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Education in Caithness


Public Private Partnerships (PPP) & Schools

23 October 05
Are You Aware Of The PPP Issues?

We begin this new section with the publication of a report on the loss off Green Spaces and how many of them in the areas of schools are being sold off to private developers in exchange for new school building.  This may not be problem in Caithness yet but PPP schools are certainly coming into highland with major programme of new school building coming under these new arrangements.  the question sis do you the public understand what is happening to  the schools and the land they stand on.
The government and the Scottish Executive is certainly pushing this but many others are afraid that we are losing control of the properties and losing green spaces in many areas for housing and other building allowing developers access to green space once used by the whole community.
Is this the best way to get new schools, hospitals and other public buildings. Perhaps it is but is the price of losing ownership and the loss of green and open spaces the right price to pay.  We are being told it is the only way to obtain new schools. Below is a link to the Highland Councils proposals for PP2 in schools. 

23 October 2005
Highland council is already well down the route in its PPP Schools initiative and a progress report will be put before councillors at their meeting on 27 October 2005 at Inverness.


Schools Private Finance Initiative - Teacher Net

What Are Public Private Partnerships? - BBC  12/2/03

What are Public Private Partnerships? 12/2/03

Public Private Initiative - Ayrshire

PPP Moray

Evaluation of PPP Performance Final Report 2005

Financial Partnerships At Scottish Executive

PPP At Scottish Law

Unison's Campaign Against PFI/PPP
Unisons main objections

  • PFI privatises.
  • Profit comes before public need.
  • PFI privatises staff, cutting jobs, wages and conditions
  • PFI substitutes for public investment, it is not an extra.
  • PFI set up costs can be five times more than public borrowing projects
  • PFI hits your pocket. You’ll pay more through taxes for tens of years because it is more expensive than public borrowing

Over view of PFI from Unison

PFI Projects In Scotland

Highland PFI Projects

PPP2 Proposals For Highland -
See Paper 27 October Highland Council
Skye & Lochalsh
Portree High School

Millburn Academy

Ross & Cromarty
Dingwall Academy

New Primary School at Inshes

Inverness SEN (replacement Drummond School and Inter Agency Centre)

Gaelic Primary School (Inverness)

Kinlochleven Primary/High School

Ross & Cromarty
New Amalgamated Primary replacing Cullicudden and Newhall Primary Schools)

Ross & Cromarty
Culbokie Primary School

Cawdor Primary School

PPP In Scotland Protocals & Guidance - Employment Issues 7/11/02

PPP funded schools modernisation projects are damaging Scotland’s parks and playing fields. A green area equivalent to 180 full-size football pitches is being used for new schools, involving parkland, playing fields, recreation grounds, amenity space and informal greenspace.

This is happening largely to suit the interests of multinational developers, aided by some Councils which are using questionable tactics to get around national planning guidance.

These are the results of the first-ever national survey of every Scottish Council on the impact of PPP schools modernisation being published on Tuesday, 18 October by a Community Action Group based in South Lanarkshire, and which is being sent to every Government Minister and MSP.

Across Scotland, 30 of Scotland’s 32 Councils are using PPP to rebuild or refurbish around 300 schools by 2009. In order to satisfy the preference of multinational construction companies for new-build rather than refurbishments, Councils are rebuilding a significant proportion of new schools in new locations, often on greenfield sites. Many Councils are also selling the existing school sites – including open space, such as playing fields – for housing development.

The results of a HWCAG survey covering 30 Councils and 268 schools suggests that c.130 ha (c.320 acres) of public greenspace across Scotland is currently earmarked for development, or is already being built on, as a result of schools PPP projects. Equivalent to over 180 full-size football pitches, this loss of open space encompasses, parkland, playing fields, recreation grounds, amenity space and informal greenspace.

This is happening predominantly in the urban areas in and around the Central Belt – in South Lanarkshire, Falkirk, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Glasgow and Edinburgh – but also in Stirling, the Highlands, Aberdeen, Dundee and Clackmannanshire.

The sale of over 140 school sites is also leading to a reduction in the net stock of open space in urban areas, an increase in housing density and a decrease in the accessibility of facilities.

This is happening for three reasons.

  1. Some Councils are failing to respect national planning policy guidance. Many have failed to carry out any monitoring of open space or to take a strategic approach to open space issues. Worst of all, some Councils – South Lanarkshire, Stirling and Highland councils are cited as examples in the survey – have engaged in questionable tactics to over-ride local plans and avoid consultation with local communities on contentious PPP schools projects
  2. The statutory consultation process is not effective in protecting open space. The views of Scottish Natural Heritage can be ignored, while the remit of Sportscotland is too narrow to protect greenspace.
  3. The Scottish Executive is either willfully or unconsciously ignoring the loss of open space and the failures of the planning system associated with PPP schools projects. Ministers rarely intervene to ‘call in’ planning applications damaging greenspace. Like Councils, they have also failed to monitor the loss of open space in Scotland. Lastly, the current proposals to reform the planning system will be too late to have an effect on the loss of open space associated with PPP.

The survey has been carried out by HWCAG (Holmhills Wood Community Park Action Group), based in South Lanarkshire. The survey was carried out during August-October 2005 through FOI requests for details of open space loss associated with PPP schools projects, cross-checked through other published Council information sources, such as Council committee minutes, site plans, local plans and PPP project information. The survey covered over 90% of the PPP schools planned, underway or completed in Scotland.
For further information on the case studies of individual Councils, please contact:

South Lanarkshire: Chris Kelly, Chair, Holmhills Wood Community Park Action Group
Email: saveholmhillspark@btinternet.com)

Stirling: Murray Dickie, Torbrex Community Council.  Email: murray.dickie@btinternet.com

Highlands (Dingwall): Morris Grant, Vice-Chair, Dingwall Community Council. Email: mgfasgadh@msn.com