Headlines: September 15th, 1998

The Government has issued new guidance on working with the private sector to generate new investment in public infrastructure.Local Government Minister Hilary Armstrong has published updated guidance on local authority PFI.

She said: “Local Government PFI has come a long way. At the time of the General Election, only one local government PFI project had been given the green light. Now 66 schemes across a wide range of service areas have been endorsed, involving a total investment of well over a billion pounds.”She also indicated that authorities should be investigating PFI projects as part of delivering ‘best value’ services to the public, as laid out by the recent local government white paper.

Schemes planned will benefit schools, leisure and waste management projects, police stations and IT improvements. The Government is making more than three billion pounds worth of revenue support available for PFI schemes by 2002.

The new guidance sets out the Government’s approach to public/private partnerships and the PFI, arrangements for local authorities seeking revenue support, as well as the criteria against which Departments assess applications.

Local Government and the Private Finance Initiative is available from DETR Free Literature, PO Box 236, Wetherby L23 7NB, or on the web at

Last week the Institute of Health Service Managers criticised the continued
lack of guidance on PFI in their sector.