At present, this intention relates to Glassford, a joint venture with Housing Solutions, a housing association based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The pension fund said it intends to expand this joint venture to develop additional housing schemes in the neighbourhood.The submission also said that in principle any future asset management agreement between the pool’s investment vehicle LPP Investments (LPPI) and Berkshire will be able to accommodate a percentage of assets to be allocated to local investments for the pension fund’s sole benefit.These could either be managed via LPPI on an advisory basis, or with Berkshire’s own resources.In terms of infrastructure, the target allocation for LPP could be as high as 10%-plus, with Berkshire planning to increase its own allocation to a maximum of 15%.In January 2015, LPFA and Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) – now part of the Northern Pool – established an infrastructure joint venture, which is being expanded this summer to include the pair’s pooling partners to lift total commitments to over £1bn.By end-2016, it is also planned to restructure the joint venture into an infrastructure fund open to every local government pension scheme pool or fund.Meanwhile, based on just the LPFA and LCPF participation so far, the LPP said it expects to save £33m in investment management fees over five years from pooling, and around £1m in pension administration costs in the second year of operations.It also said it anticipates improved investment outcomes of around £20-£30m from current levels over the next five years, and that even greater savings should be achieved with the addition of Berkshire to the pool and the opportunity to exploit further economies of scale. The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund is to join the £1bn (€1.1bn) infrastructure platform to be set up by the Local Pensions Partnership (LPP) and the Northern Pool, two of the UK’s eight local authority pension pools which are being launched to enable increased infrastructure investing.Berkshire joined the LPP – whose other partners are London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) and Lancashire County Pension Fund (LCPF) – earlier this summer, with its participation expected to be formally approved by end-January 2017, and assets transitioned by April 2018.The value of the three funds’ combined investments is currently around £13bn.However, according to LPP’s pooling proposal submitted to the UK government in July, Berkshire wishes to retain certain locally-focused investments permanently outside the pool and will seek its own approval from the secretary of state to do this.
While the Alliance For Change (AFC) is singing the praises of the Cummingsburg Accord that brought it elections victory, a former executive member of the party is describing the agreement, three years later, as nothing more than a sham.Former AFC Executive Sase SinghAccording to former AFC Executive Sasenarine Singh, the Accord was marketed particularly to the youths as a forerunner to change. This change, Singh noted, was supposed to fulfill the wishes of youth.“However, history has exposed what a sham that promise proved to be; because, in reality, the Cummingsburg Accord has been one of the most dishonest documents (and) was hijacked by some very insincere people who cared little about the youths of Guyana.“It was more a document to facilitate some fat pensions and perks for some septuagenarians and octogenarians. To really talk about the Cummingsburg Accord, the entire situation must be given context. The way the Cummingsburg Accord was sold to the nation in 2015 was that it was going to be designed to reflect the wishes of the youths.”Reflecting on his time spent campaigning with and for the AFC on the frontlines during the 2011 General and Regional elections, Singh noted that the youths wanted change and a more accountable government.Singh also suggested that had the party’s co-founder, Sheila Holder, been alive today, she would have resisted an alliance with the People’s National Congress (PNC)- dominated APNU due to her independence of thought.PraiseEarlier this week, the Alliance For Change (AFC) Public Relations Committee had hailed the agreement in the wake of its anniversary. Despite persistent analysis and criticism of the party’s passivity in matters ranging from unconstitutional appointments to massive loss of jobs in the sugar belt, the AFC maintained the accord’s usefulness.“The Accord laid the foundation for the restoration of honour, dignity, credibility and unprecedented levels of accountability and transparency in executive governance in Guyana. The Cummingsburg Accord is, without question or debate, one of the most significant partnership and collaborative agreements in the Caribbean’s political history,” the party had claimed.“The Cummingsburg Accord is a sunset agreement for 3 to 5 years. The three-year mark has been reached. Having achieved the initial objectives of the restoration of the rule of law and order in our beloved country, the party has been reviewing the accord as we work with all parties with shared interests to unlock Guyana’s true potential,” the AFC had continued.There have been other criticisms of the Accord, including the fact that certain provisions were never followed. The Accord had designated responsibilities, such as domestic affairs and chairing of the Cabinet, to AFC executive Moses Nagamootoo, the Prime Minister.Ever since these things did not materialise, the Prime Minister has always had to defend against claims that his role was ceremonial. In addition, Nagamootoo has, for some time, expressed the need for a revised agreement.In April of last year, Nagamootoo had said that he was of the firm opinion that a renegotiation of the Cummingsburg Accord was in high order. He had noted that the agreement was supposed to be for a limited time duration and that when the Government was midterm, it should be reviewed.Former AFC General Secretary and Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson had, in the past, complained that the day-to-day administration of the Accord has been problematic, especially at the local level.