Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh Tram Inquiry: Lesley Hinds criticised lack of leadership

Edinburgh Tram Image copyright Ian Georgeson

A former councillor has criticised the Liberal Democrat leader of Edinburgh Council during the tram dispute in 2009 for a lack of political leadership.

Labour's Lesley Hinds, who later became the city's transport convenor, said former Edinburgh Council leader Jenny Dawe should have "got more involved".

Mrs Hinds is the second person to speak at the official tram inquiry.

Mrs Dawe told it she had been frustrated at a "shroud of secrecy'' around some aspects of the project.

'Frustrated and shocked'

Mrs Hinds said Mrs Dawe "should have taken the project by the scruff of the neck and sorted out" the impasse between the tram project operator and contractor.

Mrs Hinds also told the tram inquiry she was "extremely frustrated and shocked" at the lack of information shared with opposition councillors.

She said said if they had known about the problems they would have put more pressure on the administration to act.

She said on one occasion an officer was about to give tram information to councillors but he was stopped by a more senior officer. She said no explanation was given.

Mrs Hinds also said if you could not get cross-party support for controversial large projects like trams "you tend to get people who'll use the project as a political football".

Public hearings started at the tram inquiry on Tuesday, beginning with former Edinburgh Council leader Jenny Dawe.

She also spoke of her frustration at a "shroud of secrecy'' around some aspects of the project.

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