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Sheffield Greens warn Council decision will make Highways PFI our generation’s World Student Games

Cllr Rob MurphySheffield’s Green Party has warned that a recent council decision means the city will be paying off the Highways PFI for generations to come.

The new decision means millions of pounds will continue being paid up to 2057, 20 years after the end of the contract with Amey.

Green Councillor, Rob Murphy, called it “our generation’s version of the World Student Games.”

Under the decision, signed off on Tuesday 9th January, the cost of borrowing for the Highways PFI will be extended until 2057. The Administration argues that the decision will result ‘in a fairer, more equitable charge between current and future Council Tax payers.’

But, Cllr Murphy says,

“Aside from the fact future generations have no say on this extra burden, it also assumes the lifetime of the road assets will be 40 years, despite complaints by residents that road surfaces are already breaking up.”

Now, Green councillors have called the decision in for further scrutiny.

Speaker for the Green Group, Rob Murphy said

“Not content with making our children pay for their mistakes, this Labour Administration is now getting our grandchildren to pay too. Labour leaders should apologise for signing a deal we cannot afford, as they will be long gone by the time it is paid off.”

He added,

“The council is still paying off World Student Games infrastructure costs, despite Don Valley Stadium being demolished. Rather than clearing its debts before spending more, this Labour-run council has again decided to burden future generations with the pain from their poor decision making.”

Sheffield Greens were the only party on the council that argued against signing the PFI contract in 2012.

Notes

  1. The decision record is available at: http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1941
  2. Figures in the report indicate the decision will cost around £40 million extra over the next 39 years.
  3. The Highways PFI runs to 2037 and this extends the payments further to 2057.
  4. Council borrowing to build sports facilities for the World Student Games in 1990 has crippled the council’s finances for decades and last year the city still owed over £100 million.
  5. The outstanding liability arising from Major Sporting Facilities from the time of the World Student Games was £103.3m at 31 March 2017, (£114.7m as at 31 March 2016)”

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

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