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Monday, December 26, 2011

Another PFI scam


Back in the summer Northamptonshire County Council announced that they had to make savings of £2m a year. At the time I thought they best way to make savings was:
1. Don't pay your Chief Executive so much- and make him/her pay his own pension contributions.
2. Get rid of all the dead wood, all those people in "protected" jobs, that can't be sacked and have been downgraded but kept their big salaries. A friend told me of an instance where a woman on £50k's job had finished but because her job was protected they couldn't get rid of her, so she worked in the council call centre. All the others were on minimum wage, and she was on a thousand pounds a week- for answering the phone.

But no. They switched off half the street lights across the county. They did this in June and July, when the evenings are light and the nights are short. They switched off the lights outside my house and in the service road that runs along my side boundary. Within a couple of days a woman had fallen and cut her head, necessitating a trip to A&E. We complained and they switched our street light back on (switching another off down the street).

After a while one gets used to the gloom.

This week I received a letter from Balfour Beatty saying that they'd entered into a PFI schemem with Northants County Council where they were going to replace all the street lights. This was in some way going to save the council money (my suggestion would have saved more).

So how come we never heard about this PFI scheme? Was it already in place before they switched the lights off? Where are the figures to support their claim that this will be cheaper?

PFI schemes are scams. They are always biased against the taxpayer. Howm much will we end up paying for the lights to be switched back on?

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