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RAF Honington requires major upgrade, say inspectors

PUBLISHED: 12:39 30 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 30 May 2019

The welfare of recruits at RAF Honington has been graded as requiring improvement by Ofsted Picture: ARCHANT

The welfare of recruits at RAF Honington has been graded as requiring improvement by Ofsted Picture: ARCHANT

A Suffolk air base has been criticised by Ofsted after the watchdog found recruits were left with no heating for long periods of time.

Ofsted raised concerns over the 'ageing' infrastructure at RAF Honington Picture: ARCHANTOfsted raised concerns over the 'ageing' infrastructure at RAF Honington Picture: ARCHANT

RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, was given the rating by Ofsted due to recruits and staff going for "long periods without functioning or reliable heating, hot water and electricity".

RAF Honington, near Bury St Edmunds, was rated as 'requires improvement' after inspectors reported that recruits and staff were going for "long periods without functioning or reliable heating, hot water and electricity".

Honington said infrastructure works at the base are currently underway with new pipework being installed for a number of buildings, including the one which houses trainees.

Ofsted previously inspected the welfare and care provision at the base in September 2016, when it was judged to be good.

MORE: RAF Honington awarded Freedom of Thetford

The report said: "Station staff routinely put in place, often costly, temporary repairs but, ultimately, they are simply managing the infrastructure's progressive decline.

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"The need for large-scale improvement is now pressing, since the poor, ageing infrastructure is a major welfare and care concern."

Honington is home to the RAF Regiment Training Wing, which provides phase two training for gunner recruits.

In its welfare and duty of care in armed forces initial training report, which focuses on bases around the country, Ofsted praised the leadership at RAF Honington and found more trainees were now completing their courses.

Physical training arrangements were also found to be excellent, along with the medical and dental services.

MORE: Crowds flock to Suffolk airbase to wave goodbye to the Tornado

A spokesman for RAF Honington said: "Infrastructure works are currently underway and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) will install new pipework feeding 15 assets, including the building which houses trainees as well as other welfare assets such as the coffee shop and station cinema.

"Reactive works to new heating systems continues to receive high priority, with circa £120,000 of reactive maintenance funding having been spent on heating repairs in the last two years.

"The RAF is currently assessing the requirement to improve infrastructure on site with design and construction work potentially taking place from 2020/2021 onwards."

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