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Two sides of the coin


The article on local government procurement (Council cash cows, NCE last week) paints a sorry picture of the state of construction procurement within local authority clients.

I would argue that this is misleading as it presumes both that there are no success stories, and that no private sector-sponsored projects would find themselves with such levels of overspend.

It also seeks to dismiss Antony Oliver's clarion call a few pages earlier - Municipals: shine at BCIA - as improbable optimism, but the records speak for themselves that highly successful projects can emerge from local authorities.

I was very proud in 2002 to collect the BCI award for the Tamar Bridge strengthening and widening project with citations from the judges calling it 'very economical to the public purse' and urging 'if only we had local authorities all around the country with the vision of Cornwall and Plymouth'- the latter referring to the two authorities which promoted a scheme which was innovative in procurement as well as technically challenging.

I very much look forward to reading the follow-up article highlighting projects with the strap line 'what went right'.

Richard Fish (F), director of planning transportation and estates, Cornwall County Council, County Hall, Truro

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