Architects may snipe – but their colleagues surely worked on these PPP schools

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IT IS with some dismay that I read (Your report, 13 April) the disparaging comments from the architectural profession and particularly from members of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) regarding the current failures with PPP-funded schools in Edinburgh.

Is it not this same profession and members of the RIAS that were commissioned by the PPP providers to design and specify the materials for these schools, and, depending upon the terms of the architectural services commission, had responsibilities in respect of on-site supervision during the construction works?

As regards the widespread criticism of the PPP funding process, is it not the case that central government at that time would only authorise a capital building replacement programme on the scale required through PPP funding, not through the previously traditional capital funding borrowing route?

Brian McHenery

Greenfaulds, Cumbernauld

Many of those who are keen to blame PPP for the school closures say that it would have been cheaper for the council to borrow the money.

Even if that had been possible, the vast amount required to replace so many crumbling schools and hospitals could have been borrowed only at an astronomical rate of interest, and local authorities would now be paying off this huge debt from the reduced funding they are now getting from the Scottish Government.

Solutions are not always as simple as some armchair planners think.

Henry L Philip

Grange Loan, Edinburgh

Leaving aside the matter of how the building of new schools has been funded in recent years, one does wonder who was responsible for “signing off” these buildings.

While not involved in the building trade, one would think that in major projects such as the construction of a new school, professionals such as structural engineers, architects or quantity surveyors would have been involved at most if not all stages of construction. Is it unreasonable to think that such professionals should have picked up on the sorts of problems now being identified?

Equally, who signed the completion certificates which, one assumes, were issued by the local authorities before the buildings were accepted? If completion certificates were issued, were the properties fully inspected beforehand?

And is Joe Public going to be left to pick up the bills – again?

Bruce Gorie

Craigmount Avenue North, ­Edinburgh

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