Cambrian News photographer - Ceredigion council to pay £21m over 12 years for school scheme

CASH-STRAPPED Ceredigion County Council will have to pay over £21m during the remaining 12 years of the Ysgol Penweddig PFI scheme, figures have revealed.

The Cambrian News reported “But while the council is facing the massive payment schedule, members of the council’s corporate resources scrutiny committee have heard that trying to terminate the deal would not provide any benefit to the authority and could even end up costing more.

The PFI deal struck to allow the building of the school has been criticised after it emerged that the council would have paid almost £59m when it takes over control of the school when the contract comes to an end in 2030/31, despite the school value being just £12m.

Llanfarian councillor Alun Lloyd Jones has been a vocal opponent of the deal and had urged council officials to find a way to buy it out after a National Audit Office report ruled that PFI schemes cost more than schemes undertaken by the public sector and that bills could continue on years into the future.

However, a report to the scrutiny committee heard that while the council is facing a bill of more than £21m up until the end of the PFI contract, one of the 35 agreed in Wales, it warned that trying to cut short the agreement could end up costing even more.

The schedule of payments show that the council will pay over £1.9m in the next year, £7.65m within two to five years, just over £7.5m within six to ten years and just over £4.5m from 11 years” here.

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