Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Glasgow City Council officials probed over hospitality breach, the stench of cronyism is so overpowering that it would turn your guts inside out!













Dear All

I call it The Glasgow Labour Council of shame!

And for good reason, awhile ago in the post dated 30th March 2010, I said there should be a full public inquiry into Glasgow City Council.

My exact words were:

“The inquiry must be wide ranging, people need to know the full extent Glasgow City Council and their ALEO’s funnelling of jobs and contracts to Labour Party members, relatives, friends, associates and donors”.

At the time the SPT expenses scandal involving Labour Councillors of shame was the storm of the moment but I knew that we had only seen the tip of the Glasgow iceberg breaking the surface.

Now, 8 months later, an inquiry has been launched after senior officials at Glasgow City Council allegedly breached their own code of conduct when they were entertained by a private firm.

And shortly after that happy event the firm secured almost £2 million worth of contracts from Land and Environmental Services, their department.

12 senior managers from land and environmental services were wined and dined at this year’s £50-a-head Lord Provost’s Burns supper by Maclay Civil Engineering.

The company was tendering for contracts and four of these tenders were successful.

At present, acceptance of hospitality is a breach of council rules.

The Labour-led authority’s code of conduct states no officer should take gifts or hospitality during a tendering process.

So, the 12 involved have questions to answer as a council’s audit team is investigating if there has been any inappropriate behaviour.

Isn’t it inappropriate behaviour to break the rules?

And we aren’t just talking a slap on the wrist and burying this as such conduct could fall foul of the incoming Bribery Act 2010.

This isn’t the first time that allegations of cronyism at the City Chambers have surfaced but it is the first time that so many have been caught so publicly.

And why are they allowed to accept hospitality in the first place?

Those who were entertained by the contractor, Maclays at the Burns supper in the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow’s Cambridge Street on January 29 were deputy director George Gillespie, head of roads Andy Waddell, and David McClelland, head of service development, whose post includes overseeing procurement.

Should such senior people have known better?

We aren’t talking a few junior staff; we are talking about the very senior members of department who sit in judgement of others.

The council’s code of conduct states:

“Hospitality must not be accepted knowingly during the tendering period of a contract and councillors/officers should always be aware of the possibility that the contractor/consultant offering hospitality may be tendering for a contract elsewhere in the council. The clear rule of thumb is that, when in doubt, politely refuse.”

And in the Minutes of a meeting of senior land and environmental services (LES) officials, we find a fortnight after the Burns supper noting that “managers were asked to be mindful re hospitality requests”, with department head Robert Booth “asking the division heads to provide him with a note of the dinners that LES take tables at”.

With the trade unions trying to save jobs already under threat from a callous Council who are trying to outsource everything they have been quick to condemned the actions of those who have breached of the code.

Unison’s Chris Stephens said:

“Once again the issue of relationships between LES and contractors has been called into question. Our members believe some of this work should be done in-house and increasing the amount of work to be sub-contracted will only lead to fears that something is not quite right.”

Martin Doran, of the GMB, said:

“The appearance this sends out is that nepotism and cronyism is alive and well within Glasgow. Officials cannot be wined and dined by contractors when tenders are under way.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman as per their usual modus operandi said:

“Every council service is asked to approach suppliers and contractors to support the Lord Provost’s Burns Supper by buying or sponsoring tables. However, an allegation has been made and is now being treated like any other complaint.”

We aren’t however talking about ‘buying or sponsoring tables’, we are talking about 12 senior managers who by their own actions have left themselves opened to possible Police investigation under the Bribery Act 2010.

What I said in March 2010 regarding what needs to be done at the Labour controlled Glasgow City Council remains true:

“people need to know the full extent Glasgow City Council and their ALEO’s funnelling of jobs and contracts to Labour Party members, relatives, friends, associates and donors”.

Only when such a transparent inquiry takes place and matters are dealt with can people start to have faith in what the Council is doing.

At present Glasgow City Council is a Labour Council of shame!

The fact that Labour Leader and Councillor of shame Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson has seen this blown up on his watch shows he isn’t the leader that Glasgow needs.

We are seeing another episode of the tip of the iceberg of cronyism at the City Chambers breach the surface, now watch Glasgow Labour Councillors and officials jump on this to push the tip back under the water.

The tip shows what I have always said; Glasgow City Council is rotten to the core. The sooner that the people of Glasgow realise the Council is run for the benefit of the Labour Party members, relatives, friends, associates and Labour donors, the sooner they will vote them out on the street.

This is one case where new management and a cull are badly needed!

Hospitality should be strictly forbidden for Council employees who act in a management capacity at any level.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

When did MFI recruit you?

Anonymous said...

MFI?

Has George Laird every worked for a furniture compamy?

Anonymous said...

Glasgow Labour Mafia will sweep this under the carpet, odds on certainity. What's the bet, no sackings of the 12?

Since they are in LSE, why not call them the 'dirty dozen'?

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Niko: I love the smell of Labour corruption in the morning. You know, one time we had a Council corrupted, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' snp dink body. The smell, you know that Labour corruption smell, the whole hill. Smelled like
[sniffing, pondering]
Niko: victory. Someday this Electioneering gonna end...
[suddenly walks off]


One day George your gonna be found dead on some waste Ground at Glasgow uni with a Labour postal voting ballot paper stuck up yer arse!

Strathclyde Police Sheridan Enforcement Unit said...

"One day George your gonna be found dead on some waste Ground at Glasgow uni with a Labour postal voting ballot paper stuck up yer arse!"

Is that a threat against Mr. Laird's life?

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

Polis/ slag


Thats a prediction from MacNostradamus the well known Nationalist

Anonymous said...

"Thats a prediction from MacNostradamus the well known Nationalist".

There is no such thing as a well known nationalist in Glasgow, they are all shit.

MI6 blow yer brains out unit said...

George,

I see you tripped over this gem of a story, the well is deep and full of the slush of cronyism. In Glasgow City Council, you get in by knowing the right people.

Anonymous said...

Glasgow City Council will do nothing, a bit of yap and then they will shut their trap.