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Date Fri 17 June 2011

UNISON welcomes delivery of M74 project early and under budget as in-house success

UNISON, Scotland’s largest union in public services, has hailed the M74 project – which was delivered early and under budget – as an ‘in-house’ success.

The project to extend the motorway was managed by public sector workers, many of them UNISON members, and was delivered without the use of private finance initiatives.

The financial benefit of in-house management is clear, with the project estimated to cost between £15 and £20 million less than budgeted for.

Dave Watson, UNISON’s Scottish Organiser, said: “We welcome Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil’s praise of the project and agree that this is indeed the result of robust and effective management by our members. This is an excellent example of in-house management, while working in collaboration with the private sector.

“There is a mistaken view among some politicians that privatising services improves service delivery and saves the taxpayer money – this project proves that this is simply not the case.”

Chris Stephens, UNISON’s Land and Environmental Services convenor, said: ”Our members are pleased to get recognition for their hard work in delivering this complex infrastructure project which will benefit the people of Scotland. This sends a clear message that when it comes to the delivery of major projects like this – public works.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. The project to extend the motorway to link the end of the M74 at Fullarton Road junction and the M8 motorway west of the Kingston Bridge on the south side of Glasgow is due to be open on June 28.

2. UNISON’s Public Works campaign highlights the excellent value for money that quality public services deliver. Prosperity and sustainability depends on further investment in the public sector, supporting recovery from the economic crisis, not targeting cuts at those who did not cause the crisis. For more information on our campaign to protect public services, visit www.unison-scotland.org.uk/publicworks.

3. For further information contact Chris Stephens, UNISON’s Land and Environmental Services convenor on 07818 487 060 or Trisha Hamilton, UNISON’s communications officer, on 0141 342 2877 / 07939 478 461. Or visit our website at www.unison-scotland.org.uk

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