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Defra turns down BEaR request for PFI credits

Central Bedfordshire Councils application for £79 million of Government PFI credits has been turned down after Luton Council withdrew from the Bedfordshire Energy and Recycling project last month.

Central Bedfordshire received a response from theDepartment for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs stating they will not be reviewing the OBC as it is now fundamentally undermined through Lutons decision to pull out. Bedford Borough council, which was also originally a partner in the project, pulled out before Luton in October.

Over the lifetime of the project the PFI grant would have been worth £140M.

A unanimous decision was made by Lutons Executive to back out of the BEaR project following Bedford Borough Councils decision to leave, which resulted in significantly increased costs.

When Luton announced its decision Central Bedfordshire Council submitted its Outline Business Case on December 11 but a spokesperson for the council explained that it was unlikely it will receive PFI funding, if we cannot demonstrate partnership working.

Speaking about the future of the project Central Bedfordshire Council Leader Cllr Tricia Turner said: All that we are now tasked with is looking at how we will deliver our long term waste solution for Central Bedfordshire residents and we are looking into alternative funding options.


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