Four regions have been approved by the Department of the Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)to secure Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits for their waste programmes.
The four areas are:- South Tyne & Wear, comprising Gateshead MBC, South Tyneside & Sunderland City Council;- South London Partnership, comprising of the London Boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton & Sutton;- Suffolk County Council;- Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council.DEFRA's's Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme (WIDP) handles the project delivery, and is designed to deliver the infrastructure to treat residual waste without compromising efforts to minimise it and increase recycling levels.According to DEFRA, the PFI award rounds allow every authority the chance to submit PFI credits applications transparently.The 2006 revised waste PFI credit criteria emphasises the economic benefits of collaborative working by local authorities. There is a two-step application process, which consists of an Expression of Interest (EOI) and an Outline Business Case (OBC).Outline Business Cases must be submitted to WIDP by 31 October 2007. If approved, the schemes will then be advertised in Official Journal of the European Union in Spring 2008. The closing date for Expressions of Interest in the next PFI award round is 30 September 2007. Successful authorities will be required to submit their Outline Business Cases by April 2008 with approval expected in the Summer.