Tram bosses spend thousands remaking film to boost project

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Tram bosses have dug up Princes Street twice - and also had a film about the project redone

TRAM bosses spent tens of thousands of pounds on a minutes-long film promoting the controversial project – only to pay even more to have it remade.

TIE, the company which ran the trams until being replaced by another company in August, contracted a firm called LBTV to make the two minute and 25 second film.

The 2007 piece detailed the project and the tram routes and cost the firm £16,745 – working out at an astonishing £115 per second.

But two years later the company gave LBTV a further £19,995 to extend the film to just five minutes and 25 seconds.

The astonishing figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

However the films, which show CGI trams running along the city’s streets, show the vehicles travelling along Leith Walk – a part of the project abandoned due to spiralling costs.

Wasted

Emma Boon, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance blasted the films as a waste of money.

She said: “The cost of these films will add insult to injury to local taxpayers following the huge amount of their money already wasted on the project and its own frequent rewrites.

“Rather than spend tens of thousands of pounds on glossy films to get people on board with the project, bosses of the tram network should concentrate on listening to residents and not wasting more taxpayers money.”

A spokesman for council-owned TIE defended the spending on the films, saying their extensive use justified the cost.

He said: “Both videos were used extensively as part of stakeholder briefings, information surgeries, presentations to interested groups, the public and school visits.

“DVD copies were also sent to local councillors, politicians, key stakeholders and members of the public on request.

“Both videos were used as part of a road show event in Edinburgh and were also displayed for a period of four days on Princes Street as part of the 2009 Edinburgh Sparkles winter shopping campaign.

“In addition to this, the videos were used in the reception areas of the Edinburgh Trams offices and council offices to welcome and inform visitors and employees.”

Award

Originally due to cost £375 million pounds, costs on the project have spiralled and the budget increased to £545 million.

However, it’s estimated that the total cost could reach £773million.

In August it was announced that international consultancy Turner & Townsend would take over the running of the project from TIE.

The council is desperately trying to sell off their surplus tram vehicles, already painted in Edinburgh livery, to raise funds to plug the spending shortfall.

The line was originally planned to span the city from Edinburgh airport to Newhaven but lack of funding means the trams will instead terminate at St Andrews Square.

Last month it was announced that the council had been shortlisted for an excellence award, despite their handling of the trams project.

Edinburgh City Council is in the running for the title of “Council of the Year in Service Delivery”, despite failing to deliver the tram line on time, on budget, or to its original destination.

The council was up against 300 other local authorities in the competition, which is run by the Association for Public Sector Excellence (APSE).

 

 

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