the3towns understands a private company involved in maintaining local schools financed using the controversial Public Private Partnership method may be about to seek additional payment after claiming it is currently ‘losing money’ on the deal.
A source close to the company this week said the level of work involved in maintaining the buildings, which include St Matthews’s Academy in Saltcoats and Stanley Primary in Ardrossan, is much greater than had been expected. The source, who spoke to the3towns on condition of anonymity, added, “There may have to be a renegotiation of the contract,” suggesting the Council could have to pay more or take on extra maintenance responsibilities themselves.
North Ayrshire Council’s Schools PPP Project saw four new facilities built at a total cost of £380m, which included £300m for a 30 year maintenance programme. The schools - St Matthews, Stanley Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn and Arran High School – are operated by the local authority with maintenance contracted to a private company called PPP Services (North Ayrshire) Ltd, which in turn sub-contracts work to facilities management giant Mitie.
the3towns has previously revealed concerns over the quality of workmanship at St Matthew’s Academy, including cracks in the walls of the school’s gymnasium and soft mortar between brickwork. The source who spoke to the3towns this week suggested the poor quality of the buildings was leading to increased and unexpected work for the maintenance contractor.