Edinburgh tram inquiry: Anger as Scottish Government forks out £25k for tram inquiry PR team
Tram inquiry pays out £25,000 for ‘crisis communications support’
A public contract notice released by the Scottish Government has revealed nearly £25,000 will be paid for public relations for the Edinburgh Tram Inquiry.
Crisis communications specialists 3x1 – the only bidder listed for the job – has been hired to "support in the communications to media, stakeholders and public”. It has sparked anger from community figures, amid claims it will ‘spin’ the results of the inquiry to the public.
The Tram Inquiry will cost the same amount as the investigation into the Iraq war, it has been reported. The Tram Inquiry report will look at why the installation of the tram network around Edinburgh took five years longer than planned and cost £776million. The contract for PR is six months from December 1, 2022 until May 31, 2023 – that's £4,000 every month.
Sharing a link to the contract Councillor Scott Arthur tweeted: "The Scot Gov are adding insult to injury by advertising for a PR Consultant to help with their long overdue Edinburgh Tram Inquiry. The public deserve to see this inquiry report ASAP, & don’t want spin doctors involved in the presentation of the findings.”
Lothian MSP Miles Briggs MSP said: "£25,000 is a significant sum to pay towards public relations for a tram which has been over budget and severely delayed. The Edinburgh tram has cost hundreds of millions of tax payers hard earned money which could have gone towards essential services.
"I am pleased that the tram network is nearing completion and people will be able use the tram in the North side of Edinburgh. We must see an end to the Tram Inquiry, which is costing excessive amounts of money to be delivered. Given the negative publicity around the time and costs of the Tram Inquiry is taking to report it will further anger Scottish Taxpayers to discover more of their money has been used to try to spin the situation to the press."
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “The Edinburgh Tram Inquiry was established to look at how any mistakes or failures could be avoided in future major tram and light rail infrastructure projects and we look forward to receiving Lord Hardie’s findings when they are made available.”