“Streets Ahead”

In 2012, Sheffield City Council (SCC) signed a confidential, 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract called “Streets Ahead”.

The deal was signed with three companies:

1) Amey plc, owned by huge Spanish multinational corporation Ferrovial and its two partners:

2) some investors, known as Tetragon Financial Group, based in the offshore tax haven of Guernsey

3) a firm that has changed its name at least three times since then and is now called PIP Infrastructure Investments (No 5) Limited.

In exchange for payments that are equivalent of £1.75 million every week over the 25 years until 2037, contractor Amey agreed to fix the roads in Sheffield, clear away dead leaves, grit icy roads, and generally take care of our city after decades of under-spending. Amey also agreed to maintain our healthy street trees.

The ongoing maintenance costs of the “Streets Ahead” contract mean that we’ll be paying for it until 2055.

The Financial Times has recently revealed that Ferrovial plans to sell Amey plc. One of the two expected buyers is Greybull Capital LLP. Greybull made an undisclosed profit from its takeover of Monarch Airlines in 2014, which saw the loss of 2,100 jobs and the stranding of 100,000 UK tourists around the world.

Taking out a PFI for 25 years is like taking out a loan with Tony Soprano.

Sheffield tree campaigner