News round-up 18/7: Loans to guarantee investment
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
Chancellor George Osborne will today announce a package of new loan guarantees and lending for major infrastructure projects, the Guardian reports. The announcement follows the funding-for-lending scheme to encourage banks to offer more loans, as well as support for a £9bn investment in railway infrastructure, announced earlier this week.
The Daily Telegraph writes that new Treasury-backed guarantees and loans could unlock more than £50bn of private sector investment in construction, telecommunications and energy.
Meanwhile, the Times reports that the taxpayer will guarantee loans for foreign companies, resulting in the “exposure to billions of pounds’ worth of extra debt if the projects collapse”.
The chancellor will argue he is using the government’s “hard-won credibility” to underwrite the projects, the Independent writes.
Elsewhere, the Financial Times reports that prime minister David Cameron is planning a cabinet reshuffle in September. Aides have denied that Mr Cameron is about to “sack his chancellor” and replace him with William Hague, the foreign secretary.
Education secretary Michael Gove has approved three free schools run by groups that believe in creationism, two of which will teach it as science, the Guardian writes. The chief executive of the British Humanist Association (BHA) Andrew Copson said he was concerned that the government’s scrutiny of free schools was inadequate.
Government cuts have led to a drastic decline in the amount of time being spent organising school sport, the Guardian reports. Responses from Freedom of Information requests to 150 top-tier authorities sent by Labour showed that almost half of local authorities recorded a decrease in the number of School Sport Partnerships – local networks of organised school sport – since 2009-10.
The chief executive of G4S, Nick Buckles, admitted that he could not guarantee to provide 7,000 trained and screened security guards by next Friday, the Guardian reports.
The Financial Times writes that G4S has abandoned bids for future security contracts at the Brazil World Cup and Olympics and has been pressured by MPs to waive its £57m management fee for the London Olympics security operation, described as a “humiliating shambles”.
However, Mr Buckles angered the home affairs select committee, which he was giving evidence to yesterday, by insisting his company would still claim the management fee, the Independent writes.
Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph reports that a further 2,000 troops could be drafted in to protect the Olympic Games if the security situation worsens.