Revealed: Over £250,000 spent on Cameron House repair bill

Cameron House on Prestonfield Avenue. Picture; Steven Scott Taylor
Cameron House on Prestonfield Avenue. Picture; Steven Scott Taylor
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MORE than £250,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent patching up a Capital community centre plagued by alleged botched works, the Evening News can reveal.

Problems at Cameron House range from major flood damage repairs to a bizarre complaint of a gents toilet making a “loud horn-like noise”.

With further water damage reported last month, there are fears the bill to repair the Prestonfield hub could climb still further.

City Tory leader Cameron Rose said: “These additional costs compound what the centre should have cost and underlines the need to get a grip of the project costs.

“I’m concerned we still haven’t got to the bottom of some of the defects that appear to go back to the original project.

“The quarter of a million figure may well rise and that’s bad news for the taxpayer.”

Problems at the £2.5 million centre began soon after it was cleared to open in 2009, despite effectively having a tarpaulin as part of the roof.

A repair bill obtained by the Evening News under Freedom of Information laws reveals repeated floor and heating problems.

Nearly £12,000 was spent lifting floorboards and checking floodwater had dried out in September last year.

Just over a week later, a further £11,000 was spent to “lift flooring and isolate heating to facilitate floor repairs and new floor coverings”.

The list also documents £9000 to alter underfloor heating controls in November 2013. Just two months later, similar work incurred a bill of £8708.

And later in January 2014, £1000 was spent “to investigate and repair underfloor heating system”.

The “horn-like noise” in a gents toilet when it flushed was resolved in November last year at a cost of £47.73.

Repairs on the list total just over £107,000 – adding to a £102,000 new floor and £46,000 flood prevention work uncovered in a 2015 independent review.

“On top of costs is the time of council staff who have had to scope the repairs and then there is the loss of use of the centre at inconvenient times,” added Councillor Rose.

Cameron House has been linked to the harassment of a whistleblower who alleged fraud at an arms-length council company.

Accusations currently being investigated by police include tampering with personnel records, a barrage of pornography sent to employees and anonymous online abuse.

And the centre’s management committee chair, Moira O’Neill, accused a council employee of hurling sectarian abuse at a community worker in front of shocked witnesses in a formal complaint to the council last month.

A council spokesman said: “The Council carries out repairs and maintenance work on operational buildings in our estate as appropriate when issues are identified.”

andy.shipley@jpress.co.uk