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Schools Building Programme – Not the best way to do it

In a press release issued yesterday afternoon (Monday 26th January) Luton Council confirmed that it was to go ahead with a Public Private Partnership deal to build new high schools in Luton.

The Liberal Democrat opposition on the Council has long been critical of the government approach which forces councils to use private finance to build schools.

“We obviously welcome the huge investment in Luton schools” says Liberal Democrat Childrens’ Services Spokesman Cllr Lawrence Patterson.

“Our young people and our hard working teachers deserve the very best facilities we can provide. We want them to achieve high standards and must do whatever we can to provide them with the tools they need.”

“But it really makes no sense at all that a Labour Council and a Labour government are both so keen to follow the traditional Tory line. They seem to have learned nothing from the massive overspends on the private upgrading of the London Tube network with London tax payers being left with 95% of the multi-million pound liability. They’ve learned nothing from the hospitals built with private finance many of which have cost hundreds of millions more than predicted.”

“We agreed to support the Public-Private Partnership approach because it was the only way the government would allow the Council to build the new quality schools Luton’s pupils deserve. In the long run, like all PPP projects, it will cost Council tax payers more as private companies make healthy profits, but we will not leave our young people with crumbling school buildings just to make a political point.”

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