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HSE rejects DG One investigation request

Section:  Dumfries and West  | Tags: , , , ,

A REQUEST for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to investigate construction flaws at the region’s £17 million flagship leisure centre has been rejected.

And the move has prompted an MP to demand that an independent inquiry into DG One in Dumfries organised by Dumfries and Galloway Council be ‘full and frank’ — delivering answers for taxpayers.

Explaining why the HSE has rejected a council request for an investigation, a statement said: “HSE does not generally investigate issues of poor workmanship where the work activity is complete.

“We will not ordinarily consider investigations except in cases where death or serious injury has occurred.

“In addition, a significant length of time has now elapsed since the original construction work took place, thus significantly hampering any effort to gather evidence.”

Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell says he appreciates why the HSE made that decision, given their remit.

But he says ‘serious failings’ mean the council ‘can’t be allowed to be let off the hook’.

Mr Mundell said: “The confirmation that they won’t be investigating makes the need for a full and frank investigation that delivers the answers that local residents and council taxpayers deserve all the more imperative.

“With more money required to put this right, there are continued worries surrounding DG One and the whole project has continued to be a white elephant for the council.”

DG One in Hoods Loaning opened in 2008, but an ongoing series of problems eventually led to its complete closure in 2014.

And after nearly two years of negotiations, the council reached a settlement with original contractors allowing a current repairs programme to begin.

Councillors agreed in July to continue the repairs programme, despite costs looking set to run at least £3 million over their £10 million budget.

Asked when a decision will be made on whether to continue funding repairs, a council spokesman said: “Issues relating to DG One will be considered at the meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council on September 26.

“It would be inappropriate to discuss these matters through the media prior to elected members being updated. “

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