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Union chiefs meet with MoD and Babcock after £140m sale including Ashchurch Army camp

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Written by:   | Posted 09-January-2015 7:16

Union chiefs meet with MoD and Babcock after £140m sale including Ashchurch Army camp

Hundreds of jobs at an Army camp in Ashchurch, near Tewkesbury, are still up in the air after a £140 million sale.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded Babcock International a 10-year-contract for the maintenance of the army’s land vehicles.

The £900 million contract is expected to help the MoD save £500 million over the next decade.

The maintenance service is being carried out by Defence Support Group (DSG), and will be taken over by Babcock from April 1.

The sale of DSG to Babcock was announced in December, although more details have now been announced in Parliament.

About 220 of the 584 staff at the Ashchurch base worked for DSG and faced an uncertain future.

But the MoD has now assured employees that all of them will become Babcock employees after the transfer.

Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, said none of the sites would close on sale.

He added: “The contract will also ensure the Army’s continued access to improved vehicle repair and maintenance support, all at significantly better value for money for the taxpayer.

“All DSG land business staff will transfer to Babcock with their terms and conditions protected.”

Yesterday, union chiefs held a meeting with Babcock for the first time, launching a consultation which they hope will secure the future of their members.

A spokesman for the GMB Union said there was still concern about whether the change could lead to redundancies.

He added: “The Government said all staff will transfer, which is right, but we do not know how many jobs will be lost when Babcock takes over.

“After April, we will know for sure. Babcock will ring in the changes, but we’re still unsure.

“We’re in talks with Babcock at the moment. The picture will become clearer in about three months.

“It is still very much a work in progress, although we hope to get some sort of answer before April is up.”

The consultation will involved the trade unions, Babcock, DSG management and MoD representatives.

The change comes against the backdrop of the Government’s plan to close the whole site at Ashchurch in the near future.

It has been earmarked for 2,125 homes in future housing plans being drawn up by the district councils for Tewkesbury, Cheltenham and Gloucester. The MoD is expected to reveal next month which company will redevelop the land.

 

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