INTRODUCTION: – Colonel (Retd) Patrick Crowley MBE DL, Chief Executive, SERFCA
This has been an interesting period as a number of issues have come to the fore. On 20 April, there was an announcement that all sleeping in Cadet Training Centres, nationally, had to be stopped; we have 6 regional facilities. This was because of recent Fire Risk Assessments. This is a frustrating situation and has not helped Army cadet planning for annual camps; they have already been effected by the shortage of training areas available this year. The SERFCA Estates team is working hard to rectify the situation in our region, so that things can return to normal as soon as possible.
We have also had an update on a number of important studies related to how SERFCA will do business in the future. Progress towards the Non Departmental Public Body for all 13 RFCAs has been paused until after the next General Election, whilst the Estates staff have been updated on the Future Defence Infrastructure System (FDIS) value for money study, which is being published in June and is likely to affect the way we deliver the Estates output in due course. In addition, the progress of a benchmarking exercise, which has been assessing the pay levels of staff and comparing these with national average wages, has been briefed to all of our people.
Meanwhile, huge congratulations to 4th Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, on the presentation of their first Colours, by HRH The Crown Prince of Denmark, at Woolwich on 22 April 2023; some very proud Army Reservists/Tigers! Read more about the story here
And more congratulations to our Chair, Colonel (Retd) Charles Ackroyd, on his elevation to the appointment of Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the county of Hampshire – outstanding news!
He succeeds Rear Admiral Iain Henderson, who retired after serving six years in the role.
Charles, who has lived in Hampshire all his life, served continuously in the Reserve Forces from age 17 to 60, firstly in the Royal Marines Reserve and then in the Parachute Regiment.
He commanded Southampton University Officers Training Corps before becoming a senior staff officer and served in several appointments, including on operations.