Coun­cil­lors back sea wall re­pairs

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - BY JAMIE ROSS

Coun­cil­lors last night backed re­pairs to a his­toric north-east­beach­front– de­spite con­cerns over the cost.

Harsh weather in 2013 tore down a sec­tion of sea wall at Scot­stown, near Banff, and ex­posed a gas main, leav­ing the site vul­ner­a­ble to fur­ther wear and tear.

Coun­cil­lor­shavenowap­proved a rolling pro­gramme of strength­en­ing work at the vil­lage and given Aberdeen­shire Coun­cil’s land­scape team the power to ap­prove ten­ders for the pro­ject from pri­vate firms. Mem­bers of the Banff and Buchan area com­mit­tee also gave per­mis­sion to spend25% more than the wall’s es­ti­mate re­pair cost of £445,000.

The coun­cil’s in­fra­struc­ture boss, Stephen Archer, had strongly ad­vised coun- cil­lors to back the pro­pos­als to avoid risk­ing fur­ther dam­age from de­lays.

How­ever, some mem­bers ex­pressed fears that al­low­ing of­fi­cers to ap­prove works with­out their in­put was set­ting a dan­ger­ous prece­dent.

Fraser­burgh coun­cil­lor Ian Tait told col­leagues: “I’m quite con­cerned.

“If I’ve un­der­stood the rec­om­men­da­tion cor­rectly, the com­mit­tee won’t re­ally be agree­ing a ten­der, it’s agree­ing a blank cheque. To ask for ap­proval to spend £100,000morethan the es­ti­mated price is ex­ces­sive.

“The pro­ject is wor­thy of sup­port,” he added.

“The prin­ci­ple here, how­ever, is public ac­count­abil­ity of public money. I can see no de­lay – ten­ders for other com­pa­nies come to this com­mit­tee, what is the dif­fer­ence here?”

Banff coun­cil­lor IanGray sug­gested the al­lowance for ex­tra money was jus­ti­fied.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.