HC Deb 14 February 1961 vol 634 cc1225-6
19. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is satisfied that the money to be sanctioned for expenditure by Kirkintilloch Burgh Council on a swimming pool to cost £100,000 has been properly spent in accordance with the terms of his sanction; if he is aware that the lowest tender for this project was £152,000 plus fees, and had to be modified to bring the cost down to £119,000 plus fees; and if he will inquire into the circumstances necessitating increased loan sanction.

Mr. Brooman-White

The loan sanction applied for and approved in this case was on the basis of the modified costs of £119,000 plus fees; no question of increased sanction arises.

Mr. Bence

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is concern in the Burgh of Kirkintilloch over the fact that an architect, a friend of the provost, put forward the proposition that, free of charge, he would prepare a model and make the preparatory plans for a swimming-pool, suitable for children as well as adults, costing not more than £100,000; that, on that statement, the councillors accepted the proposition and appointed him the architect, but that, when the scheme is submitted for tender the cost turns out to be £152,000? It is up 52 per cent. If he had worked for the company that I worked for he would have got the sack. Will the hon. Gentleman look into this, as it is quite unprofessional conduct for any friend of the provost to suggest that he will do that sort of work for nothing if he gets the job?

Mr. Brooman-White

The appointment of the architect is entirely for the council. If there is any question of breach of professional etiquette, I imagine that it would be a matter for the appropriate professional association to deal with, not for the Government.