• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Two tribes go to war: Glasgow provost, council leader fall out over Commonwealth Games passes

THE Lord Provost and leader of Scotland's largest local authority have become embroiled in a turf war over allocation of passes to the Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow's Lord Provost Sadie Docherty convened a meeting of her staff and bailies this week over accreditation to this summer's event, at which she was said to be "hurt and angry" over the decision to give passes to the city council's de facto cabinet.

Although Mrs Docherty had been accredited. she had been expecting a wider role for the cross-party bailies, who are the civic representatives for virtually all events in the city. It is understood she made her feelings known to council leader and party colleague Gordon Matheson.

Senior figures within the council told of a deepening territorial dispute between the offices of the leader and Lord Provost over claims Mr Matheson carries out too many civic duties.

It emerged last week the decision had been taken to accredit all Labour members of the executive committee who are spokesmen and women for their particular departments.

The council has claimed that because the Games "present an unprecedented opportunity to do business with major figures in the sporting and cultural sectors who are decision-makers, advocates and influencers around the world" a political decision had been taken to appoint the executive committee to do the lobbying, along with the Lord Provost and Deputy Lord Provost Gerry Leonard.

However, questions have been asked about the purpose of accrediting executive members for social work, education and personnel, and the group whip, although there is also an expectation all Scottish Government ministers will be given "access all areas" passes.

One source said: "The Lord Provost met her team and the bailies and she was hurt and quite angry. She has already met Gordon about this.

"Her plan was for three tickets to be shared among the bailies, to take the teams around and do the civic thing they do. It was about getting away from the potential for junket allegations. Now the only people with open access are 12 Labour functionaries."

Another source said: "The ­administration bailies, in particular, were spitting nails at the meeting. The feeling is the civic life of Glasgow has been politicised."

A senior Labour source said: "Sadie's not happy about a lot with the leader's office. And this 2014 stuff has upset her. Bailies always do events. What's our whip going to say to the Australians?"

SNP bailie Phil Greene said: "It is not the tickets but I am angry about this. The role of the bailies has been subverted. Our duty is to do the civic welcome and we are good at it."

The council said its strategy to attract an increasing number of high-profile events involved having administration executive members accredited to work in the sports venues to meet key representatives of sporting organisations from around the world.

A spokesman added: "The decision to implement the Future Business Strategy was taken by the chief executive after discussion with the leader and Lord Provost.

"Bailies will not have an official role in the sports venues, but are likely to be extremely busy representing the council at other events in the city."

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

217955