More on the trams.

Saturday, October 16th, 2010 @ 3:14PM

Very pleased to see John Swinney intervene in the debate around trams today. It’s hugely significant that he’s calling for the trams to be built as soon as possible. He clearly understands his role in protecting the public purse - regardless of his personal antipathy towards the project.

Hopefully this will lead to a realignment of the views of SNP Councillors in Edinburgh - but I’m not holding my breath for that one.

What we need now is a little less talk and a little more action. I would like to see John Swinney show a personal interest in getting the project back on track. It is of course £500 million worth of Scottish Government money at stake here - compared to something like just £6 million of council cash assets…

I met a man whilst out on the doorsteps in Edinburgh East yesterday who said he’d voted Labour all his life but wasn’t sure he’d do the same in May. His reasoning? He supported the trams, but didn’t think Labour was showing enough leadership in terms of getting them built. Quite how he thought a party in opposition at three different layers of government could do anymore than make noise on the issue, I don’t know… but it just goes to show that the level of frustration at the management of this project runs deep.

This Guardian Edinburgh article covers the full council meeting on Thursday, where councillors agreed to review the business case of a tram that stops at st andrews square before Christmas. Shirley Ann Somerville’s comments are very interesting. She moans at the lack of detail TIE are providing re how much has been spent and how much their is still to be built - perhaps she should go on a site visit and see the work for herself? I understand the SNP are the only political group not to have done so…

Maybe John Swinney could join her?

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