Saturday, 10 January 2015


To BFTF's complete surprise, there has never been a post on PFI finance on this blog - let's sort that our right now.

PFI deals, which have been promoted by both Labour and Conservative Governments in recent years, have allowed public buildings to be built with private money. However, there have been many concerns that the contracts are inflexible and offer poor value for money, locking in taxpayer repayments for, literally, decades.

PFI debacle No1 : Notts Riverside Police Station
The Nottingham Post reported back in 2011 on the story and explains how Notts Police signed a 25-yr contract for the new station in 2001, The contract specified payments to the contractor of £960,000 a year for the next 25 years (much of this payment comes from central government).

The building is about half the size of a football pitch hat FOI requests had revealed that the the station is costing taxpayers

So Notts Police Authority signed a 25-year contract for Riverside under which, on top of staffing costs, it pays £80,000 a month – or £960,000 a year.

The building was constructed on a three-acre site and covers a space of 27,000 square feet – less than half the size of a football pitch.

But today, with redundancies and cutbacks being forced on all departments, the station costs are a severe strain on Police finances.

Phil Matthews, chairman of Notts Police Federation, comments that "We are [now] trying to shoe-horn people into the station just to make the most of it. This contract has become an albatross round our neck."

While the TaxPayers' Alliance, says that "Too many PFI deals were badly negotiated and now public bodies are stuck with huge monthly bills...that taxpayers are struggling to pay for".