Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Edinburgh Labour call for Trams Public Inquiry

Financial figures from the Tram Report for the 30th June Council Meeting (which is not supposed to be public until tomorrow?) appeared all over the internet this afternoon (twitter has a lot to answer for!) ...

... so we felt there was no other option but to respond by releasing (earlier than initially planned) our own view on the situation that every Media Operation in Edinburgh/Scotland seemed fully appraised of --- I'll just re-produce our News Release below:


Edinburgh Labour call for Trams Public Inquiry

Draft tram project figures, to be debated at a Full Council Meeting on 30th June, indicate that completion from Airport to Haymarket could cost up to £700million, and completion from Airport to St. Andrew Square up to £773million.

Commenting on these latest figures Labour Leader, Cllr Andrew Burns, said:

“This is a project which Audit Scotland gave a clean bill of health in June 2007. Since then it has totally unravelled.

“The figures revealed today show the complete and utter failure of the current Lib-Dem/SNP Administration to get to grips with the project. They are divided, incompetent and lack the necessary leadership to take the city forward.

“I believe it would be wrong to commit further public money to trams. We have supported this project since inception, we have attempted to provide positive input while in Opposition, yet we feel that the project must be completed within the current funding arrangement. Labour will not support additional Council funding being provided to the tram project.”

Lesley Hinds, Labour Transport Spokesperson added:

“I have real concerns over the figure of £773 million for completion to St Andrew Square. It seems incredible that a scheme originally designed and costed between the Airport and Newhaven could have been allowed to spiral out of control.

“The 2007 Audit Scotland report presented a picture of a project not without problems, but one which was robust and deliverable. Yet, quite clearly, since May 2007 the Lib-Dem/SNP Administration have failed to deliver the project. There are many unanswered questions over how this has unravelled, especially in relation to the leadership of the project and the quality of advice provided to Councillors.

“I now do feel that we need some sort of public inquiry into this whole project, as many Edinburgh residents want answers.”




Anonymous said...

Too little, too late!

No questions until now about Dawe's and Mackenzie's 'on time and on budget' and 'fixed price contract'.

Too little, too late.

Shame on every single party in CEC. You have all ensured that the poor of the city will get even poorer.

Andrew said...


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Completely acknowledge your point ...

... but we're not proposing another penny of public money is expended on this project beyond what is already committed, which is a sum that's been committed now for quite some time.

But you're right that everyone involved has to face up to taking responsibility for what's gone wrong; and those facts need to be established independently.


Anonymous said...

Is that an additional £700 million or is that including what has been spent already ?

What would the cost of a public enquiry , how long would that take, who would pay for it and what would it aim to do ?

To complete the project what is the basic breakdown of the following -

- does TIE own all the materials & equipment that is required to complete (original O.T- Airport) or is there still some to be called in from suppliers (and which has not been paid for). What are the cost implications

- are all the utility divertions complete? If not what is the time and cost elements here?

Andrew said...


- including what has already been spent.

The detail you ask about 'should' be in the full report, which 'should' be public tomorrow --- we haven't seen it yet I'm afraid.


Anonymous said...

This is the first Anon again.

Why did you retweet Godzik's tweet making a joke of the wasted money that ensured that the poor of the city will get even poorer?

It is not funny that Labour politicians in this city make fun of the situation on the day that the leaked information was put into the hands of the public, who, for the most part knew it was a disaster based on lies from the beginning.

It was only the Politicians, TIE and the Chamber of Commerce who were blinkered with their heads in the sand - and a lot of those because of personal gain.

All of you should be ashamed today, and the honourable among you will resign - which of course means none!

Anonymous said...

What would the cost of pausing the whole project ,for say 4 years ?

Moving all the loose materials and equipment into a single storage facility , tidying up the site and providing security.

ReprievedSoul said...

It's time for the Labour trough-snouts to be identified - the ones who saw the worthwhile, well-thought-out tram concept as an open-ended cash flow to be supported, milked and then dropped when the chickens come to roost.

Who benefited most from the Alfred Macalpine measured work contract for the utilities re-routes??

I think we should be told.

Andrew said...

First Anon again

Thanks for the further comment.

I apologise unreservedly if that appeared a joke - I certainly don't think it is ...

... Edinburgh has got itself into the ludicrous situation of having a total of 27 trams (fully paid for and nearly completed) which are worth c£2.5million each, yet even to go to St. Andrew Square we only need 7, and to Haymarket only 5 ... so, there are indeed some potentially 20 tram vehicles worth some c£50million which are surplus to requirements and could be sold/leased for a very considerable sum of money.

It's a serious issue which needs proper investigation in the report coming out today.

Again, apologies if any comment appeared a joke - this situation most certainly is not.


Andrew said...

Anonymous (3)

Valid questions, which may be addressed in the rpeort out today --- if not, they are points we will pursue.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.


Andrew said...


Clearly I disagree with this assertion and would welcome any Public Inquiry which would hopefully expose the truth.

Please don't forget that the final contracts weren't agreed by the Full Council until the 1st May 2008, which was a whole year after the last Local Council elections --- and ALL Councillors, from ALL Parties, voted IN FAVOUR of those contracts being signed.


Anonymous said...

One could turn the tables on the consortium by selling them what they have built sofar and saying to them 'complete it by 2014 and then run it'. You would see costs falling rapidly then.

Andrew said...


Fair point - but there would then not be (necessarily) ANY integration with the existing Edinburgh Bus Network :-(


Anonymous said...

First Anon again:

"there are indeed some potentially 20 tram vehicles worth some c£50million which are surplus to requirements and could be sold/leased for a very considerable sum of money."

Before this farce I would have agreed with you that c£50m was a considerable sum of money. However with the figures in front of us now, we are talking about pocket-change.

You should also take into account that these are going to be sold 2nd Hand with changes of livery etc etc - so even the £50m could well be pie-in-the-sky like the rest of the project. Everyone in the world wanting a cheap tramcar now knows to hammer down the doors of CEC and offer them 10c in the $.

I repeat, there is not one Councillor currently serving on CEC who if they had honour, would be a councillor tonight.

Unusually, the EN's front page nailed it today.

With regards to your retweet - interestingly the tweet with the link to Godzik's joke has been r/t'd almost 400 times - seems like I am not the only one thinking he was a bit of a prat - with others going further.

Andrew said...

First anon again

I completely take your point about the £50m; but it could actually make a significant difference as to whether any further monies need to be borrowed or not?


eurotrash said...

"I completely take your point about the £50m; but it could actually make a significant difference as to whether any further monies need to be borrowed or not?"

This sounds a bit more like "on time and on budget", "Fixed Price Contract" or
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Step 2: Taking the square root of both sides: sqrt(-1/1) = sqrt(1/-1) (where "sqrt" denotes the square-root symbol which cannot be displayed on text-only browsers.)
Step 3: Simplifying: sqrt(-1) / sqrt(1) = sqrt(1) / sqrt(-1)
Step 4: In other words, i/1 = 1/i.
Step 5: Therefore, i / 2 = 1 / (2i),
Step 6: i/2 + 3/(2i) = 1/(2i) + 3/(2i),
Step 7: i (i/2 + 3/(2i) ) = i ( 1/(2i) + 3/(2i) ),
Step 8: (i^2)/2 + (3i)/2i = i/(2i) + (3i)/(2i),
Step 9: (-1)/2 + 3/2 = 1/2 + 3/2,
Step 10: and this shows that 1=2.