RAF Wyton to be UK intelligence centre
HUNTINGSONSHIRE is set to become the central intelligence area of the UK, when the Defence Intelligence Service moves to RAF Wyton by 2012, MP Jonathan Djanogly believes. DIS and other Ministry of Defence staff will move to the base when personnel from De
HUNTINGSONSHIRE is set to become the central intelligence area of the UK, when the Defence Intelligence Service moves to RAF Wyton by 2012, MP Jonathan Djanogly believes.
DIS and other Ministry of Defence staff will move to the base when personnel from Defence Equipment and Support - which includes the former Defence Logistics Organisation - move to Bristol and other places in the South-West in four years' time.
The DIS staff will move from Feltham, in Middlesex, Hermitage, in Berkshire, RAF Brampton and Mönchengladbach in north-west Germany.
US and Nato intelligence services are already concentrated at RAF Molesworth, Mr Djanogly said.
He added: "Wyton's future is secured, but there are still concerns for the current staff."
The move to Bristol from Wyton was confirmed on Friday,
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In a letter to the MP, Defence Minister Baroness Ann Taylor promised there would be further consultation with staff in the summer and they would be offered "every support to aid them through this transition".
But trade unions are furious that a plan drawn up 18 months ago by Air Vice-Marshal David Rennison to retain 500 DLO jobs at Wyton had been overruled.
PCS branch secretary Angela Powell said she was disgusted by the Government's behaviour.
"AV-M Rennison agreed quite a lot about the stupidity of the move. He came up with a plan to retain 500 jobs, but he left very quickly shortly afterwards. When his replacement came in, we were told that what he did was wrong.
"But it's pointless moving people from here when many of the aircraft we support have limited life. It's a massive upheaval and a scam. Even if people did volunteer to go they [the MOD] can't guarantee there will be jobs for them."
Mrs Powell said around 7,500 of the organisation's 21,000 civilian staff were being cut, and the uncertainty was impacting seriously on morale, sickness levels and performance.
Many people had already left, leaving others to pick up extra jobs, and sickness caused by stress was mounting, she explained.
"Four years ago the pavilions at Wyton were stuffed to the gunwhales and we were expanding. Now some places are like the Marie Celeste and we are not keeping up with the work.
"People are expected to do extra jobs to keep the front line going. They have admitted that openly to us."
But in spite of Friday's Ministerial confirmation of the move to Bristol, trade unionists believe the business case for the move, aimed at saving £200million, had still not been made.