The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council has been castigated by Plaid Cymru for huge £1,515,000 overspend on what was a £4,350,000 “flood relief” scheme programme in its political heartland of Gibbonsdown, Barry.
An internal council report admits the costs on the project – now estimated at £5,865,000 – are uncertain and the council appears not to know what the overall cost will turn out to be .
The internal report goes on to say “there is considerable uncertainty over when or if additional costs will be incurred. There is also uncertainty over additional scheme costs relating to accepted compensation events where a quotation has not been formally agreed under the contract.”
Plaid Cymru says that the multi million pound Vale Council project now faces an increase of a third in costs – “resulting in taxpayers and council tax payers having to find an extra one and a half million pounds.” and has called for “a full explanation to be given for this huge increase”.
The party says the scheme has not been referred to any Vale Council “scrutiny committee” [committees which are supposed to provide a “watchdog” function] but has only discussed by the council’s five-strong ruling “cabinet”.
Barry Town Plaid Cllr Shirley Hodges says “The Vale Council has now firmly established a reputation for being a council that cannot manage. You also have to ask why the Tories are silent on such matters. They seem to almost be an unholy alliance with Labour.”
Plaid spokesman Richard Grigg describes says “the massive increase in costs from £4,350,000 to an estimated £5,865,000 as “shocking”. He says “What has happened here? This extra money has to be diverted from projects such as road repairs, care for the elderly and school maintenance. The Vale says the cash comes from ‘reserves’ but this is simply cash they should have spent on vital maintenance in the first place.”
[ PDN Note: The cash for the scheme – although it is all Vale residents’ and British taxpayer’s cash – comes partly from a European Regional Development Funding and a Welsh Government Flood Risk Management Grant as well as from the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s funds and its reserves .]