Not with my money

PUBLISHED: 12:48 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

SIR, - I was very alarmed by your front-page article (Herts Advertiser, January 19) referring to Herts County Council considering taking out a £100-million loan to rescue the county's roads and pavements. According to the published transcript of the meeti

SIR, - I was very alarmed by your front-page article (Herts Advertiser, January 19) referring to Herts County Council considering taking out a £100-million loan to rescue the county's roads and pavements. According to the published transcript of the meeting on October 14 last year of the St Albans City Centre Highways Project Topic Group, the county council's senior auditor stated that Herts Highways did not employ anyone within the whole organisation at that date with "recognised project management training". This information seems to have surprised some of the councillors present. As many readers will know, accredited formal training in project management is an essential "tool" for the successful management of all types of projects including delivery and budget control for both the private and public sector. This sort of training is not achieved at a one-day seminar with a worthless certificate at the end but is only attained by considerable study to progressive levels. The senior auditor went on to say in the transcript regarding the St Albans city-centre project: "We were buying a professional service which we believed employed project managers. We have looked at the situation and decided that some of them did not have these skills to the level of which we wanted, and I think that my recommendations have been we needed to look at the staff, look at their skills, and that has been done, and there's 125 people that's been assessed as being suitable for project management training...". Apparently the only person with formal project management training within Herts County Council was the senior auditor. It seems to me that to take out a loan with interest to pay for such a huge sum without first ensuring that you have the staff suitably trained to ensure it delivers what is promised is beyond my comprehension. If you have just dug yourself into a massive hole as Herts Highways has done in St Peter's Street, do you start digging another? Not with my money you don't! VANESSA GREGORY, Tennyson Road, St Albans.

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