Tuesday, 28 June 2011

A correspondent writes

From one of our regular correspondents:

To the Scottish Government

Owing to the current addiction to neoliberalism on the part of Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government, a number of "pie-in-the-sky" schemes have been promoted by both entities.

"No one" could see the financial collapse of 2008 coming (this according to the very people who didn't see it coming!), just as "no one" could see that invading Iraq would be a disaster (except, of course, for the millions who marched against the war before it started).

Obviously in both cases, the experts were 100% wrong. For any of us to move forward in a productive way, we need to admit when we're wrong and learn from it.

We are now, due to the reckless actions of the former GCC leader Steven Purcell, lumbered with the costly mega-event known as the Commonwealth Games. One of the supposed benefits (which will not trickle down to the city's residents) is tourism. I think it's worthwhile to look at the report of Ronald Jackson, regarding a CPO obtained by GCC against several local businesses. In the report, Mr Jackson states:

"On balance, given the commitment and involvement of Jumeirah, the detailed appraisal
work on both cost and value that has been carried out and the evidence set out in
paragraphs 10-14 above, I consider that it is much more likely than not that the necessary
funding would be available for the scheme. Having regard to my findings in this and the
three preceding paragraphs I attach little weight to the objectors’ development appraisal
(RBH 7), prefer the evidence of the council and its witnesses and conclude that the weight
of evidence shows that the scheme would be financially viable."

Now consider today's news:

"Jumeirah Group’s plans to operate a luxury hotel in Scotland have been thrown into disarray after the developer behind the $200m project went into administration."

Perhaps only in Glasgow could the city unveil an "International Financial Services District" after the collapse of international finance, but then again nonsensical development plans have scarred cities across the UK and USA.

What about actually listening to the people who live in the city?



Commonwealth Games Chief quits over "gift"

From the Daily Record:

Glasgow Commonwealth Games chief quits over gift

john scott Image 2

Gift 'mistake' costs Scott his 2014 post

POLICE are to question Commonwealth Games chiefs after the head of Glasgow 2014 quit for failing to declare a gift.

John Scott admitted he had accepted an "offer" from a "potential supplier" and failed to declare it.

Games organisers Glasgow 2014 Ltd announced the 59-year-old had resigned from his £179,000-a-year post.

But they refused to reveal details of what he took.

They would only say it was an "error of judgment" and a "mistake".

Last night, Strathclyde Police said no investigation has been launched into the scandal.

However, it is understood police will speak to the board, possibly today, and the situation could change.

A senior insider at the force said: "We will be asking questions about this."

Lord Robert Smith, chairman of the Glasgow 2014 board, announced Scott's resignation after an emergency meeting yesterday.

Insiders say the details of the gift or gratuity were not disclosed to the meeting and are only known to Lord Smith and a close circle.

In a statement, Lord Smith said: "John Scott has made an important contribution to the plannin g of what we believe will be an outstanding Games.

"The board has accepted his resignation for an error of judgment he made in accepting, and not declaring, an offer from one of Glasgow 2014's potential suppliers, in breach of the organising committee's strict gifts and gratuities policy.

"I know he deeply regrets this mistake and this was a job that he loved. It is a measure of the man that he has put the values and reputation of the organising committee ahead of his own at this time.

"John was largely responsible for setting the committee's high standards of governance and he felt he could not continue in his role as chief executive under the circumstances."

Commonwealth Games minister Shona Robison said: "John Scott has made a valuable contribution as chief executive of the organising committee.

"However, the reputation and integrity of our Games is paramount and, to that end, I believe Mr Scott has done the right and principled thing in stepping down."

Gordon Arthur, a board member and the spokesman for Glasgow 2014, said Scott informed Lord Smith of the offer late last week.

The Scottish government and Glasgow City Council - the two bodies funding the Games - were told of Scott's resignation yesterday afternoon.

David Grevemberg, the current chief operating officer, has taken over as acting chief executive.

Scott took up his post in 2008. Before that, he was a key adviser on the London 2012 Olympic bid.