Council making no promises on troubled Leeds PFI housing scheme till contracts signed

Demolition 2010, new-build ???

Council chiefs have confirmed that contracts have still not been signed for the troubled PFI regeneration scheme for three inner-city areas of Leeds.

Asked yesterday at a meeting of Leeds City Council whether the project was on time and on budget, housing and regeneration chief Cllr Peter Gruen said the continuing delays were “very disappointing”. The council was doing everything it could to drive the project forward, he said, but he would make no promises till contracts were signed.

The last time senior councillors discussed the £144m project, the aim was to get final sign-off of the contract by the end of July this year so work could start this month (November) on the refurbishment of over 1,200 council homes and the construction of 388 new ones in Little London, Beeston and Holbeck.

Gruen said he was discussing the way forward with local councillors and MPs, but gave no details.

Government? Contractors?

New-build going up ???

It’s not clear what is continuing to hold up the contract signing.

At the beginning of July the council stepped in with around £50m of taxpayer cash to rescue the project after one of the banks funding it pulled out.

If that new funding arrangement still holds good, then it looks like the current delay could be down to either central government or the contractors chosen to do the work.

Whatever the cause, the longer the delay continues, the greater the risk grows of costs becoming unmanageable. The council admitted as much in July when it was putting the rescue package in place.

The 388 new homes are replacing some of the 580 council homes in Beeston and Holbeck earmarked for demolition as part of the scheme. Most, if not all, of those demolitions have already taken place – some of them two years ago.

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4 Responses to Council making no promises on troubled Leeds PFI housing scheme till contracts signed

  1. ardsleywhite says:

    Disgraceful carry on by LCC.As usual,all talks held in secret……do not inform your residents of just what has happened to this shambles of a scheme.Clever thing to demolish all these properties without any proper plans in place to replace them ? mmmmmmmmm

    • D Waring says:

      yes and the residents who still live opposite are left looking at the tinned up flats which are devaluing our homes whilst not having a clue what is happening with them. this is despite contacting Airedale housing who so call manage the properties on behalf of LCC.

      approximately 4 of the homes on Waverley Garth are still occupied and I’ve heard rumours that LCC have paid extra monies to the tenants who remain their for the inconvenience of having to stay amongst the ‘mess’. unfortunately I’ve had to endur this inconvenience and horrid view for over 2 years but have I or any other residents been any form of compensation…NO! not that I’m looking for money, I would much prefer the flats to be either knocked down or refurbished so that DECENT people could move in and the area could start to improve.

      Rant over, for now!!

  2. Dennis kitchen says:

    We are most dissapinted in the delay . Seemingly no one can detail the actual reason for the delay. In Holbeck we have always regarded that the council have an hidden agenda for Holbeck this is despite the fact that our local councillors are second to none . There must be some officer within the council that has a hand on the PFI project . Please let’s have their name so that our councillors can lobby them for an answer and to persuade them to get their finger out .

    • Dennis,
      Don’t think the council – officers or councillors – can do much about it. My guess is it’s the contractor that’s now finding it difficult to commit – for whatever reason. If that’s the case, not sure what can be done – find a new contractor who can? wait?

      Cllr Gruen told today’s YEP that he hoped the contracts would be signed “within months“. Given the 3-month mobilisation period that i understand has to take place after signing before work can start on site, looks like it could drag on and on.

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