The ties that do not bind? UK and Scottish Labour diverge on importance of collapsing schools

In the Observer today:

Ministers sparked a furious row over the safety of thousands of dilapidated school buildings in England on Saturday night by abandoning the imminent publication of data showing those judged to be most at risk of collapse.

In its latest annual report, published in December, the DfE confirmed the crisis, saying “there is a risk of collapse of one or more blocks in some schools which are at, or approaching, the end of their designed life-expectancy, and structural integrity is impaired”. It added that “the risk predominantly exists in those buildings built in the years 1945 to 1970 which used ‘system build’ light-frame techniques”.

Readers may remember Scottish Labour’s performance on schools was problematic when their PFI schemes put local authority inspectors out of the loop leading to walls without cavity ties collapsing:


10 thoughts on “The ties that do not bind? UK and Scottish Labour diverge on importance of collapsing schools

  1. Yes, PFI, another of Bodger Broon’s ‘pooling and sharing’ ideas – public money is shared with private contractors who charge extortionate rates to Councils to use the schools the councils own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not sure the Councils ‘own’ the PFI schools. Probably more akin to renting them. Certainly where PFI hospitals are concerned many will never be owned by the Health Boards eg Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Instead once they reach the end of the contract period they then have to renegotiate a new contract with the PFI consortium or whichever company or group has taken them the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is a bit more complex. Some schools are new builds and these mainly belong to the PFI company. Other schools were refurbishments and these remained within Council control.

        One of the ‘benefits’ (con tricks) of PFI was that the company was ‘taking the risk’ but, in practice, there was a substantial contribution from Councils. In addition, the distancing of Council construction inspectors meant that any alterations which were required after the schools were operational and teachers uncovered the flaws were made at very expensive rates.


    2. PFI was a scam in the late 1970s when I was first working as an Engineer – We knew and could prove it a financial disaster for the public on every project compared to original methods of funding but were obliged to comply with HMG policy.

      “Luckily” HMG had a series of intermediaries coincidentally domiciled in the south of England who were instantly available to facilitate such a Contract, what extraordinary luck 🙄, Broon merely extended the franchise on the never bite that feeds you principle.

      And the Sicilian Mafia should be embarrassed because they trusted the populace and that trust was reciprocated ?

      I fully expect this recent news (or quashed news) will lead to revitalising the PFI miracle cure fairy courtesy of the “we can’t afford it”🙄 gambit, I hope greater England looks at the last 40 years experience in Scotland to recognises the “Snake Oil” for what it is but shan’t hold my breath.
      The very few in the south of england will be expecting yet again a tide of cash to keep them in the style to which they have most assuredly become accustomed.


  2. PFI contracts premises are supposed to be handed after 30 years or specified terms, according to the contract. Intact. In a well maintained state with improvement. How many will that entail, with interest rates etc. The private sector does not have revenues for the upkeep. Some schools etc have to be rebuilt every 20/30 years. Before the Contract is ended or phased out.

    The Westminster Gov Accounts show PPI contracts as an asset.


  3. UK Gov whole Accounts 2019/20

    Page 10. £37Billion commitment in PFI financial lease. A liability,

    P40. Assets – Property, plant and equipment. £1313Billion.

    Scottish water is considered an asset £63Billion P43


  4. The Westminster Gov. ConDems cut Education £6Billion a year from 2015 to 2020.

    Scottish Gov had to mitigate the cuts.

    UK Accounts Student loan book considered an asset. People being lumbered with massive debt. Is considered by Westminster to be an asset?


  5. UK Gov Accounts 2019/20.

    P45. Assets – student loans (book) £79Billion. Landing people in education debt.
    Changes not going to sell anymore?

    Scottish Gov mitigates the education cuts. Less student debt. People just pay through taxes. Ability to learn. Not the ability to pay. More equal education system in Scotland.


  6. The Tories are toast. Starmer/Labour are lying to try to win an election. The Tories in complete disarray. Away with all the embezzled loot. £Billions. In unscrutinised Gov contracts. Donations to Tory Party for access to £Billion of public funds misappropriated, illegally.

    The EU cost £4Billion. The nearest biggest market. £Billion in trade lost. Scotland traded £11Billion with the EU. Scotland received £Billion of EU investment and renewable grants. The rest of the UK benefitted but voted out. Lie after lie from the tax evading Tories. The cost of living and prices going up. The EU kept prices down. Especially for essential goods and trading arrangements, and standards, with the rest of the world.


  7. OT I just tried to archive the latest HMS James Cook /Politics /Cover AJ’s abundant arse/propaganda attempt after being nonplussed to see feature as “BREAKING” despite having been openly stated in Holyrood 2 days ago whilst DRoss made an even more hopeless fool of himself than usual.
    Is there something in the water at Pacific Quay ?
    Is James Cook’s promised peerage under threat ?
    Has SubLt (failed) Bowie come under threat for not covering the boss’s massive flounce ?
    These and many other questions will remain unanswered from your impartial national broadcaster until they find a better disguised squirrel than Thumper

    Liked by 1 person

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