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Mayor to get limited say in Tube PPP talks

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LONDON'S MAYOR will be allowed into the final talks on the £14.5bn public private partnerships to upgrade the Tube, deputy prime minister John Prescott said on Monday.

But he reiterated to the Commons sub committee that the new Mayor will not have power to veto terms of the deals because this would risk delaying the project.

Previously, the Government and London Underground had indicated that the Mayor would be excluded from all PPP negotiations. But the move suggests the Mayor will get a limited say in the final details of the PPP contracts.

Under the PPP deals, private consortia will take over the refurbishment and upgrade of Tube lines for 30 years, raising their own finance for the work.

Bids are in for three separate concessions:

the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines

the Bakerloo, Central, Victoria and Waterloo & City lines

the Metropolitan, Circle and District lines.

MPs also heard that the Mayor would not be able to reopen talks on the contractual terms of the PPP deal when the concessions come up for review after seven years. 'The review will not be a renegotiation,' said PriceWaterhouseCoopers partner Paul Davies, who is advising the Government on the PPP.

The seven year review would simply be a chance for the Mayor to re-specify operational details, such as train path numbers, but only within the original terms.

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