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'LOCAL AUTHORITIES BEING FORCED TO USE PPP IN SCHOOLS'

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The Scottish National Party has called on the Scottish Executive to rethink their plans to limit funding for non-PP...
The Scottish National Party has called on the Scottish Executive to rethink their plans to limit funding for non-PPP schools in Scotland after it was revealed in parliamentary questions that local authorities will not be supported by the£190m Schools Fund which is intended for investment in improving and maintaining school

buildings and estates if Prudential borrowing schemes are used instead of

PPP.

Shadow education minister Fiona Hyslop said:

'What is becoming clear is that local authorities will be unable to use the

much promoted Prudential borrowing scheme when it is introduced in April

together with the Schools Fund. This means that local authorities are being

railroaded down the PPP route.

'This is blatantly unfair and reflects the government's obsession with the

extremely expensive PPP investment option for schools.

'Prudential borrowing was announced before the 2003 council elections as a

pre-election promise but is turning out to be a hollow option for school

investment.

'It also calls into question how the Schools Fund allocation will be used

and whether it will all be pumped into the PPP projects instead of finding

its way into much needed investment in non PPP schools.

'We need a level playing field to allow real and fair investment options for

local authorities so that they can provide value for money for tax-payers

and good school conditions to help the education of pupils, unhindered by

the strait-jacket of national government restrictions.

'I am determined to pursue this issue in parliament in an attempt to ensure

that local authorities are not forced into PPP projects by the Scottish

Executive for fear of a lack of adequate funding in schools across

Scotland.'

Notes

S2W-3583 - Fiona Hyslop (Lothians) (SNP): To ask the

Scottish Executive whether it will be open to local authorities to direct

resources from their schools fund allocations towards supporting prudential< p/="">borrowing, where such borrowing relates to the school estate.

Answered by Peter Peacock (18 November 2003): It is not open to local

authorities to use schools fund resources to support the cost of direct

council borrowing for capital investment.

S2W-3582 - Fiona Hyslop (Lothians) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Executive

whether it intends to continue to make resources available to local

authorities through the schools fund beyond 2005-06.

Answered by Peter Peacock (18 November 2003): Local authorities' shares of

the schools fund are confirmed up to 2005-06. However, we recognise that

improving and maintaining school buildings is a long-term issue and have

indicated that we intend that substantial resources will continue to be

available over the long term for work on the school estate.

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