It is the responsibility of each local authority, as the procuring body, to ensure that its PPP project is affordable for the full length of the contract. It is a condition of any part-funding support provided by the Executive for a local authority PPP project that the local authority confirms to us that the project is affordable and that the local authority has the resources to carry it out.
In light of the minister's answer, I take it that he approves of the approach of South Ayrshire Council in imposing an additional 1 per cent levy on council tax payers to help bridge the gap in its schools PPP project. Can he confirm that future school rationalisation programmes would also be a legitimate tactic for South Ayrshire Council to employ to achieve the same end? According to the out-going Labour councillor Paul Torrance, just such a programme will be adopted for rural schools in South Ayrshire once the May elections are got out of the way.
It is not for me to comment on South Ayrshire Council's decisions. As with some other schools PPP projects, South Ayrshire Council identified an affordability gap during