Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland





LISBURN'S Mayor Councillor Ronnie Crawford has urged the Executive to give the go ahead for work to start as soon as possible on the National Stadium at the Maze to avoid further increases in the cost of the project.

Mr Crawford was speaking after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Northern Ireland warned that costs of public sector construction schemes will rise because general building materials and wages are expected to increase above the rate of inflation.

Mr Crawford stated: "The delay of six or seven years at the Maze has already cost an enormous amount of money in increased costs, the blame for that rests firmly with those who put off the decision.

"The construction market is struggling and contractors will be keen to get the contract. It seems strange that builders and construction workers are being let go when this project is ready to go.

"Opponents have to bear in mind that since costs are rising we will have to do without a stadium anywhere if it is not at the Maze. The site at the Maze is free of charge; they are looking a gift horse in the mouth.

"It just shows the Assembly is not up to the job of running this country efficiently."

RICS's Northern Ireland Chairman, John Davidson, said the longer major public sector construction schemes are delayed, the more they will likely cost the taxpayer as prices for construction materials and for transportation have continued to escalate.

Mr Davidson said: "The cost of the planned government construction projects is inevitably rising and the longer these schemes are delayed, the less value Northern Ireland will get for the investment being made.

"Northern Ireland has limited resources and it is vital that best use is made of what is available to the Executive. Therefore we would urge the Executive to ensure that public construction schemes are brought on line as quickly as possible. Delays in doing so are impacting negatively on the health of the local construction sector and on the public purse," Mr Davidson added.

Ulster Star