Edinburgh trams meeting ‘urgent’ amid confusion

There have been calls for an urgent trams meeting. Picture: Neil Hanna
There have been calls for an urgent trams meeting. Picture: Neil Hanna
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AN emergency meeting to decide governance and financial control of the trams project is urgently needed, the Edinburgh Conservatives have said.

Negotiations were due to be completed between Edinburgh City Council and tram system operator Lothian Buses on Monday.

A new holding company is being put in place to hold the council’s 91 per cent stake in Lothian Buses, while a tram company will be formed and wholly owned by the council.

A council-owned firm, dubbed Transport for Edinburgh, will be charged with appointing a pay panel made up of two councillors and a director that will have the power to overrule extravagant pay deals.

Conservative Group leader Councillor Cameron Rose, pictured, said: “It is essential that a satisfactory agreement is reached on governance, financial and shareholder controls for the operation of buses and trams. Knowing the importance of the terms of such an agreement, I will be calling for an early meeting of all councillors for no later than August 8 if the delayed negotiations further stall, or if the agreement is not considered to be satisfactory.

“If we cannot be assured there is a satisfactory agreement by Monday next week, it is essential councillors are fully updated to review and decide on the options on this important issue.

“Edinburgh Conservatives will push for an urgent meeting of all councillors as soon as possible.”

The council said minor delays had held up the negotiation process, but an agreement was just days away from being reached, with councillors to be notified shortly.

A trams report is due to go before a full council meeting next month, in line with the original schedule.