02 May 2008
Some of Britain's most prestigious science and research establishments are at risk of closure due to 'poor leadership' and 'major senior management misjudgements' by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, MPs said this week.
The damning criticism was made in a report by the Commons innovation, universities and skills select committee. The MPs conclude: 'Substantial and urgent changes are now needed in the way in which the council is run in order to restore confidence.'
In the international field, the UK was left looking like an 'unreliable' and 'incompetent' partner.
The council's chief executive, Keith Mason, said: 'A number of issues highlighted by the report have already been recognised by STFC, and I have taken actions to address them over the past few months.'
The STFC was faced with a deficit of £80m after the Comprehensive Spending Review last year. This has meant that some projects are now threatened with closure, including an upgrade to the Lovell telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire and the Daresbury National Laboratory.