PM DODGES INVESTIGATION INTO GLASGOW COUNCIL – WHAT HAVE LABOUR GOT TO HIDE?

08 Apr 2010

John Mason has asked what Labour has to hide after Gordon Brown again ducked the subject of recent events affecting the Labour party in Glasgow and their operation of Glasgow City Council.

Asked at Prime Minister’s Questions what Labour has to hide from an investigation the Prime Minister refused to answer – despite former leader Steven Purcell reportedly backing an inquiry and Labour donor Willie Haughey also supporting an independent audit.

John Mason, MP for Glasgow East and the only non-Labour MP in the city said:

“What have Labour got to hide? The more Brown refuses to answer questions and the more Labour dodge these serious issues for the city the more suspicious Labour’s actions look.

“Labour have to answer why they do not want an investigation to get to the bottom of these allegations and clean up the reputation of this city.

“Brown has still to answer SNP questions from three weeks ago over what Downing St staff knew and when of Steven Purcell’s personal problems.

“With reports today that staff at CORDIA one of the companies Steven Purcell created are facing jobs losses from Labour budget cuts – days after it was revealed this company paid for drinks parties attended by Steven Purcell Labour’s refusal to even discuss this issue is a betrayal of the people of Glasgow.

“As Labour’s culture of secrecy lets the city down and people risk losing their jobs over Labour’s cuts in the city it is more clear than ever that Glasgow needs local champions to speak up for the people of this city and to protect them from Labour cuts.”

More info:

1) Details of the possible job losses at Cordia can be found at:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/jobs-ultimatum-for-9-000-cordia-workers-1.1018904

2) Details of Cordia hosting dinners for key Labour figures are at:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/revealed-how-purcell-used-council-spin-off-company-to-wine-and-dine-labour-colleagues-1.1014929?localLinksEnabled=false

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.”

Note:

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

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.

East End MP demands action to save Shettleston jobs

31 Mar 2010

John Mason, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, has written to the UK Transport Minister, Lord Adonis, calling for him to intervene to save 75 Shettleston jobs.

Jarvis plc, one of the UK’s main railway and infrastructure services firms, went into administration at the beginning of the week. The company is a significant employer in Shettleston, with around 75 staff being based at the area’s STRC Yard. The Jarvis group of companies employs around 2,000 staff throughout the UK.

As well as having written direct to the UK Transport Minister, John has also contacted his SNP colleague, Stewart Stevenson MSP, who is the Scottish Transport Minister. The East End MP is also backing a House of Commons motion (EDM 1196) which seeks to support the rail workers.

John Mason says:

“Jarvis seems to be experiencing severe difficulties as a result of Network Rail’s decision to defer approximately one-third of all rail renewal work. It’s this decision that has affected the 75 Jarvis Rail employees based in my constituency.

“The East End cannot afford to lose these jobs, and I am determined to do all that I can to keep them. That is why I am calling on the UK Government to intervene. They are the main funders of Network Rail, and the campaign to save jobs will depend on the attitude that Lord Adonis adopts.

“I am calling on Network Rail to take rail renewal work in-house to protect the employment of Jarvis workers. Their skills are vital for the future of the railway, and these jobs are vital to the East End.”

Text of EDM 1196:

That this House notes with dismay that the rail renewal company Jarvis has been placed in administration and that 2,000 jobs are now under threat; believes that Jarvis’s dedicated rail workers have provided a vital public service and deserve full support at this difficult time; further notes that a key factor in the company going into administration was the decision of Network Rail to defer 30 per cent. of its rail renewals work; urges Network Rail to take this renewals work in-house to protect the employment of Jarvis workers and their skills which are vital for the future of the railway; and urges the Government, as the primary funder of Network Rail, to intervene as necessary to protect the jobs, wages and pensions of these rail workers.

John Mason – Working for You – Issue 3

31 Mar 2010
  • SNP rejects Labour cuts to pensioner benefits
  • Helping east-enders tackle their problems
  • Stop press: John Mason launches TV channel!
  • Working for Glasgow East, living in Glasgow East
  • M74 link brings jobs boost and safer roads
  • SNP – delivering for Glasgow East

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