East Ayrshire Council is facing huge budget pressures and to be paying out this type of finance to faceless, greedy corporate organisations is absurd says GMB Scotland
East Ayrshire Council will pay an estimated £9,699,333 in Public Private Partnership (PPP) costs for the financial year 2016-17 for four schools in East Ayrshire, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by GMB Scotland. (See notes to editors for more information about the Freedom of Information request).
The PPP costs cover the upkeep of Mauchline Primary, Grange Campus, St Joseph’s Primary and Shortlees Primary.
Paul Arkison, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: "In the current economic climate I find these payment figures absolutely incredible.
There has always been a deep suspicion over these PPP contracts and the financial details surrounding them so the newly elected Scottish Government needs to look at the sustainability of these contracts.
GMB Scotland has continually highlighted the poor working practices of companies who operate on these contracts, particularly Mitie who make huge profits yet continually refuse to pay East Ayrshire Council's Living Wage.
East Ayrshire Council, like most Scottish councils, is facing huge budget pressures and to be paying out this type of finance to faceless, greedy corporate organisations is absurd.
If East Ayrshire Council deems it appropriate to look at the working conditions of low paid GMB members to make savings then it is about time they put every effort into using every legal option possible to renegotiate these ludicrous contracts."
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Paul Arkison on 07801 656533 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.
Notes to editors
1 Details from the Freedom of Information request
Dear Mr Arkison
With regard to your Freedom of Information Request, the 2016-2017 estimated annual unitary charge for all 4 campuses (including payments for all services and interest etc.) is £9,699,333.
GMB has over 600,000 members in the UK and 60,000 in Scotland, making it a strong negotiating force at all levels. With all our resources, with all of our experience and all of our knowledge and expertise we aim to provide our members the protection at work they deserve.
· Using our resources to benefit individual members
· Our vast, day to day experience of solving our members’ varied problems
· Our general union’s detailed knowledge of every public and private industry and service
· Our trained group of shop stewards and safety representatives
2 GMB press release dated Wednesday, April 13, 2016
GMB Scotland Uncovers North Ayrshire’s £1 Million A Month Public-Private Partnership Schools Bill
A Freedom of Information request to North Ayrshire Council reveals PPP contract costs for 2016-17 of nearly £12.9 million says GMB Scotland.
GMB Scotland has today (Wednesday 13 April) slammed North Ayrshire Council’s (NAC) ‘obscene’ £1 million a month Public-Private Partnership (PPP) bill to ensure the upkeep of four schools with a roll of over 3,600 pupils.
A Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by GMB Scotland revealed an estimated PPP cost of £12,891,549.70 for 2016-17, largely for the cost and maintenance of Arran High School, Greenwood Academy, St Matthew’s Academy and Stanley Primary.
The findings have emerged amid widespread calls for a safety review of all PPP contract buildings across Scotland following the closure of seventeen schools in Edinburgh after serious construction defects were uncovered.
GMB Regional Organiser, Paul Arkison, said: “These payments are an obscene waste of local taxpayers’ money and particularly at a time when NAC has imposed £13.6 million worth of cuts to local services.
It is morally wrong that local hard-working families are lining the pockets of big business to ensure their kids’ education while local community services are being decimated.
Councils should be looking at every option available to them in order to renegotiate these contracts, which look increasingly like a heist on the public purse.
It could well be the case that we are merely scratching the surface of a major economic and infrastructure problem and GMB Scotland fully supports the calls for an urgent review of all PPP contracts across Scotland.”