17 January 2015 

On Friday Dundee City Council issued a press release talking about the "Significant economic benefits of an £80.11 million project to construct the V&A Museum of Design Dundee."

This might have been a worthy sentiment if it was not a failed attempt to distract from the near doubling of the cost of the V & A project.

I am astonished at the cost increases in the V & A Project. 

I have questioned the cost of the whole project time after time, and always been told by officers that there was no chance of the cost exceeding £45million which eventually crept up to £49million. 

It was shocking that the costs were just so wrong. 

Everyone knows that most big construction projects suffer from rising costs which is why my colleagues and I always asked about this. 

I am appalled that the answers we got were just so wrong, did some people hope that we wouldn't notice?

I am clear that my support for the V & A at Dundee has been
 strong from the very beginning

I think that the V & A does have the potential to be a game-changer  for the city of Dundee but I do not think that this should mean that it is a blank cheque.

There is a need for a thorough investigation into how this happened and how lessons can be learned. 

I believe that Dundee City Council will need to examine in detail how to operate in the future.

As an elected member I need to listen to the professional advice of officers of the council. 

I am concerned that that advice seems to have been partial at best. 

My colleague Councillor Kevin Keenan asked on numerous occasions for information about the costs of the V & A and he was refused this information time after time. 

This is unacceptable.

Along with my colleagues in the Labour Group I will be seeking further information and trying to get some reassurance about the future of the V & A Project prior to the meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee on 26th January. 

My colleague Kevin Keenan sets out his concerns in the Evening Telegraph.

I would also say that my concerns about the use of a contractor with a track record of blacklisting, which has not made appropriate reparation, have not gone away.

 

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