The Council will spend about £79 million next year on the Streets Ahead contract, about double the £39 million spent on highway maintenance in 2011-12, the year before the Highways PFI contract was signed.
This puts extra pressure on the council budget.
To help close this gap, the council is proposing to change the way it accounts for the money it has borrowed to make short-term savings of about £6 million a year.
In effect, it is borrowing now and paying off later. Much later – up to 2057 in fact, twenty years after Amey has been fully paid under the current highways contract. In return for £48 million before 2037, the Council will pay about £90 million.
Is it right to expect our children and grandchildren to pay off the cost of today’s road resurfacing? The roads won’t last that long so they will also have to pay the cost of their own roads as well as the cost of our generation’s.
It is only five years in to the 25-year Amey contract and already the council is rescheduling its finances. The Don Valley Stadium and Waltheof Sports Hall have been demolished but the city still owes about £100m in debt for costs incurred in 1990 for the World Student Games. This should have been a warning in 2012.
That’s why Green Party councillors are calling the issue in to be discussed at a Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 23rd January. We want to know if we’re getting value for money, not just for ourselves but also for the next generation.
Cllr Douglas Johnson,
Sheffield Green Party