Sturgeon and Mason – Glasgow needs champions – Labour council rejects information request

04 Apr 2010

Campaigning in Glasgow East the SNP’s Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon and local MP John Mason said that the events of recent week’s confirmed Glasgow needed more strong local champions as they highlighted further efforts by the Labour Council and its agencies to keep information on how public money was used secret.

The Council and its building firm City Building last week refused to give out information under freedom of information laws covering: details of spending on consultants, hospitality and public relations by City Building and details of any trips outside Scotland by officials within City Building, details of the official diary of Council leader Steven Purcell, of engagements attend by the former council leader and the details of Mr Purcell’s expenses claims.

Delivering the SNP’s More Nats Less Cuts message as he met voters at the Mecca bingo in Parkhead Mr Mason said: “I care passionately about Glasgow. That’s why I stood in Glasgow East two years ago and that is why as the MP for this area I have put my constituents at the heart of everything I do.

“From day one I have worked to champion the concerns of people in Glasgow East and to ensure their voice is heard at the heart of Westminster.

“When I hear Labour taking the city for granted, putting their own interests before their constituents and claiming to “own” this constituency it makes me determined that people in Glasgow East and across the rest of the city should have the chance not to elect the usual politicians, but to elect strong local champions.

“Two years ago voters in this constituency put their trust in me and in the SNP to stand up for them as they sent a message to Downing St over tax rises and fuel prices. This year I hope voters will continue to trust me to be their local champion and will send that strong message to Labour across Glasgow that this city belongs to the people, not one party.

Govan MSP and SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon added: “For voters in Glasgow East and across the country this election isn’t about who gets the keys to number 10 but about who will put Scotland’s communities first.

“John Mason has been an outstanding local champion for Glasgow East, putting this area firmly on Westminster’s map and I know with the support of people in this constituency he will continue to put their priorities first.

“Labour’s continued silence and their refusal not just of an independent inquiry, but even to release information around their former leader and the organisations he founded demonstrates on a daily basis that Glasgow needs SNP MPs to be the city’s champions.”


Details of FOI rejections

Glasgow City Council has refused to release the diary of its former leader – claiming that while they have an electronic version of the leaders diary they consider it to be a personal diary.

Glasgow City Council has refused to release details of official engagements attended by Cllr Purcell as they are in the diary – which it considers a personal diary.

Glasgow City Council has refused to release details of expenses claims – stating that expenses claims are published in Councillors declarations. This is not a detailed publication.


City Building has refused to detail board and senior official expenses. City Building claims councillors expenses in relation to city building are recorded by the council – however this has only been the case since this month.

City Building was asked for details of trips outside Scotland by board members and officials – it responded that no board members had been on any trips outside Scotland. The answer did not address the issue of senior officials.

Despite the same information being revealed by SPT and other ALEOs City Building claims spending on consultants and on PR is commercially confidential.

City Building also claims its hospitality expenditure is commercially confidential.