Saturday, June 4, 2011
Suspended Glasgow Labour Councillor of shame Ruth Black is chairing personnel committee, why doesn’t she realise that is inappropriate at present?
Ruth Black is suspended by the Glasgow Labour Party.
She was suspended by Labour over alleged financial irregularities regarding a gay and lesbian centre Ms Black ran with her partner.
When she ran the centre there were several irregularities which auditors found such as non-payment of tax and National Insurance for staff
However deductions were made from wages, the employment of a relative, which runs contrary to council grant rules, and operating with no public and employee liability insurance.
No exactly a record of exercising good judgement while in public office, in fact pretty poor financial management.
At present she is chairing the personnel committee vacated by Labour Councillor of shame, William O’Rourke, a party colleague axed from the post for his comments on child rape.
O’Rourke said during a meeting concerning a 9 year old child, words to the effect, ‘was she asking for it?’
When that bunny came out; Gordon ‘free dinners’ Matheson quickly removed O’Rourke because of the shit storm that quickly developed!
It seemed O’Rourke failed in his duty as a ‘corporate parent’, in fact he probably didn’t realise as a Councillor he was one!
Anyway, that left the way for Ruth Black to chair the committee.
Her suspension from Labour has been running for almost a year.
Recently she headed the city council’s personnel committee two weeks ago when it found in the authority’s favour in a grievance case brought by an employee.
The move has angered unions and the main opposition SNP because the financial irregularities she was suspended by Labour involved employee issues.
As well as chairing the personnel meeting of May 16, Ms Black has also been on the panel on April 15 and March 25, both held since Mr O’Rourke’s dismissal.
Martin Doran, of the GMB union, said:
“Cases going through the personnel committee are of an extremely sensitive and private nature. The applicant and their representative needs to have confidence in the committee and have no concerns that transparency may not be what it should be.”
An SNP source said:
“It’s totally inappropriate that a suspended councillor who has been investigated for mismanagement of public funds and issues around her workers and employment conditions should be chairing a personnel committee.”
Ms Black was interviewed last year by police investigating the circumstances surrounding the demise of Steven ‘bin laden’ Purcell.
However, nothing happened as she was cleared by both public-sector watchdog the Standards Commission and the police.
Purcell fled the City of Glasgow as the revelations that he took cocaine were splashed across the press and TV, he left Glasgow to ‘wander the earth’.
Then he returned.
A council spokesman said:
“At the meeting of the cross-party Business Bureau on May 31 it was agreed that training of elected members for personnel appeals should be compulsory so that all members can be available to carry out this important function. The chairman of the committee is elected from those members attending and Councillor Black was elected to act as chair at a meeting on May 16.”
So, should Black be on the personnel committee deciding on the lives of others while her own conduct is being investigated on serious matters?
I would suggest not.
Until she sorts out the problems which stem from the gay and lesbian centre, she should not chair the personnel committee.
And she should know that without being told.
That is what the Nolan Principles are all about exercising good judgement while in public office.
Sadly, at the Labour Council of shame, there is precious little of that about the place.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University