Ex-Edinburgh Council leaders to give evidence to tram inquiry

Former Cllr Lesley Hinds and director of Edinburgh Trams.
Former Cllr Lesley Hinds and director of Edinburgh Trams.
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Former Edinburgh Council bosses will give evidence next week as the inquiry into the city’s trams project begins public hearings.

The probe, set up in 2014 by the then first minister Alex Salmond, is examining why the project went significantly over budget and was delivered years later than originally planned.

Among those due to appear are former city council leaders Donald Anderson (1999-2006), Ewan Aitken (2006-2007) and Jenny Dawe (2007-2012).

The inquiry will also hear from former transport convener Lesley Hinds, as well as the leader of the Scottish Conservatives on the council Iain Whyte and former Tory group leader Jeremy Balfour, now an MSP.

The following week will include evidence from Alan Coyle, former major projects manager at Edinburgh Council, and Nick Smith, former council solicitor and now head of legal services.

Lord Hardie, who is chairing the inquiry, said: “The inquiry team has already undertaken a substantial amount of activity including identifying, retrieving and reviewing more than six million documents and securing written statements from a significant number of witnesses. The hearings mark another important phase of this work.”

The sessions are expected to last for several months.