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Westminster perseveres with 'model' project Pimlico

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Westminster City Council is still struggling to convince Pimlico School's governing body of the value of the £31.5 million pfi project in its attempt to secure Department of Education and Employment funding. It is hoping to meet the governors again in the near future, after an unfruitful session last weekend, to convince them of the project's attractions. It submitted a reworked planning application for the contentious project last week.

Westminster's director of education and leisure Deirdre McGrath told the aj last week that although £25 million of government funding has been set aside, the DfEE has said it would be 'unwise' to attempt to proceed without its backing. McGrath said she had gone through the governors' concerns and hoped they would 'reconsider their marginal decision to withdraw support'. She added that the governors now acknowledged that alternatives to the pfi were 'not as achievable as imagined'. A consultation period over the revised application is under way, with a planned exhibition of proposals at the school soon.

McGrath also said that the quest to build the pfi project - a recognised failure which has taken three-and-a-half years so far without a result - is to become a 'case study' for the procurement method.

Scheme redesign, page 7

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