Following the Scottish Government’s refusal to agree to an inquiry on the escalating costs and continued delays of the Dundee V&A, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Claire Baker MSP, has today written to Stewart Maxwell MSP, Convener of the Education and Culture Committee, to call for a committee inquiry.
I would like to suggest that the Education and Culture Committee holds a short inquiry into the escalating costs and continued delays to Dundee V&A. This would follow reports from Dundee City Council on Friday that the V&A will now be delayed until 2018 and costs have increased by 80%.
When the Presiding Officer made reforms to Parliament, one of her aims was to make the committees more responsive and topical, ensuring that the Scottish Government is held to account according to their decisions. This would be a good opportunity to reflect this.
As you appreciate the chamber doesn’t always offer the opportunity that committees can to question the Government and relevant bodies on the details of a particular issue. I still believe there are many question to be answered as to why the V&A, originally due to be finished in 2014, has yet to begin construction and why costs have risen significantly.
I believe that an inquiry by your committee would be worthwhile to give the Cabinet Secretary the opportunity to set out what has happened so far with the V&A project. I also believe that any such inquiry should consider evidence from Dundee City Council, along with Design Dundee Ltd.
Everyone is clear in their support for the V&A in Dundee and I truly believe that its presence in the city will ensure it is another jewel in Scotland’s cultural crown along with supporting the regeneration of the City. However public funded projects demands transparency and accountability.
I do appreciate that you have a busy work schedule but I hope you can consider this request for an inquiry that will demonstrate the committee’s ability to respond to these latest developments and shed some light on the decision making process.
With best wishes,
Claire Baker MSP