Parliament Building (Wooden Spars)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 6 June 2013.

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Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what work is being carried out on the wooden spars—or shutters, if you want to call them that—on the Parliament building, at what cost and in what timescale. (S4O-02225)

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

No work is currently being done on the timber louvres; the word is louvres, rather than shutters, Mr Lyle—I am afraid that I gave the member the wrong advice earlier.

Maintenance work is planned to take place during the summer recess. That will include the removal and maintenance of the timber louvres on the MSP and Canongate buildings at a cost of approximately £25,000, and in situ recoating of what we call the bamboo poles, but which are actually oak veneer, at the public entrance canopy at a cost of approximately £2,000. External timber maintenance is an on-going requirement that is budgeted for in the long-term maintenance plan. The timber of course is part of the palette of materials used in the overall Parliament complex.

Photo of Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

I thank Linda Fabiani for telling me that they are louvres.

If someone stands in committee room 2 and looks towards the windows in committee room 6, they can see that the outside spars or shutters—or louvres—are in a bad state of repair and are weather beaten. I suggest that the member goes up and takes a look. The windows also require attention. What steps will be taken to ensure that the louvres are fixed?

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

I am tempted to ask Monsieur Allard to intervene and tell us the correct pronunciation of louvre.

Richard Lyle makes a serious point. I feel very strongly that we have an absolutely wonderful parliamentary complex. Visitors and construction professionals often comment about the quality of the finishes and the palette that we have used. There must be on-going maintenance with a zero tolerance policy towards defects so that we do not let things look shabby.

I am a wee bit concerned about what Mr Lyle has said about the shabbiness of some of the louvres and windows. I will take a look, and I will ensure that the Parliament’s very professional maintenance and procurement teams have a look, too, and that they consider what can be done in our on-going and cyclical maintenance to ensure that we never allow our parliamentary complex to look in any way less than its best.