.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, November 19, 2004

Those new building blues

Most of the Welsh media reported yesterday that the costs of the new Assembly chamber building are spinning out of control. They have now placed the total cost of this project at £67.5 million. The problem is that despite the sensationalism most of these costs were already in the public domain. These include the £7.5 million that was spent prior to the suspension of the contract and the re-tendering exercise and the £40.9 million that is the fixed price to build the thing.

The £10 million fitting-out costs have not been made public before, nor have the other variations to the contract that make up the difference, however it is a bit rich of the Welsh Conservatives to criticise these. After all they were represented on the Committee that agreed the budget for furniture, ICT and fittings and signed up to them.

I think the point that needs to be made however, is that this building is not for the politicians. It is a public building and belongs to all of Wales. It will be a showcase from which we can promote our nation to the outside world. It demonstrates that we mean business and that we are serious about attracting investment and jobs. After all it is easier to make a pitch for Wales from an impressive purpose-built building than it is from the comverted computer room we currently use for a chamber.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?