Opposition demand action
Sturgeon pressed over ‘unfinished projects’
CalMac ferry: one of a number of unfinished projects
Nicola Sturgeon has insisted that the Scottish government is focused on rebuilding the economy in the face of claims that it has made little progress on a number of projects that have been delayed or have not yet started.
The First Minister was pressed to confirm whether a growing number of reports on economic recovery would be turned into a firm action plan that would include a commitment to completing these developments.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said during the daily briefing, that the government is working its way through a programme of work.
During the briefing Ms Sturgeon asked for examples of unfinished projects to be identified and was told they included a hospital and a number of road schemes.
The Scottish Tories claim the government has delayed or not started on at least 16 projects, including hospitals, roads and colleges, as well as the CalMac ferries, while the Labour party says that the country needs to move from being reactive to forming an industrial strategy.
Nicola Sturgeon: insisted work was under way
Labour leader Richard Leonard has previously said: “We need a plan which is comprehensive, and which works for the whole of Scotland. Which is effective, and action-oriented, which is focused on delivery and is accountable to this Parliament.”
Earlier he said: “The SNP government has failed to develop an industrial strategy and has instead presided over a decade of managed decline. We urgently need a plan for the economy, a plan for jobs and an industrial strategy with manufacturing at its heart.”
Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative leader, said earlier this week: “The SNP government just doesn’t seem to get the urgency of the economic crisis facing us.
“Scotland needs concrete, focused action to get our economy moving now, not waffle and endless debate.”
Referring to a list of projects, he said: “These projects are all ready to go, many of them have been delayed several times – the SNP government just needs to pull its finger out and take action.
“These are key projects of immense value to the communities who have been waiting patiently for them – roads, hospitals and colleges.
Jackson Carlaw: ‘the SNP doesn’t get the urgency’ (pic: Terry Murden)
“The Scottish Government has already been given an additional £5.4 billion, they have the money and the ability to act now.
“The Scottish Conservative economic plan is full of concrete ideas that can be implemented now – the SNP government must do the same.”
The Tories produced a list of the following projects which were in the 2015-20 Scottish Government infrastructure plan, but at the beginning of lockdown were incomplete, delayed or not yet started:
A77 Maybole Bypass. In April 2019, Transport Scotland won a court case against a bidder, allowing them to go ahead with their own, preferred bidder. The full business case was updated and the project proceeded. Project cost of £46 million. As of March 2020, work was not scheduled to start until Summer 2021.
A90/A96 Haudagain Junction improvement. Project cost of £49.5m. It is under construction, due to open in 2021.
A9 Luncarty to Pass of Birnam. Project cost £96 million. Under construction, due to open Spring 2021.
NHS Grampian Aberdeen Baird Family Hospital. Full Business Case of £223.6 million cost was submitted January 2020. SG agreed this cost in February. Work yet to commence.
Fife College. New Dunfermline campus. Masterplan and business case due summer 2020.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde – Greenock Health and Care Centre. In construction, due to open in September 2020. Cost of £22.4 million.
NHS Highland – redesign of services for Skye. Full Business case cost of £28.5 million. In construction, due to open May 2021.
NHS Highland – community hospital in Aviemore. Cost £23.6 million, in construction, due to open May 2021.
Barony campus, East Ayrshire. £66.9m cost. In construction, due to open to pupils August 2020.
Lossiemouth High School. £42.3 million cost. In construction, due to open August 2020.
Royal Hospital for Sick Children / Department of Clinical Neurosciences Originally promised: works completed by May 2017.
HMP Highlands. Construction pushed back due to lack of funds. Will not now open before 2023. Total cost £92 million.
CMAL new ferries. After nationalisation of Ferguson Marine, the two new ferries were due in October-December 2021 and July-October 2022. Cost to SG expected to be up to £114 million.
Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) – Originally promised: December 2016. March 2021 (COVID-19 may push back work at Queen St Station).
R100 full fibre roll out- Originally promised 2021. Delayed. Deployment timetable currently unknown.
National Facility for Women Offenders – Originally promised: October 2020. Operational date now 2022.