AN SNP-RUN council has come under fire after workmen were seen operating at one the authority's key building projects.

The Scottish Government has issued strict guidelines for the construction industry, insisting that only "essential" projects continue amid the Covid-19 lockdown - such as building new hospitals. 

Two workmen were spotted working at Edinbugh City Council's Powderhall development site in the north of the capital, despite the restrictions.

The council said the Powderhall location is being used as "a compound site" for the trams project and that contractors were complying with government guidance.

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Building sites told to shut down by Nicola Sturgeon

Concerns have been raised over conflicted guidance betweent he UK and Scottish governments for the construction industry.

Miles Briggs, Conservative MSP for the Lothians, said: "There are very strict guidelines in place by the Scottish Government for good reason, to slow down the spread of Coronavirus and allow hospitals to treat people who get Coronavirus.

"National figures released yesterday show  the escalation of coronavirus and we are seeing the number of cases rising on a daily basis."

READ MORE: Coronavirus in Scotland: Edinburgh tram works halted

He added: "It is very concerning that Edinburgh City Council are continuing with work on the Powderhall building site, despite national guidance saying not to.

"It has not been helpful to see contradictory messages being developed and for various different protocols such as supermarkets in England being given lists of vulnerable people being asked to shield for twelve weeks but not in Scotland."

A council spokesperson said: "In line with the requirement to put suitable arrangements in place for monitoring the site and site compound’s security and safety a small team has been retained to monitor the existing excavations, as well as essential remedial work where an issue is identified.”