Thursday, February 24, 2011

Labour MP Michael McCann’s friendship prompts council planning concern, especially when his 'pal' could pocket £20 million in a land deal

Dear All

The Labour Party has always had a cosy relationship with Labour donors.

Labour donors give money to the Labour Party and somewhere down the line some Labour donors seem to benefit from either council contracts or in some other way finanical.

There has been a demand for a criminal investigation into the planning process of one of Scotland's biggest councils.

South Lanarkshire!

No guesses, it’s a Labour Council of Shame.

Currently, there is a BBC investigation into the relationships between a millionaire developer and senior Labour politicians.

The investigation as it stands revealed allegations that Michael McCann, the new Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathhaven and Lesmahagow, has had an undeclared relationship with local property tycoon and Labour donor James Kean.

McCann did not declare a relationship whilst he was a councillor.

The test on where he should is, would any reasonable person expect him to.

And given money is involved in developments, any reasonable person would expect the relationship to be declared.

At the time McCann was serving on the planning and estates committees in South Lanarkshire.

During McCann's tenure numerous applications related to Mr Kean came before committee.

And he said nothing about his relationship to Kean.

As well as that the BBC after doing a little digging found that as an MP, McCann vigorously intervened in a supermarket planning dispute.

Kean could end up making millions of pounds on that.

The MP wrote a letter detailing some 33 specific questions.

Kean also is connected to Labour Councillor Jim Docherty, he is Godfather to his child.

Docherty is an influential member of the planning and estates committee and he has never declared this relationship either.

As he supported dozens of Kean's proposals at committee meetings!

Is there enough evidence for a criminal investigation?

I would say what is in the public domain doesn’t warrant this.

But there is a case for referral to the Standards Commissioner for Councillors and at Westminster too.

Police enquiries must be based on evidence not speculative voyages of discovery.

A spokesman for South Lanarkshire Council said:

"If the BBC is in possession of evidence that shows that any member of the council or employee acted in a way that was illegal, the council asks that this is provided to it as soon as possible, or, if appropriate, to the police”.

He added:

"All decisions on applications for planning consent must be taken solely on planning merits, and councillors who sit on the planning committee have received appropriate training in this aspect."

Whether any Councillor decides to be corrupt remains as always a matter for the individual Councillor.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is interesting with the current GE coming up....