15 Jan 2013

Following an almost year long investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, East End MSP John Mason, has uncovered news that there was “misconduct” on the part of charity trustees – three of which were Glasgow Labour Councillors – and their actions were “wholly unsatisfactory”.

The damning report, published today, follows a complaint made to OSCR by Glasgow Shettleston MSP, John Mason.

Mr Mason lodged a formal complaint with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in January 2011, following news that the former Chief Executive of Glasgow East Regeneration Agency, Ronnie Saez, had been given a golden goodbye of £500,000.  

SNP MSP for the East End, John Mason, who referred the complaint to the OSCR, said

“This report is a damning indictment of the Labour councillors who have blatantly misused public money in one of the most unacceptable ways possible.

“The sad reality is that GERA’s first and foremost aim on its mission statement was to “relieve and prevent poverty” for people living in the East End – not well-off chief executives. Even if part of the payment was a binding obligation, OSCR is clear that £232,708 was not a requirement.

“That money should have been helping poorer people, not richer people.  If proof was ever needed that Labour has lost touch with reality, then this, frankly, is it.

“OSCR states that ‘charity trustees as a body are collectively or corporately responsible’, the trustees ‘ breached their section 66 duties’, and ‘this is considered misconduct in the administration of the charity.’ Therefore, surely Glasgow City Council must act immediately to remove Councillor Jim Coleman and Councillor George Redmond from any charities, boards or bodies on which they represent the Council. 

“This report makes quite clear that they have misused public money and this cannot be allowed to happen again.

“Perhaps Johann Lamont could reclaim some much needed credibility by publicly distancing herself from these two Labour councillors in Glasgow who have squandered tax payers money.”

A copy of the report can be viewed here: OSCR’s damning report of GERA