on average, with 349 incidents of heating or hot water loss at the base since February 1, 2022.

Out of all the broken boilers, only 28 percent are fixed within the government’s 12-hour target.

The living conditions for those in service family housing are similarly poor, with broken boilers, leaky roofs, and black mold being commonplace.

A Royal Navy dad was even ready to leave due to the unfavorable living conditions.

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Despite maintenance staff working hard, they are left with outdated equipment and reduced budgets.

In response to these reports, the Ministry of Defence has ordered the department to assess the situation and explore options for improvement.

In 2022, the government extended the closure date for Stonehouse Barracks until 2029, and Labour has since called for investment to improve the living conditions for marines.

To hold the contractors accountable, Labour has suggested that the government consider withholding payments until the forces and their families receive the proper service they deserve. In 2021, one contractor received £144 million from the government to maintain the service accommodation.

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Mr Pollard, Shadow Armed Forces Minister, said: “Our Royal Marines make huge sacrifices to keep our country safe and the last thing they should have to tolerate is broken boilers.

“Stonehouse Barracks is the spiritual home of the Royal Marines. Now that Government isn’t closing the base until 2029, I want to see proper investment in heating, hot water systems and other facilities for those living on base.

“Staff at Stonehouse work hard to keep heating running but they’re dealing with dated equipment that needs replacing.

Ministers have cut maintenance budgets and privatised contracts and the people losing out are those who serve.


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He added: “It’s not just on base that accommodation for our military personnel is poor.

“Across the southwest service family accommodation is plagued by black mould, leaky roofs, broken boilers and long waits for repairs. Our forces and their families deserve better.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The Defence Secretary has commissioned the Department to look at the figures and immediately assess options for improvement.

“A new head of Defence Infrastructure joined the department last year and we are investing more than £1.6 billion over the next decade for long-planned redevelopment of our barracks.”

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