Headlines: September 3rd, 2007

NORTH YORKS WASTE PROJECT GETS PFI BACKINGA North Yorkshire partnership has been awarded 65 million pounds in PFI credits to improve waste management in the area, a move that could see three-quarters of council-collected rubbish no longer going to landfill sites.Defra has awarded the money to a project led by North Yorkshire County Council in partnership with York City Council. The money will be used to develop a mechanical and biological treatment plant and a second project that will generate energy from waste. At the same time the plans will mean an increase in the amount of refuse that is recycled or composted.Over all it will see more than 75 per cent of municipal waste from North Yorkshire and York being diverted away from landfill. The final make up of the new residual waste treatment plants will be decided through the procurement process. The two authorities are the latest of 22 councils which have benefited from 900 million pounds from waste PFIs in the last ten years. In 2004/5 the total net revenue expenditure on waste collection and disposal by local councils in England was just over 2.4 billion pounds.

This was dominated by disposal at landfill sites with money being spent largely through contracts with the private sector.The Environment Minister, Joan Ruddock, said, “Reducing our reliance on landfill is an essential part of the drive to tackle climate change and I welcome the ambitious commitment made by the North Yorkshire County Council and York City Council partnership. PFI agreements like this one provide an incentive for local authorities and industry to work together to achieve our goals for cutting waste, reducing its environmental impact, and making better use and reuse of the waste we create.”


Ten young people from Manchester have won places on a new modern apprenticeship scheme that will see them working on a major regeneration project in the east of the city. The 10, aged from 16 to 21, will join a scheme set up by the  Consortium with the support of New East Manchester, Skills Solutions and MANCAT.

Initially they have been given two-year contracts with the housebuilders, Lovell or Adactus Housing Association. They will specialise in particular trades such as plumbing or plastering or train in a number of disciplines to become multi skilled. They will all work on the redevelopment of Miles Platting, a Private Finance Initiative scheme to transform a 264 acre area two miles east of the city centre.

The redevelopment is being undertaken by the Renaissance Consortium, a partnership between national affordable housing provider Lovell, Adactus Housing Association and Investors in the Community. Renaissance signed a 30-year PFI contract with Manchester City Council in March and the five-year refurbishment programme will include include improvements to 1,520 council houses and flats. Adactus also started a 30-year management and maintenance programme for the properties for the city council. The regeneration will also see the building of more than 1,000 new family houses and apartments.

Tom Russell, chief executive of New East Manchester, said, “We have been working closely with Renaissance to create opportunities for local people in the construction industry and housing maintenance and management. This is a fantastic initiative but only the start. By working together on recruitment we had a tremendous response from local people with over 160 enquiries and the standard of applicants was excellent.”

The consortium will have a rolling programme of apprenticeships over the next 30 years as part of the management and maintenance programme.