The City of Edinburgh Council are asking for approval to extend contracts with consultants working on the Trams to Newhaven project as the construction phase of the extension of the tram line to Leith and Newhaven continues over the next few months.
The consultancy contract extensions would total £655,000 but this was budgeted for as part of the contingency budget when the final business case was approved by the Council. The two firms in line for extensions are Atkins Limited (£600,000) and JAB Services UK (£55,000).
In a report which was sent to Councillors in seeking their approval the Council say: “It is still deemed to be in the best interests of the council to continue with the existing consultants who have been working on the project since the strategy stage, through the Early Contractor Involvement stage and for the commencement of the construction phase. This is because these consultants have significant knowledge and experience of the project, their continued appointment would maintain continuity of professional indemnity and also ensure the continuation of the positive relationships which have been built with the project board and connected council services as well as the project management team, infrastructure and systems contractor, swept path contractor and key stakeholders. The project budget approved by council of £207.3m, included assumptions for: the requirement of independent technical advice support to the Board throughout the construction phase; additional client design work required for changes at detailed design stage; and the technical review of detail design produced by the contractor.”
The news that these extensions have been proposed has not been met with complete positivity with the opposing Conservative members of the Council in particular being vocal in their opposition to its approval.