No further probe into Wolverton Station overspend

Wolverton Train Station''Wk 33   MPMC
Wolverton Train Station''Wk 33 MPMC

A full investigation into the failings at Wolverton Station will not take place as three former officers involved in the project can not be compelled to respond.

Chairman of the council’s audit committee, Ric Brackenbury, condemned the rushed process carried out to award the contract to YJL Infrastructure Ltd and blamed former corporate director, Brian Sandom, and transport assistant director, Alex Constantinides, for their part in the failure.

He said: “The report blamed senior officers who have since left the council for adjusting information to hide the true costs of the project without finding a way of staying within budget.”

He was speaking following an audit committee meetoing to discuss the project held on Wednesday night.

The Wolverton Station project ended up being overspent by more than £1 million.

And Councillor Pete Marland, who represents the town, said the council needs to give assurances this will not happen again.

He said: “There is soon set to be a £50 million project to sort our roads and pathways taking place over a number of years, we need to get that right. If we don’t we are in for a massive shock.

“The very first email I sent when I became a councillor was about the station project and the associated work around it, especially the funding. I have been working on it ever since.

Mr Marland said the audit committee report was good, but gave answers as to what happened without addressing why.

That is a view shared by former Wolverton ward councillor, Mike Galloway, who was in the public gallery for the meeting.

He said: “There were a lot of missing bits of information so I would have preferred there to have been an external review. I am pleased the committee members scrutinised it so well, but how was the overspend not spotted earlier?”

Leader of the council, Councillor Andrew Geary also said the problems should have been spotted earlier.

He said: “It should have been evident from the start as there was a general recognition that this would overspend the budgeted £2.17 million.

“This was considered to be another regrettable episode which was led by a tender process which was weak from start to finish.”