MP for Middlesbrough, Andy McDonald, has today condemned the waste of more than half a million pounds of taxpayers’ money by Mayor Andy Preston, on his now abandoned plans, for a tower block in Middlehaven.

A recent FOI request by an award-winning national architect, has shown that the plans, design and marketing for the 20-storey tower block cost in excess of £600,000.

Andy McDonald MP said: “These revelations are quite staggering. Let’s put it in perspective- Mayor Andy Preston is considering introducing fortnightly bin collection to Middlesbrough. The money wasted on this vanity project would have paid for weekly bin collection twice over. It is ludicrous that £600,000 of taxpayers’ money has been thrown away on the whim of the Mayor.

“Let’s be clear, this plan for ‘Preston Tower’ was always ludicrous and never had even the remotest chance of being built. We must have a full, independent inquiry to find out how so much money could be spent on a plan with no commercial or architectural justification or merit. Where is the openness, scrutiny and accountability?

“Now the Mayor has returned to planning a deliverable and ambitious low-rise building along the lines of those set out by the previous Labour Council. Andy Preston needs to learn – the Council is not one of his business interests that he can dictate to. There are consequences to his actions, consequences he has scandalously ignored in this case and it has cost local people dearly. This amateur approach leaves the Mayor over-promising and under-delivering. Save the dramatic, brash language and just get the job done without burning through £600,000 of our money.”

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