We’ve known for some time that Peterborough City Council was planning to disentangle itself from its contract with Amey.
The contract which was intended to run for 23 years until 2034 meant Amey provided the city with services including refuse collection, street cleaning and the upkeep of parks and open spaces.
What we’ve just found out is that the divorce bill will cost us, the council taxpayers, £500,000.
But keep that to yourselves as we don’t want anybody in central government knowing that at a time when the cash-strapped city council is begging for more funding.
When the deal was sealed in March 2011 it was heralded as a win-win for the council and residents.
The then council deputy leader Matthew Lee, who signed the contract, said the deal would save the council “millions of pounds” a year.
He said: “I’m confident we have found the right partner.”
Cllr Lee added that the aim was to improve the services, without costing city taxpayers any extra money.
You will have your opinion on whether that aim has been achieved or not.
As the contract is being terminated after just six years – less than a quarter of its intended term – it would seem the council has made clear its opinion.
Both Amey and the council read from the same script saying the contract “no longer meets the needs of either party’’ which sounded like they were staying civil for the sake of the kids!
A council spokesman claimed a change was needed because the city’s financial circumstances had “changed dramatically since the contractwas originally put in place’’.
Did it not occur to anybody that within the 23 years of the contract’s life expectancy there wouldn’t be dramatic changes?
Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once said a week was a long time in politics. So what does that make 23 years?
Blimey by the year 2034 Posh might be in the Premiership and council officers might have been replaced by robots.