Phil Riley Misled Council Forum Over Blackburn Bus Station

Labour’s Exec Member for Regeneration Cllr Phil Riley misled July’s Council Forum over Blackburn Bus Station.

Cllr Riley said at Council Forum of the £3.6m overspend on Blackburn Bus Station: “We were presented with a sizeable difficulty when the contractor who was delivering Blackburn Bus Station went into administration. We were presented with 3 choices. One was to leave it standing half-finished, one was to demolish it, and one was to do what we did, which was to engage to another contractor to complete it.”

That would be news to the original contractors, who were sacked from the job at Blackburn Bus Station by the Council in early June 2015. They only went into administration over 5 months later on 13th November 2015. The Council had appointed a new contractor by late June 2015.

At the time Cllr Riley hailed the decision to replace the contractors as “decisive action”. There are 3.6 million reasons why he is less keen to take credit for it now.

The decision was taken because disputes between the contractor and the building’s designers had caused delays to the project. The contractor and designer had been in dispute over whether the design of the building was structurally sound or not. The Council changed contractor to break the impasse. Recent suspected subsidence has given cause for further concern over the bus station’s design and construction.

Cllr Riley’s latest trouble with the truth over Blackburn Bus Station comes shortly after he blamed the £3.6m overspend on changing contractors. Whereas at the time of the change in 2015 he had said “The project remains within its original budget and there are no extra liabilities to Blackburn with Darwen council as a result of this change.”