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Report on Scottish infrastructure shows 'sorry performance'

ICE NEWS

THE ICE in Scotland has accused the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament of a 'sorry performance' on infrastructure, and warned that they must significantly improve if they are win public confidence.

The accusations are made in the Scottish version of the twiceyearly UK 'State of the Nation' report card jointly published by NCE and the Institution.

The Scottish version, produced annually by the two Scottish Associations, is circulated to 1,000 key Scottish politicians and other opinion formers. It tackles the work of the Scottish Executive and the Edinburgh Parliament in eight vital infrastructure sectors and the results make sorry reading, according to ICE Scottish executive secretary Wylie Cunningham.

'In May 2003, we shall see what sort of Scottish administration will win the second term. It is an inescapable conclusion that both the Executive and Parliament will have to do a great deal better in their final year of this term than they have in the first three if they are to engage the public's interest, let alone win their confidence.'

The Scottish report follows the UK format by asking a panel of experts to scrutinise infrastructure performance across eight core areas, and award grades accordingly (see box).

Overall, the Institution ranked the Scottish performance as D+, or slightly better than poor.

'The Scottish Parliament and Executive can no longer claim to be on a learning curve, yet progress in delivering infrastructure remains woefully slow, ' comments the report.

'Scotland has a capacity to be a model of good practice in the strategic delivery and maintenance of its infrastructure, but this needs effective leadership, bold planning, adequate investment and continuity of policy implementation. At best, the jury is still out on this.'

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