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£4.4m Dundee roofs error: MSPs call for ‘full transparency’ from council

Shona Robison MSP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP inset on an image of work being done on a roof
Shona Robison MSP and Joe FitzPatrick MSP have written to the council over the Dundee roofs error.

MSPs are calling for Dundee City Council to be fully transparent about what caused a £4.4 million roofing blunder – and what is being done to stop it happening again.

Taxpayers look set to foot the bill for the error, which saw work that was below safety standards carried out on 450 roofs across the city between 2015 an 2019.

As a result, the local authority will have to go back and carry out remedial work on the properties, affecting hundreds of residents.

John Alexander, the leader of Dundee City Council, has already promised a full investigation into what happened, saying he only became aware of the error – which was made by council staff – recently.

But he says it is the chief executive’s decision over what happens to any workers found to have caused the blunder.

‘Public rightly expect full transparency’ – MSPs

Now the city’s MSPs, Shona Robison and Joe FitzPatrick, have contacted the local authority to find out how it will affect their constituents.

In a joint statement provided to The Courier, the SNP politicians said: “The public rightly expect that there will be full transparency from the council about what has gone wrong, what is being done to fix the issues identified, and what measures are being put in place to prevent something like this happening again.

Dundee City Council must ensure that its processes are exhaustively reviewed and that clear plans are set out for remedial works to rectify the issues identified.

“We wrote to the chief executive of the council earlier this week to seek his assurances that our constituents who are directly affected by roofing works under this programme, whether owner/occupiers or council tenants, are kept fully updated regarding their properties.

Close-up of work being done to a roof in Dundee
Repairs are needed on hundreds of Dundee roofs after the council error.

“We are determined to ensure that our constituents are fully supported whilst the necessary remedial works are undertaken, and we have asked the chief executive of the council to keep us regularly updated.”

The council has so far refused to confirm which properties are affected, saying tenants will be informed directly.

But some locals fear their houses are among those where the botched work took place.

They are calling for action and demanding answers over what happened.

Somebody someplace needs to take the blame for this mess… there is no way that the people of Dundee should be left to pick up the bill

Council tenant

One tenant, who asked not to be named, told us: “I’ve been warning about this for years. Finally this has come out and it’s about time.

“What I want to know now is who is going to pay for this mess and who is going to be held responsible.

“The council can’t just walk away from this and pretend it didn’t happen. It can’t be allowed to just go away.

“Somebody someplace needs to take the blame for this mess. There is no way that the people of Dundee should be left to pick up the bill.”

Talk of forming residents’ group

Another council tenant said: “There have been talks about affected residents getting up a group to fight the council on this.

“People are very, very angry and they want heads to roll.

“For the council to have allowed this to happen is nothing short of disgraceful.

“Someone someplace is responsible – although I have been hearing that those who could be held to account have left the employment of the council.”

A report on the error will be discussed by councillors at a meeting on Monday night.

Dundee council housing: 8 key questions over £4.4m roof blunder