Why do all the projects paid for out of the public purse go way over budget in this country?

York’s Foss Barrier quotation now rises astronomically from £17 million to £38 million - a 123 per cent increase (The Press, January 16). This is due to the complexity of the work, according to the Environment Agency. Councillor Widdowson points out that the extra £21 million is paid from Westminster.

Oh, so that’s all right then? It’s still a huge amount and it’s from a pot of public money - our money!

Yes, we want a flood barrier system that works efficiently to protect our houses and businesses but, at the planning and design stage, why were the alleged experts so wrong with their calculations, lack of foresight and risk assessment? Are the Environment Agency/ council up to procurement and negotiating contracts with commercial companies and are there any penalties in place? Or is it a licence to print money?

I would like more transparency in this public contract; who is responsible; who drew up the plans; what are the contractor/s names; and is anyone accountable for lamentable guesswork?

Keith Massey,

Bishopthorpe, York