|The proposed site|
Just as with litigation where the biggest winners are always the lawyers, the same could be said when local authorities embark on major capital projects. Advisors and consultants start to salivate as they contemplate all those lovely fees they can charge that make the recently awarded Caruana's SRA pale into insignificance.
So, dear Reader have you any idea how much the Kensington Academy Leisure Centre or "KALC" (you know, the bulldozers up there at Lancaster West and the plonking of a new secondary school slap bang on top of Grenfell Tower) has cost? It's actually topped £1.5million, the first £650k has been spent.
Nice work if you can get it. See it for yourself here
A report on 12th December to the Cabinet suggested four different options for developing this site, ranging from the budget one (costing £37.4mm) up to the all singing and dancing (is that the consultants doing that? -Ed) costing over £60mm.
Of course the devil is in the details, isnt it always?
Page 16 of the report details rather niftily the financial implications, telling us the council is going to cough up £36mm of your money, and the rest is going to come from a variety of sources including £17.6mm from PfS (Partnership for Schools), which is an executive agency that is part of the Department for Education, and a tranche from capital receipts (this means the proceeds for selling an asset, ie the land) of about £10million.
Further down the same report (paragraph 5.2.4) it says that if the PfS provide less; or if the fire sale of assets doesn't actually make the amount expected due to economic factors or things like that then the council contribution will have to increase to make up the shortfall. Not only that, but the council may have to use your cash to kick start the project, before they sell the asset, whichwill mean some short term borrowing resulting in additional interest costs.
Good job the council tax payers of K&C have deep pockets isn't it!