THE Shadow Armed Forces minister visited Colchester veterans and their families as he launched a campaign calling for better forces housing. 

Luke Pollard, the Labour Shadow Armed Forces minister spoke with veterans and their families, living in the city, over concerns about their living conditions.

Colchester is home to the 16 Air Assault Brigade and has a lot of military accommodation. 

Mr Pollard said: "I'm launching a Labour Homes Fit For Heroes campaign to highlight the poor state of armed forces accommodation.

"Some of the accommodations in Colchester are of good quality, but far too much of it is substandard. 

"Far too many accommodations that our arm forces and the families of those who serve are asked to live in, being faulty, repairs taking too long, leaky roofs, broken boilers and black mould in bedrooms."

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Pheonix Heros charity, based in Colchester, supports veterans, families, carers and serving members of the Armed Forces and raises awareness about the high number of veterans dealing with mental health difficulties.

Gary Stockton, CEO of Pheonix Heros said: "I know that housing is a major issue around the UK, and it shows its impact in the city."

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Pam Cox, Labour Party candidate for Colchester, said: "Military community is important for us.

"The sad thing is, many of our veterans don't have the best housing, and we want to make sure that we bring that up to scratch.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "We have been clear it is completely unacceptable some of our personnel and their families are not receiving the level of accommodation services they deserve.

"We are investing £185million in 2022/23 to improve housing standards, following more than 14,000 homes receiving an upgrade in the last two years."