I attended the Holyrood Conference “Infrastructure Projects 2010” which took place last week (25th Jan), Sheraton Hotel, Edinburgh (v.nice shortbread…) at which Brodies’ very own Roger Cotton was speaking. One of the highlights of the day (in addition to Roger and the shortbread of course) was the “who wants to be a millionaire” style interactive poll!
The results of the poll show that (shock/horror) the jury is out on whether the Scottish Government has, through NPF 2, the STPR and the IIP identified the most appropriate infrastructure projects to invest in (41% yes, 41% no and 18% just slightly confused by it all!). However, regardless of what has been identified it appears that confidence is low as to whether the resources will be there to deliver not only these but any proposed major infrastructure projects within the next 5 years (44% not confident at all, 34% only somewhat confident)!
Given the predicted squeeze on public finances (we heard a lot about this as John Swinney was also speaking…) not to mention GARL, I guess this lack of confidence is hardly surprising. Promises were made of bright spots on the horizon and potential saviours in the form of Scottish Futures Trust (“SFT”) and new models of infrastructure delivery and funding e.g. hub, tif etc. The outcomes of the poll however show that the audience (mostly made up of public sector workers (57%)) is yet to be convinced as to the efficiency and cost saving merits of the SFT (only 1/5 of the audience considered it was the right delivery model for Infrastructure projects). I guess time will have to tell on this one.
The outcomes of the poll were interesting and the interactive aspect of the presentation kept audience members on their toes. Did I win a million? – well, if I did I’m still waiting on my cheque…
On February 5, 2010