Saturday, March 20, 2010

Glasgow City Council close ranks for the Glasgow Labour Party and refuse FOI request for Steven Purcell's official work diaries

Dear All

Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell is the former leader of Labour controlled Glasgow City Council.

As such he ran a staff of thousands and budget of billions of pounds.

Then, his world collapse as allegations surfaced first at the SPT of abuse of taxpayers’ money rapidly followed by claims by the Council that he had a ‘chemical dependency’.

Allegations emerged of visits by the Police, cocaine, alleged possible blackmail plot and tales of Purcell hanging around with known Glasgow gangsters.

Purcell swiftly resigned as leader of the Council and as a Councillor before he fled aboard.

The Glasgow Labour Party went from rallying around a sick man to treating him as a leper in the space of a few days.

Now, the press have put in a request for Steven Purcell’s ­official work diaries to be made public.

This has been blocked by Glasgow City Council citing the material is not its property.

Under the Freedom of Information, the Council is required to hand over the information because questions have arisen of who Purcell has been meeting.

Despite being refused newspapers are attempting to force the authority to comply with the law.

The Council cite that councillor’s diary is not information formally held by the council which sounds bizarre.

How could meetings with public bodies and individuals be organised if the information wasn’t stored by the Council?

­Matthew Sinclair of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said;

“The public have the right to know what a senior person is doing in time he is being paid for with their money.”

And Purcell was getting paid for his role as leader of the Council.

SNP Councillor James Dornan said;

“Mr Purcell is no longer on the council, so there can be no necessity for secrecy.”
And it is public information.

It seems that the Labour Council of shame will continue to block FOI requests into what Purcell was doing during his work time.

This is a matter which will probably be reported to the Information Commissioner who will probably rule that the information should be made public as it concerns Purcell’s duties as leader of the Council.

The Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell scandal is more than just Purcell himself, it stretches into the NGO’s set up by him and how the Glasgow Labour Party control them by use of their Labour Councillors, relatives and friends.

Something stinks in the City of Glasgow and attempting to withhold evidence will further cause speculation to rise that the because of the control of the Glasgow Labour Party at the Council, NGO’s are vehicles for Labour Party members and other related people to secure employment.

This might turn out to be as big a scandal as Monklands for the Glasgow Labour Party.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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