Saturday, February 07, 2015

Deep concern over V&A budget smokescreen

I am deeply concerned at the revelation made by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop that the Scottish Government had been informed by Dundee City Council as long ago as April 2014 that “the initial estimate of the (V&A) price would not be met” – months before City Councillors were asked in September 2014 to approve BAM Construction Limited as the preferred contractor, without the councillors being told anything about the budget problems.

It is nothing short of downright disgraceful that an agenda note was allowed to go forward to the Policy and Resources Committee on 8th September 2014 asking councillors to appoint the preferred contractor, without any mention whatsoever that the budget was in trouble.

I now call into question the veracity of the decision taken on 8th September because councillors were asked to make the decision on appointing the contractor with no information that the budget was anything other than the £45 million we had been advised, when it turns out the SNP Scottish Government had been told by Dundee City Council months before that the £45 million budget could not be met.     The whole thing stinks.

There now needs to be fast progress with John McClelland’s independent investigation and I have written to David Martin, the City Council’s Chief Executive in the following terms :

From: Fraser Macpherson 
Sent: 06 February 2015 10:21
To: David Martin
Subject: V&A Inquiry & Project Board

David

Can I please have an update on progress towards the establishment of the project board, timetable of meetings, etc?

Also can I ask what progress John McClelland is making in establishing his inquiry, terms of reference, proposed timescales, etc and who is he proposing to interview?

Many thanks.

Best regards

Fraser

Cllr Fraser Macpherson
Liberal Democrat Councillor for the West End
Dundee City Council