B&NES blasted over £41 million of delayed projects

Liberal Democrat-run B&NES Council has come under fire for incompetence after it was revealed that over £41 million worth projects have fallen at least a year behind schedule.

Research by Conservatives has revealed that dozens of the Council’s capital projects which were due to be completed this year have now slipped so far behind schedule they will be shifted into next year’s budget programme instead.

The total value of all the projects which have fallen behind schedule comes to £41.7 million – money which Conservatives have said ought to have been ploughed into the local economy if the Lib Dems had a better handle on project delivery.

Some of the Council projects which have fallen behind schedule include:

– The Bath Transport Package, which includes the delayed expansion of the Newbridge Park & Ride – of which £6.17 million has been pushed back to the 2015-16 financial year;

– Keynsham regeneration project – of which £4.5 million worth of work has been delayed until after April;

– Bath Western Riverside works – of which a total of £5.3 million worth of work has fallen behind schedule;

– London Road Community Development – of which all the £1 million allocated to the project has been delayed until next year;

– Grand Parade & Undercroft regeneration – where the bulk of the £5 million project has slipped into next year.

Opposition Conservatives have accused the Council’s ruling Liberal Democrats of incompetence and say the delayed projects highlight their failure to deliver on promises.

Conservative Shadow Resources spokesman Cllr Charles Gerrish said:

“There is always some slippage in the Council’s capital projects from one year to the next, but the scale of these delays is unprecedented.

“This represents over £41 million worth of projects which were meant to be either well underway or completed in this financial year, but which have now been pushed back to next year. This equates to nearly half the Council’s planned capital programme.

“This demonstrates the Lib Dems’ complete failure to deliver, and shows that just because the Lib Dems announce a project with great fanfare, that doesn’t mean it will actually get delivered.”