[Mrs Anne Main in the Chair] — Backbench business — Private Finance Initiative
Richard Bacon (South Norfolk, Conservative)
If my hon. Friend were to visit St Thomas Aquinas grammar school and Wellington college in Belfast, he might disagree. Wellington college was built under the PFI, and halfway through negotiations on what should have been a quality building the contractors suddenly said, “Sorry, these are off. Here is your L-shaped school.” St Thomas Aquinas school was procured conventionally. The schools were the same size, the same capital was available for both, and they had the same number of pupils and were of the same socio-economic background, but St Thomas Aquinas school ended up a much better quality school. I have spent a lot of time in both schools and have seen the difference for myself.