No control of bridges for councillors

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COUNCILLORS are rightly being excluded from the new advisory body on the Forth road bridges, MSPs said today.

When management of the existing bridge and the £1.6 billion new crossing are given to the private sector in 2016, there will be no need for elected representatives.

The current Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) – made up of councillors from Edinburgh, Fife, West Lothian and Clackmannanshire – will be scrapped when the contract is handed to a private company.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said it would “muddy the waters” to include politicians with no responsibility for spending decisions. The Scottish Parliament’s infrastructure committee is backing that view.

In a report published today, it said: “It would not be appropriate for the membership of the Forth Bridges Forum to include elected local authority representatives.”