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£154M IN PFI PROJECTS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES

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School children in Surrey and local authority tenants in Islington, Oldham and Rochdale will benefit from funding a...
School children in Surrey and local authority tenants in Islington, Oldham and Rochdale will benefit from funding announced today by minister for local government Nick Raynsford.

The central government funding, worth nearly£154m, will support four new private finance initiative (PFI) projects.

The projects will provide for:

- Reduced traffic congestion in the Guildford, Woking, Reigate and Redhill by providing a high quality, secure school bus service available to pupils at over 40 primary schools.

- Repair, management and maintenance of over 3,500 council homes in Islington.

- The repair, improvement and maintenance of sheltered and warden supported accommodation in Oldham.

- The refurbishment, housing management, maintenance, renewals and repairs to nearly 400 properties in the Rochdale area.

Announcing the PFI funds today, minister for local government Nick Raynsford.

'I am very pleased that local authorities continue to use the private finance initiative to deliver services for their local communities. Partnerships like this are providing much-needed improvements in our local public services.

A total of 178 projects across England now have been endorsed. These projects, through the private finance initiative, are making a positive impact on the quality of life in local communities.'

Lord Falconer, minister for housing, added:

'PFI projects like these improve the local environment but, obviously I am particularly pleased with the projects in Islington, Oldham and Rochdale. These projects focus on modernising local housing to suit the needs of the community.'

Notes

The newly endorsed schemes are as follows:

SPONSORING DEPARTMENT / LOCAL AUTHORITY / NAME OF SCHEME / SERVICE CONTACT

Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Surrey County Council - Surrey Pegasus School Bus Initiative Eric Burley

020 7944 2248

Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions London Borough of Islington - Street Properties II John Garrity

020 7527 4042

Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council - Sheltered Housing Rob Farnos

0161 911 3565

Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council - Supporting Sustainable Communities Andy Wadsworth

01706 864013

1. These are the latest group of local government PFI projects to have been endorsed by central government. A list of endorsed projects is on the Department's website (see below for address). A paper copy is available on request.

2. Local authorities work with local government's Public Private Partnerships Programme (the 4Ps) to submit projects to the sponsoring Government Departments for consideration. Departments in turn present the projects to the Project Review Group (PRG). The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) acts as chair and secretariat for the PRG. Further information about the OGC may be obtained from their website. Projects endorsed by the PRG and included in the list become eligible for revenue support as long as current proposals are translated into contracts. If these circumstances change significantly, a project may have to be re-appraised by PRG.

3. The general criteria to be used in prioritising which schemes are to be put forward to the PRG may be viewed on the page headed 'Criteria for Assessing Schemes' on the department's website (see below for address). The criteria that apply to specific services may be obtained from the relevant departments.

4. Local authorities that have put forward projects not included on this list will have the reasons for this explained to them by the relevant government department. In a small number of cases, no decision could be finalised before the issue of this news release and the appraisal will be completed as soon as possible; if endorsement is recommended, the formal letter will be issued immediately - there will be no need to await the next PRG meeting.

5. The timetable of the next PRG meetings is :

21 January 2002

4 March 2002

15 April 2002

3 June 2002

15 July 2002

Local authorities considering submitting proposals for new schemes should check with the relevant sponsoring department how soon an outline business case would be needed.

6. The procedures and the published lists relate only to projects requiring extra revenue support from central government. Projects that are financially free-standing and so do not require central government revenue support do not have to be considered by the PRG.

7. This announcement relates only to local authority PFI projects in England. Separate arrangements apply elsewhere.

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