Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has raised his concerns in the Scottish Parliament that that North West Community Campus contractors Grahams and developers Hub South West are not being properly held to account.

Colin Smyth raised the issues while questioning the Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, John Swinney, on the current closure of the North West Community Campus in the Scottish Parliament.

Under Government’s procurement rules the council must use developers Hub South West and a small select group of contractors for any projects under the Government’s schools for the future programme. Colin Smyth fears that process takes control out of the hands of the council resulting in a lack of accountability and scrutiny.

North West Community Campus currently remains closed to pupils, while contingency plans are being drawn up to allow pupils to return to full education as quickly as possible.

Speaking after the question Colin Smyth said, “Once again we have a situation where a private contractor has received millions of pounds of taxpayers money but has completely failed to deliver a building fit for purpose. As a result of the Scottish Governments rules the council have no choice but to use the select list of private contractors and when it goes wrong they have to bring in an independent third party. Grahams and developers Hub South West gave the council clear assurances to Dumfries and Galloway Council that the building was safe for learning and teaching to proceed. These assurances have been broken and the contractors and developer must be held to account for that, yet it seems the council are almost powerless to do so which is exactly the same problem they had over DG One . It stime for the Scottish Government to review how these contracts are awarded and managed because their current rules are failing badly”.

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