Holyrood chiefs pore over a spate of leaks

SCOTTISH Parliament bosses are investigating a fresh spate of leaks which saw water gushing into the £414 million Holyrood building.

Heavy rain earlier this week led to a series of leaks in at least six different parts of the complex.

Staff were left mopping up water after a blocked drainpipe sent water pouring into the showpiece garden lobby area.

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Buckets were placed to catch steady drips from the roof in the black and white corridor outside the debating chamber. Other leaks were discovered in the media tower, public stairs to the chamber and one of the ministerial towers.

The most dramatic incident appeared to be in the garden lobby, close to the MSP block.

One witness said: "There was water gushing in. They got a plastic funnel outside to stop it coming in, but then that broke and it was gushing in again."

The controversial building has had a persistent problem with leaks since it opened five years ago and MSPs were dismayed that it still had not been dealt with.

Lothians Labour MSP George Foulkes said: "I'm just exasperated. We are paying millions of pounds in maintenance and we still have these leaks.

"I know the bad winter and the high winds mean there have been a lot of leaks elsewhere, but the Scottish Parliament gets a gold medal for leaks. Surely with the maintenance contract and all the money we're paying they should be able to sort it."

Independent Lothians MSP Margo MacDonald said: "It's a big, complicated building. In time we might expect a few problems, but after five years to have the place leaking like a sieve?"

She added: "It might also have something to do with the rush at the end to get the building finished, but it certainly goes back to the design. That roof above the black and white corridor is a flat, multi-paned glass roof – what do we expect in Scotland?"

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Last year, it was revealed the parliament was spending almost 100,000 plugging leaks in various parts of the building.

In November, a blocked downpipe was blamed for a leak which caused the ceiling in housing minister Alex Neil's office to collapse.

A parliament spokeswoman said: "Following the recent significant wet weather, there are currently six minor leaks in the parliament building. All of the water ingress has been investigated and in most cases has ceased.

"We are working to eradicate residual water left in a small area of the garden lobby, which happened as a result of a blocked gutter. We are not currently aware of any of the water ingress causing damage at this stage."


• Garden lobby: result of blocked gutter. Residual water being cleared

• Media tower: small leak

• Black and white corridor: suspected issue with gasket which is being fully investigated and repaired

• Tower four: leaks being investigated and long-term solution sought

• Canongate entrance: very minor leak being investigated

• Public stairs: container put in place to drain away residual water from a leak in this area