Edinburgh-based solicitor, Daniel Donaldson, has established “Trams Inquiry” a campaign to push for a public inquiry into the Edinburgh Trams Project.
He says the campaign is using social media to provide members of the public with an outlet for their grievances concerning maladministration and lack of transparency concerning the Edinburgh Trams Project.
An online petition has also been launched through campaigning platform, Change.org to demand that Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, honour his promise to order a public inquiry.
The petition can also be accessed through www.tramsinquiry.org.uk
Although no longer practising Thirty-three year old Donaldson formerly worked at Scottish Courts Services, then set up his own legal company which is now dormant. He is currently writing a thesis.
Within twenty four hours of launch, the petition had attracted over one hundred signatures and he aims to attract 10,000 or more in total.
Donaldson said:- “The Edinburgh trams project has now become an important human rights issue for a number of reasons . First, Governance and Oversight. The project lacked accountability, suffered from maladministration, poor financial management, was fraught with delays and lengthy contract disputes. No one disagrees with this. Second, Financial Trade – Offs.
“While Edinburgh continued to bankroll the trams project without the appropriate oversight, the City was also pushing through cuts to essential public services to balance the books. How is it possible to cut and spend simultaneously?
“The building of an Edinburgh Tram is no consolation to those who have or will have to endure a retraction to their support services in future.
“Third, Economic Justice. This is in addition to the six year period where the beauty of the City was ruined, turning the city centre, Leith and peripheral areas into one massive building site.”
“Leith has had a particularly raw deal, because after enduring what seemed like endless road closures, utility realignments and road works, there is no tram to show for it. Alex Salmond described a public inquiry as an “excellent thing to do”.
“This sentiment was also reflected by the Transport Minister, Keith Brown MSP, who stated in writing, that the Scottish Government was committed to a public inquiry as soon as the circumstances were right.
“The Trams launch today. The time and circumstances are right. If a public inquiry is an “excellent thing” then get on an arrange it. There is overwhelming public interest in an inquiry.
“The £776Million budget works out at around £1800 for every resident in Edinburgh. It is clear that lessons have to be learned from the Edinburgh trams project, lest history repeats itself. Most importantly, Edinburgh is entitled to a voice having endured the delays, hardships, building works and cuts to essential services. An inquiry would give that voice, restore public confidence and some limited closure for the aggrieved.”
When The Edinburgh Reporter interviewed Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP yesterday he confirmed that he will be holding meetings shortly with the council leader to discuss any public enquiry.