Law firm bags £680K as council wastes millions on waste project


A BUNGLING council wasted £2.4m on waste disposal project – including paying £680,000 in fees to a law firm.

Scottish Borders Council had announced plans for a £23m food thermal treatment facility at Easter Langlee.

It was hoped that £80m could be made over 24 years creating electricity from heating food waste from local households.

But the scheme was scrapped in February because of issues with the technology involved and funding.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed the authority forked out £679,000 on legal costs to Edinburgh-based law firm Brodies.

Councillor Watson McAteer said: “The level of spend without anything to show for it demands critical examination and public explanation.

“How on earth have we been able to spend so much on external legal advice and yet still find ourselves in this position?”

Other costs included £300,000 which went to financial advisors D & P Management, £185,000 to consultancy firm EnviroCentre and £31,000 on office supplies.

Just £356 was spent on Scottish Borders Council internal staff costs.

Council leader David Parker recently rejected calls for an independent enquiry into the spend.