Edinburgh Tram Boss Resigns

The boss in charge of the Edinburgh Tram Project announced his resignation this week, citing family reasons for his departure.Willie Gallagher has resigned as Chief Executive of Tie

Willie Gallagher, Chief Executive of Tie has been in charge of the works over the last two years but announced he will be stepping down at the end of this month.

The move comes one month after chief officials called for his resignation after tram works brought the city centre to a standstill. Mr Gallagher was forced to make a public apology as the £512million project caused chaos on the city’s Mound.

Mr Gallagher said he is proud of his work so far in such a huge project.

He said: ” I am very proud to have created a very strong team of engineering and construction professionals. They are more than equipped to deliver world- class trams for the people of Edinburgh and I look forward to seeing them run in 2011.”

Mr Gallagher claims the reasons behind his resignation are family reasons, despite calls to resign last month by senior officials within the City Council.

Last month SNP group leader Steve Cardonnie blamed Gallagher for the traffic chaos within the city.

He said : “The buck has to stop somewhere so I would say that would be with the Chief Executive. It is not a personal attack on Willie, but he is responsible and has to resign.

However, following his resignation, City Council chiefs have been full of praise for Gallagher and his work over the last two years.

Tom Aitchinson, Edinburgh Council Chief Executive said: ” Edinburgh’s trams would not have come this far without the energy and skills of Willie, and I am to thank him for his leadership and drive.”

Aitchinson assured that a highly competent team remains to carry on the works.

He explained: “Willie has created a high caliber team, who will ably ensure the construction process runs smoothly and successfully.

Edinburgh City Council Leader, Jenny Dawe, said a full report outlining interim governance and management arrangements for the future would be presented at the full council meeting on November,20.

She said: “Willie always impressed those he met with his skills and enthusiasm and I am sorry to lose him at this point. However, I fully understand his reasons for leaving and support his decision.”