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PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAMME (4Ps) LAUNCHED

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The Public Private Partnerships Programme Ltd (4Ps) was officially launched today. 4Ps has been set up by the local...
The Public Private Partnerships Programme Ltd (4Ps) was officially launched today. 4Ps has been set up by the local authority associations in England and Wales, with all-party support, in a bid to help councils and the private sector identify opportunities for investment in local facilities and services.

One of its chief tasks will be to press for change in the legal and financial controls over local government which have proved such a hindrance to public/private partnerships. 4Ps will also try to identify local authority pathfinder projects - in such key areas as housing, heating, education and leisure - which can be scaled down for sue by other councils. It will also compile a database of projects and private sector companies working in public/private partnerships.

It is shortly to embark on a publicity campaign, including a conference in London in the summer and a regional road show in the autumn.

4Ps will run initially for three years and have a staff of six. Following the appointment of Paul Bryans as chief executive recruitment and the rest of the team has begun. It is financed by top-slicing revenue support grant and housed temporarily by the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, which is also providing administrative back-up.

Speaking at the launch, 4Ps chief executive Paul Bryans said: 'I know from my time at Charterhouse that the PFI can be a very effective weapon in attracting private investment for public projects. I believe 4Ps can play a crucial pat in making the PFI work in the local authority sector'.

4Ps chairman and Merton LBC leader Tony Coleman said: 'I welcome the opportunity of helping more local communities produce much needed investment in public services through public/private partnerships. But first we must look at what prevents partnerships getting under way and then lobby government and opposition to ensure that, once under way, those partnerships can prosper'.

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