Labour councillor slams administration following Dundee V&A bombshell

A senior Dundee councillor today said he was “astonished” at the spiralling V&A cost – and accused the administration of keeping him in the dark.

Labour group leader Kevin Keenan was speaking after SNP leader Ken Guild confirmed that the bill for realising the museum on the waterfront had increased from £49million to just over £80million.

He said: “Over a number of years the Labour Group on Dundee City Council has been very supportive of the project to bring the V&A to Dundee.

“I have previously asked for detailed briefings on costings on a confidential basis and have been refused on a number of occasions.

“It is unacceptable that my colleagues and I have been kept in the dark about this staggering increase in the cost of the V&A while the SNP administration has been fully informed.

“The first time I was aware that the cost had doubled was when I received the papers for the policy and resources committee on January 26. This is unacceptable.

“I want to see a successful project brought to fruition that brings jobs to the people of Dundee.

“I am very, very concerned that the risk still appears to lie with Dundee City Council and the hard pressed council tax payers of Dundee.”

Councillor Keenan said he believed the Scottish Government should underwrite the whole project as it was of “national importance.”

“We will be looking for reassurance that the figures before us are final and that there will be no further slippage in costs,” he continued.

“I am sure that the people of Dundee do not want a project in their city to become like the Edinburgh trams project or building the Scottish Parliament with costs spiralling out of control.

“The Labour Group will be seeking answers and a great deal more reassurance before the meeting of the policy and resources committee.”