Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I've Made a Rod For My Own Back - Defence Estates

Defence Estates remains the country’s biggest empty homes sinner. By it’s own figures it has more than 9,000 empty homes 17% of it’s stock. It has always been an impenetrable organisation to deal with. So I was fascinated it to see an interview with chief executive Vice Admiral Tim Lawrence (a.k.a. Mr Princess Anne) in Public Servant magazine this month (sorry no on-line edition) explaining how he is making the organisation leaner and greener.

Feeling the credit crunch bite Tim?
“My philosophy is to get on and spend the money I have now got and I will cope with the situation in the future if my budget is cut”

So no doubt you’re investing in environmental sustainability?
“If a contractor comes to me and says you can have the standard solution for X but if you want a sustainable solution it will cost 20% more I’ll tend to ask him to go and think again and move on to another contractor”

But you’ll be planning for zero carbon homes in 2016?
“I have difficulty with the concept of zero carbon”

So you’ll off set your carbon instead then?
“I’m not a huge fan of carbon offsetting”

Why the scepticism?
“We have to understand that not everybody accepts the climate science”

So the green agenda is a tough one to argue for in the MOD ?
“I don’t find a lot of opposition to initiatives for more sustainable solutions”

So what about those empty homes? 17% of your stock
“..hugely different to the average local authority housing stock”

But you’re committed to the target to reduce them to 10%?
“I’ve made a rod for my own back …I will be heading towards the target”

Thank you Vice Admiral!
(Questions summarised by me!)


  1. I used an on line translator to translate the chinese gobbledegook this joker is leaving on all the blogs; It reads:
    The hotel works
    the hotel to hold concurrent jobs
    the Taibei hotel
    to work holds two offices
    the hotel work
    hotel broker
    formal clothes hotel
    hotel to hold two offices
    the hotel
    hotel PT
    hotel to go to work
    the hotel to drink
    the hotel expense
    to drink the drinking party with prostitutes or geisha-type performers
    powder taste
    to drink

    They walk amongst us......

  2. Dear Sherlock, I'll take all readers. But I suspect the web translator didn't help. I used one to translate into Portugese recently and translating back found Empty Homes Agency had become "Vacuum of the Arranges"