A COUNCIL report into the heavily-delayed Tron Court improvement project has also been delayed amid concerns it could “fall off the end of the table”.

The document, which is marked exempt for public eyes, was due to be considered at last week’s Place Committee meeting behind closed doors to evaluate the Tullibody project.

Started in 2014 with community stakeholder dialogue, the £628,050 scheme set out to enhance the area's shopping precinct with external building works, generic environmental improvements, better footways and street lighting, as well as a pedestrian crossing.

Initial plans going out to consultation programmed the final phase of the works for quarter one in the 2015-16 financial year.

However, a “delay of the project” meant the contract for the works did not go to tender until August 2017 and council papers tabled at the Place Committee last Thursday, March 21, revealed this is one of the key areas the evaluation report focuses on.

It was carried out independently and council seniors gathered a day before last week’s meeting to hear its contents, which Place Committee papers said include “substantive recommendations” and the “lessons learned”.

The delay in the presentation of the report is due to the council creating a corporate action plan, “formulated in relation to the key findings and lessons learned”.

At last week’s meeting, senior council officers explained it was not possible to complete the action plan in a day, eventually committing to bringing it all to a May or June meeting.

From what the public, and indeed the press, can know the evaluation will also look at the “nature of the contract and alternative approaches”, “project officer experience and contract management” as well as “governance and payment arrangements”.

At last week’s meeting, Labour Councillor Kenny Earle warned against any further delays in bringing the report to councillors. He added: “I am concerned it’ll suddenly fall off the end of the table.”

Ahead of him, Conservative Group leader Cllr Bill Mason said an extra few weeks of waiting will not change things as it is a retrospective report, but expressed a wish for the document to be “thorough”.

His colleague Cllr Martha Benny added: “It has been an expensive lesson learned."

It is understood that, as part of the project, traders in Tron Court did have to dip into their own pockets to fund works on their own shopfronts, including the removal of canopies and the installation of new shutters.

SNP Provost Cllr Tina Murphy, and councillor for the ward, said: “Traders paid upfront, so we owe a detailed explanation to them as well.”