Labour’s wastefulness while in power

BEFORE last May’s General Election, Nick Clegg described the PFI model as “a bit of dodgy accounting – a way in which the Government can pretend they’re not borrowing when they are”. Last December the Conservatives issued a report which calculated that the 544 PFI schemes agreed under Labour would end up costing taxpayers five times the original building cost.

In March, David Cameron highlighted PFI contracts as an example of Labour’s wastefulness while in power, in a speech to the Conservative spring conference. He said: “Because of those PFI contracts, in one hospital it cost £333 to change a light bulb.” In 2008 the OFT formally alleged that 112 construction companies (which includes companies that currently run some facilities in Leeds) engaged in bid rigging activities, and in particular cover pricing. The OFT carried out site visits at the premises of 57 firms, this led to over 40 further companies subsequently admitting participation in some bid-rigging activities.

Speaking last Thursday, Andrew Lansley said he had been contacted by 22 trusts that are struggling to cope with the growing burden of PFI contracts.

The Coalition is sticking to ‘wasteful’ PFI funding. More private finance initiative projects are being pushed through by the Coalition than in any full year of Gordon Brown’s premiership, despite pledges from the Tories and Liberal Democrats to rein in the “wasteful” funding schemes.

An estimated 39 PFI projects are likely to be completed this year, very surprising to see the views of the politicians above. A new £30.6m PFI Wellbeing/sports Centre for Holt Park was given the go-ahead on April 14, the Holt Park sports centre is a well used and liked sports centre, so again very surprising. The sports centre at Guiseley was built in 1967 and is one of the best in Leeds, can anyone tell me when the Holt Park centre was built and why it is being knocked down?


Dangerous dogs

I was appalled to see reports of yet another report of pit bull/Staffordshire bull terrier type dog attack. This time it was in Middleton Woods, Leeds, rather close to home my home. The nine-year-old Leeds boy had to curl up into a little ball to save himself from two dogs who attacked him whilst he was playing. Why is no one trying to sort out this problem that we still have with dangerous dogs. It would seem to me that at the very least it should be compulsory for every dog of this type to be chipped. This would then make the owners responsible for the actions of their dogs. In the USA Labrador Retrievers have been the most popular breed of dog for the last 2 years, but yet none of that breed were involved in the 66 deaths caused by dogs attacks in the last 2 years. Instead pit bull/Staffordshire bull terrier type dogs were involved in 37 of the deaths. So perhaps it the type/breed of bog, perhaps its because the owners train their dogs for aggression. But there is a problem, and no-one is taking any notice. Every dog breed of a type capable of doing harm should be registered and trained.

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