From a Liberal Democrat press release:


12.00.00am BST (GMT +0100) Tue 22nd Sep 2009

Hampshire MP, Sandra Gidley, has led Liberal Democrat calls for a fair deal for the men and women of Britain's armed forces at the party's conference in Bournemouth.

Sandra, whose father served in the army, and whose constituency is home to the School of Army Flying, urged delegates to the Liberal Democrat conference to back a motion for better housing for our soldiers, and better access to education for their children.

Speaking at the conference Sandra said:

"I speak to you as the daughter of a soldier who knows what it is like to move to a new house or school with monotonous regularity - and for dad to disappear for what seemed like long periods of time.

"Forces families today often have to sacrifice what we regard as a normal family life, and how do we repay them? We repay them by giving them poor housing, poor access to good schooling and a complete lack of consideration when they leave the army and are back out in civvy street.

"We can do better than this, we should do better than this and the Liberal Democrats would do better than this."

Commenting after the policy motion was approved unanimously by the party delegates, Sandra said:

"When I visited Fallingbostel, the troops complained that they were crammed five or six to a room.

"In an age where students demand en suite accommodation, we ought to be able provide something a little better for those who are prepared to give their lives for our country.

"Perhaps we should make MPs live in places of the same standard as our armed forces homes? I think we would see an improvement then.

"It is time that we started to look after those who are willing to place their lives on the line for our freedom and security. I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats are leading the call for such action, and I now look forward to taking this fight to the government."

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