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Greens to quiz council cabinet on PFI funding

Sheffield’s Green Party has tabled a number of questions to the Council’s Cabinet at the Full Council meeting on Wednesday April 4th. The questions are regarding the funding of the proposed Highways Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, its value for money and the Cabinet’s decision to have payments increase throughout the contract which will unfairly burden council tax payers in the future.

Green Cllr Rob Murphy comments “’The Council is heading towards signing a £2 billion contract without adequate public consultation or scrutiny. We feel there are many questions to be answered about the value for money of this project and its effect on future council tax payers.’

He added ‘The whole system of PFI is currently under review because of problems with cost, flexibilty and transparency. Now is not the time for Sheffield to plough ahead with local government’s largest PFI.”

Notes

Questions tabled to the Leader of the Council:

  • When will the Highways PFI contract be signed?
  • Will there be any public or Cllr scrutiny of the Highways PFI contract before signing?
  • Do you believe the Highways PFI contract will be value for money?
  • Questions to the Cabinet Member for Transport and the Environment
  • What was the original project development budget of the Highways PFI and what is it now?
  • What is the estimated extra cost to the council of the private borrowing in the Highways PFI contract compared to public borrowing?
  • Can the Cabinet Member list the non-core services that will be included in the contract but not paid for by the Unitary Charge?
  • What will be the cost of monitoring the project?
  • Has the Cabinet Member been in touch with central government about the review of public financing of major projects?
  • What will be the approximate cost of a new pedestrian crossing under the contract?
  • The cabinet member quoted during the public consultations on the budget process that 50% of roadside trees will be replaced during the life of the contract is this still the case?
  • Do you believe the current waste contract with Veolia is value for money?
  • Do you believe the Highways PFI contract will be value for money?
  • After the initial stages of the contract does he believe it is fair to ask council tax payers in later years of the contract to pay an increasingly higher price for the same quality of highway?

Topics: City Wide, Council, Privatisation, Rob Murphy, Transport

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