Private finance contract for Peterborough schools to be renegotiated

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A contract with a private company to deliver services at three Peterborough schools is to be renegotiated.

As revealed by the Peterborough Telegraph earlier this month Peterborough City Council agreed a PFI (private finance initiative deal) in 2005 with IIC Bouygues Education to expand and refurbish Ken Stimpson and Jack Hunt schools and build the Voyager (now Queen Katharine Academy).

Queen Katharine Academy

Queen Katharine Academy

The 30 year contract for the works was £60 million but will end up costing taxpayers £115 million, with repayments of roughly £9 million a year for nearly two more decades.

The deal also tied the schools into using the PFI provider for management of its facilities, including cleaning, catering and maintenance, meaning the total bill will cost £272 million.

The council is now seeking to negotiate part of the facilities management contract to bring down costs by £168,000 a year with the schools also benefitting by the same amount.

The authority said the facilities management part of the contract is not fixed, meaning it can be altered, although the repayments on the building works themselves are fixed.

The proposed renegotiation was one of the measures announced in the council’s budget on Friday.

The council has a £33 million deficit, of which the new proposals will tackle £24 million of it. Further proposals to eradicate the remaining £9 million deficit will be revealed in the new year.

Residents can have their say on the budget proposals either at www.peterborough.gov.uk/budget, or by picking up a hard copy of the budget from the Town Hall in Bridge Street or at any city library from Monday.

A series of articles on the budget proposals will be published online at https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/politics over the weekend.

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