From Mike Starke, Chale Green:

ASSERTIONS by an IW spokesperson (CP, 06-12-19) that: “No external borrowing is undertaken by the council to finance the investment into the Island’s roads under the PFI” seem at odds with Island Roads’ glossy document, “Improving Your Island Highways”, issued at the start of proceedings nearly a decade ago.

Under the heading on page 3, “Strength Of The Investment”, are the names of the 50:50 owner of the PFI contract, French hedge fund Meridiam Infrastructure, whose website boasted a “£9 million investment” in the first year, plus banks KFW, DZ Bank, Sumito Mitsui Banking Corporation and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

By any definition, those represent “external borrowing”.

This reinforces the point made in my letter to the CP published a month ago, quoting the then director of the PFI project for Island Roads, David Gibby, in respect of external borrowing during the Core Investment Period (CIP) of some 30 per cent of the total cost.

Yet again, County Hall continues with its cavalier attitude to the high financial risk posed by the highways PFI, about which it was warned locally and nationally from its “expression of interest” in the scheme way back in September 2006.

The fact is, the council was sold a pup, which has grown into a pit bull terrier that’s gnashing at its ankles.

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