Meet the local authorities flushed with PFI housing cash

Over the course of this year, PFI grants will be distributed to various local authorities.

According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, these grants will be used to refurbish council housing, aid the construction of council and housing association buildings, renew neighborhoods and regenerate estates.

So which local authorities will be receiving the most in PFI grants in 2015-2016?

PFI Special Grants

You can also see the data visualised on our interactive map. Click here or on the image below. Then click on the red dots to see the individual figures for local authorities.

PFI housing grants across the UK
PFI housing grants

Continue reading Meet the local authorities flushed with PFI housing cash

Summer holiday reading recommendations for PFI

Activists we’ve spoken to, such as Dr Lucy Reynolds, interviewed here, and Joel Benjamin who campaigns with People vs PFI, recommend reading books to get our heads around PFI. 

So, may we suggest some light reading over the summer months?

Beach, flickr
Beach, Flickr

Continue reading Summer holiday reading recommendations for PFI

Finding alternative solutions to PFI for the future

The election has been and gone, and it seems to be as good a time as any to re-gather, re-group and collect our thoughts on PFI and what changes can be made for the future.

With this in mind, we asked for your ideas – wild, outlandish, or perfectly sensible – on alternatives to PFI.

Green party activist Andrew Durling had a couple of bright ideas.

He suggested creating energy-efficient hospitals with funds from quantitative easing.
Continue reading Finding alternative solutions to PFI for the future

An interview with PFI expert Dr Lucy Reynolds

We spoke to Dr Lucy Reynolds, research fellow in public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as a dedicated and well-regarded PFI activist.

We first heard her speak at the PFI walking tour of Parliament, which we live blogged here.

Dr Lucy Reynolds speaking at PFI tour of Parliament
Dr Lucy Reynolds speaking at PFI tour of Parliament (Photo PFEye)

She believes that our NHS is being privatised and that there has been a “complete failure of democracy.”

In this audio interview, we asked her what the threats are to the NHS, and what positive steps we can take.

Continue reading An interview with PFI expert Dr Lucy Reynolds

Which hospitals are spending more of their budget on PFI?

The Peterborough City Hospital was built under a Private Finance Initiative contract. Over the course of the 33-year scheme, the Trust is expected to pay back £2bn in charges.
The Peterborough City Hospital was built under a Private Finance Initiative contract. Over the course of the 33-year scheme, the Trust is expected to pay back £2bn in charges. Credit: Davecrosby uk / Wikimedia Commons

Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals is the NHS Trust that spent the highest percentage (18%) of its annual income on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) charges last year.

The trust has found itself in a dire financial situation in recent times.

It has been left struggling with a £37 million annual deficit after using PFI to build the new Peterborough Hospital.

The 611-bed facility opened in November 2010 at an initial cost of £289 million. However, by the end of the 33-year life of the scheme, its total cost is expected to rise to £2bn.

As a National Audit Office (NAO) report noted, “the trust board had failed to recognise that the scheme would place considerable strains on the trust’s finances for many years to come”.

Continue reading Which hospitals are spending more of their budget on PFI?

Snapshot of the figures and facts behind PFI

The world of PFI can be quite data-heavy, with figures thrown about by politicians and activists alike.

In the spirit of simplicity, we’ve created a visual chart with some of the key figures behind PFI.

Click on the image or this link to view the complete infographic.

Untitled

We mainly got these facts from Drop NHS Debt and government figures. Here is the list of other sources:

FT: The hospital which bought out its PFI contract.
New Statesman: Trusts will make repayments of £2bn in 2015
The Independent: Barts NHS Trust in £93m debt.
The Guardian: up to 300 new PFI schools under Michael Gove

Election candidate takes firm stance on PFI

Ellie Merton, independent parliamentary candidate for Walthamstow, is campaigning to save Whipps Cross University Hospital from the debt-laden Barts Health NHS Trust

Photo: Ellie Merton
Photo copyright of Ellie Merton

It is the first time that Ellie Merton is running for MP in her local constituency of Walthamstow, but she is no stranger to politics. As a student, she campaigned against homophobia and was elected as the Student Welfare Officer at the University of London. Recently, she has been campaigning for Palestine.

But when Whipps Cross hospital was rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission in March, Ms Merton knew she had to enter the election.

“I realised that I had the motivation to stand for more than just international human rights, and actually do something on an issue that really worried me; my local hospital,” she says.

Continue reading Election candidate takes firm stance on PFI

Beyond Britain: how do other countries use PFI?

The 8-mile long Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick, Canada with Prince Edward Island. Opened in 1997, it was the first Canadian public facility to be built with a Private Finance Initiative contract.
The 8-mile long Confederation Bridge linking New Brunswick, Canada with Prince Edward Island. Opened in 1997, it was the first Canadian public facility to be built with a Private Finance Initiative contract. Credit: Chensiyuan / Wikimedia Commons

First seen in Britain in the early 1990s, Private Finance Initiative has reached far beyond its natural boundaries over the years.

With projects active in France, Spain, Portugal, Japan, Nigeria among many others, we can safely say that few countries have resisted the lure of PFI.

Going by the names PPP or P3, it may not be referred to by the same term.

The underlying principle, however, is the same: infrastructure projects are financed, built and maintained by the private sector against annual payments from public authorities.

Here we give an overview of how three countries (France, Japan and Canada) have developed PFI policies.

Continue reading Beyond Britain: how do other countries use PFI?

Liveblog: join us on the PFI walking tour of Parliament

Meeting at the Winston Churchill statue, Parliament Square, join us for a PFI tour of Parliament!

Parliament, Flickr
Parliament, Flickr

We’re being led by journalist Kerry anne-Mendoza @scriptonite as part of a series of events by Occupy Democracy.

Anna will be at the scene and tweeting live from @pfeyeblog

Click on this link or on the image below to follow our live coverage:

The history of Private Finance Initiative in the UK – a timeline

Click on the image for an interactive version of the timeline
Click on the image for an interactive version of the timeline

 

Who introduced the Private Finance Initiative in the UK? What was the first public facility to be built under this funding model?

All these questions, and many others, are answered in a timeline that will guide you through the 23-year-long history of PFI in the UK.

Click here or on the image above to access the full interactive timeline with videos of speeches and original documents.

Alternatively, you can find the content of the timeline below in written form.

Continue reading The history of Private Finance Initiative in the UK – a timeline