Lothian Buses chief slammed for subcontractor wife

Ian Craig is the chief executive of Lothian Buses. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Ian Craig is the chief executive of Lothian Buses. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

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THE CHIEF executive of Lothian Buses has come under fire after it emerged his wife’s interior design company was sub-contracted on two occasions to carry out work at the offices of the bus firm.

Ian Craig, 45, who earns £270,000 per year, was until last month listed as company secretary of Cubic Interior Design Consultancy while his wife Claire, 43, is listed as a director.

It has been confirmed that the company was twice hired by chartered surveyors Graham and Sibbald (G&S) to carry out refuirbishment work totalling £7700 in Lothian Buses’ Longstone and Waverley offices in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Overall the total work came to more than £2 million.

Lothian Buses has been keen to stress that Cubic’s involvement in both projects was at all times managed by G&S who in turn were managed by the bus firm’s own engineering department with “no involvement” from Mr Craig.

A seperate investigation is currently underway into Ian Craig’s management style amid ­complaints from the three executives – Bill Campbell, ­engineering director Bill ­Devlin, and finance director Norman Strachan.

It is understood there have been tensions over Mr Craig’s role in pushing forward the integration of the Capital’s tram and bus services under the Transport for Edinburgh banner.

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This high level fallout resulted in board chairwoman Ann Faulds walking out last week.

A source who asked not to be named said: “The whole thing stinks to high heaven. The chief executive’s wife’s firm is hired in to redecorate and nobody bats an eyelid even with the added fact that Ian Craig was the company secretary.”

The interim chair of Lothian Buses Tony Depledge is understood to have looked closely at the issue of Cubic’s refurbishment of the firm’s offices and while he has found “no issue of impropriety” he is very keen to have more robust procedures in place in future across the company.

A spokesman for Lothian Buses said: “Property refurbishment and improvement projects at Waverley Travel shop and Longstone depot were managed by surveying firm Graham & Sibbald on behalf of Lothian Buses. Cubic Interior Design were engaged on two occasions as a sub-contractor to G&S to work on projects. The consultancy has never been engaged directly in paid work by Lothian Buses.”

Graham and Sibbald and Cubic Interior Design were unavailable to comment.

Last week, it was revealed city transport convener Lesley Hinds had been parachuted on to the firm’s board and a senior council executive was set to join the management team in a bid to get the publicly-owned firm back on track.

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