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Fury over PS9m fees.

A STAGGERING PS9million has been spent by Edinburgh City Council on consultancy fees as a result of the tram fiasco and statutory repairs scandal.

Fury erupted after it emerged the bill for experts, including lawyers, surveyors and project managers, has doubled in the past year.

Taxpayers picked up the tab for PS9.4million in 2011-2012 - up from PS4.6million the previous year.

The biggest cost - at PS2.2million - was spent hiring investigators from auditors Deloitte to probe alleged corruption at the council's property department.

And PS1million was spent compiling a bid to privatise three council departments.But councillors later decided to keep the services in house.

Management experts HG Consulting and Turner and Townsend were paid PS340,000 to take over the beleaguered tram project.

Last night, critics blasted the amount of cash spent on failed projects.

Green councillor Gavin Corbett said: "There's the stench of failure around some of these costs: over PS1million for a privatisation programme that was going nowhere; and over PS2million for a property repairs investigation which was only needed because the council service collapsed."

City finance leader Alasdair Rankin said: "A large proportion of the rise has come from unavoidable one-off projects such as the investigation into our property services."

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 25, 2012
Words:210
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