Letter: Finance - Who agreed cost of council offices?

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We see, from the facts presented by Coun Richard Cooper in last week’s Harrogate Advertiser, that the cost of the new council offices is expected to be “substantially better than the agreed budget”.

Who agreed the budget, how was it arrived at and, as it was a fixed price contract, where did the cost reductions come from?

To say that a cost over-run in time is “always a possibility” on a large contract may be correct but on a relatively straightforward small job like this it just should not happen.

The contract over-run surely raises another question.

On works such as this it would be normal to have a penalty clause in the contract for late delivery. Is there a penalty clause and if not why not?

One of the reasons for bringing all the council staff together was to increase efficiency. This substantial over-run therefore represents a cost to the council in maintaining inefficient working. Back to the penalty clause.

John Laird

Darley