Monday, 12 October 2009

"A legacy for the 2014 Commonwealth Games"

From the Daily Record:

CalMac boss keeps his job after repaying £13K following expenses probe

Oct 12 2009 David Taylor

A BOSS at a ferry company funded by public money has been forced to pay back almost £13,000 of taxpayers' cash after a probe into his expenses.

Alan Moffat, human resources director of CalMac, claimed thousands of pounds for takeaway meals, hotel bills made out in his wife's name and alcohol bought near his home when he was not working.

Moffat, 54, who lives in Bearsden, near Glasgow, was issued with a final warning but was allowed to keep his job after paying back £12,899 last month.

Following an investigation by forensic accountancy firm KPMG, Moffat was found to have altered receipts and provided others which had no bearing to the claims.

He was reimbursed for cash he spent at McDonald's, Domino Pizza, Dobbie's Garden Centre, and the Ashoka Indian restaurant near his home. Moffat paid back cash including £4968 blown on takeaways, £1426 spent in convenience stores and £39 for a home internet connection.

Accountants also found "frequent reimbursement for costs relating to Victoria Wine where the date and time on the receipt is a Friday evening or weekend".

He also claimed for petrol and diesel fuel, even though his company car runs on diesel.

CalMac is owned by the Scottish Government. Its parent firm David MacBrayne accepted other claims he made as being genuine, including £1750 for staying in five-star hotels, £48.50 for roses sent to his home and £137 for a Swarovski crystal figurine.

His wife, Jillian, is a senior executive at jobs quango Scottish Enterprise, and is in charge of ensuring a business legacy for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

A spokesman for David MacBrayne said: "We are entirely satisfied that there was no intention to defraud."

Friday, 2 October 2009

Glasgow construction volume "plummets"


Glasgow construction volume "plummets"

Christian Duffin,, 2 October 2009

The volume of construction work underway in Glasgow has plummeted because of the recession, a study has found.

A survey carried out by commercial property consultancy Drivers Jonas found that 13 developments are currently under construction in Glasgow, compared to 30 last year.

The survey found that no new schemes started construction in 2009, compared to 11 in 2008.

There are only 122 residential housing units set for completion this year, substantially lower than the 580 annual average over the last nine years, according to the survey.

Several hotel developments have been delayed, including the Jumeirah Glasgow Hotel and the Bothwell Plaza, which have dented plans to add 3,000 hotel bedrooms by 2014, when the city hosts the Commonwealth Games, according to Drivers Jonas.

Alasdair Ramsay, a partner at Drivers Jonas in Scotland, said: "The research shows there is little construction activity in Glasgow city centre. However, the developments that have taken place in recent years have reinforced confidence in the city. Plans are currently being prepared for several commercial developments, even during the recession."

The survey can be seen here