Back in 2011, we commented on a certain public interest story surrounding Perth and Kinross Council, or more specifically, their attractive council HQ sat on the banks of the River Tay. The local authority had spent nearly £50,000 on renovating a second floor office into a meeting room. How did the work rack up such a high spend? We don’t know either; but it seems the council is up to its old tricks once again. A local newspaper revealed last week that the council is now spending just shy of £10 million refurbing the same building, including a £850,000 bill for moving the council chambers to the ground floor, something a local businesswoman has labelled “a vanity project”.
Murdo Fraser MSP has spoken out against the renovation, arguing that with employees and the public being told “to brace themselves” for another round of savings it’s hardly fair or wise to go ahead with the plans. Indeed, only last month the leader of Perth and Kinross Council, Ian Miller, told a newspaper that “nothing will be safe” if more savings had to be made.
The council is expected to have to make savings of around £12 million over the next few years, though it is estimated the figure could be closer to £20 million, calling into question how responsible it is of the local authority to be spending so much of taxpayers’ money on such an unnecessary project when frontline services and salaries are at risk.
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