Concerns have been raised about the amount of work being outsourced to outside contractors by Derry’s council.

The comments came at a meeting of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Environment and Regeneration committee, during a discussion on the progress being made in developing a new park at the old landfill site in Culmore.

A consultation had been scheduled to be launched last month seeking views from residents, sporting groups, schools and all other interested parties on what facilities will be included in Culmore Country park.

However, the consultation has yet to be launched.

Speaking at the meeting, the Sinn Fein councillor Tony Hassan asked council for an update on the timeframe for the development of the park and how much it was going to cost.

A council officer told Cllr Hassan that the new park would be taken before a meeting of its capital review group, and that a group outside of council would be appointed to design the park.

Cllr Hassan asked: “Why are we paying people outside of council to do this?”

Karen Phillips, Head of Environment with council, said that while council does have in-house design professionals, council ‘do need design teams’.

Frank Morrison, Design and Project Manager, added that the council do undertake a ‘lot of projects in-house’.

He added that council currently had a ‘lot of projects on its capital list’, adding that it was about striking an ‘effective balance’.

“Some projects by their nature can be designed in-house, but other times its better for us to outsource.”

Cllr Hassan then asked for a report on the Culmore Country Park to be brought before the next meeting of the same committee.

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