A GLASGOW Labour councillor who was central to a £5 million Commonwealth Games legacy project has been put on leave while the scheme is investigated by auditors.

Yvonne Kucuk is off work amid questions about how a lottery grant for the Dalmarnock Hub in the city’s east end was spent.

The Hub, opened last year by football legend Kenny Dalglish, provides GP, dental, pharmacy and nursery facilities under one roof.

It has been overseen by a charity, the People’s Development Trust (PDT), and bankrolled with taxpayers’ money.

The Scottish Government provided around £3m, the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) awarded £1,295,000 and Clyde Gateway gave £1.23m. Glasgow council sold the land to the Trust for £1.

Kucuk, a local councillor, was given the £35,000 a year job of “regeneration manager”, while fellow party councillor Maureen Burke also landed employment there.

A number of Kucuk’s relatives have, at various stages, either been appointed to the Trust board or employed at the Hub.

However, various Trust board members resigned last year, fuelling speculation of splits. Outgoing chair Alison Davidge contacted the BLF about the departures and the lottery body launched a review. It was then revealed that an international firm of auditors had been hired to examine whether the BLF grant had been spent appropriately.

The Sunday Herald can now reveal that new management was brought into the Trust before Christmas. An internal review of finance was conducted and passed to the BLF. It is understood that the subsequent BLF decision to call in auditors also had the agreement of the Trust.

In recent weeks, the Trust agreed to put Kucuk on leave while the probe is ongoing. The auditor investigation is believed to be focusing on the revenue funding provided by the BLF, rather than the part of the grant earmarked for capital costs.

HeraldScotland: Commonwealth Games Legacy Former Athletes Village.
Dalmarnock, Glasgow.

For Sunday herald piece on the legacy of the commonwealth games. The  athletes village is now housing.
Picture shows councillor Yvonne Kucuk, who has been instrumental in setting up

Picture: Cllr Kucuk

In another development, former PDT vice-chair and founding director David Stewart filed a complaint against the Trust last week to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

In his letter, he wrote that he had previously been in touch over his concerns about “cronyism, financial mismanagement and unlawful employment/recruitment practices”.

In light of the audit being carried out, he called on the OSCR to appoint a new interim board to “ensure that the Legacy Hub can mitigate the current financial, operational and legal challenges it faces and therefore secure a sustainable future”.

He also said he did not want the Hub to become like the scandal-hit Kids Company charity south of the border.

“I urge the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator not to allow this to become Scotland's version of the Kids Company charity scenario in England and for the community facility to end up being left closed to the local residents of Dalmarnock – we have already lost so much as a community,” said Stewart.

Kucuk was elected to serve the Calton ward after the 2012 local authority elections. She is a political ally of Glasgow council leader Frank McAveety and listed as a member of the Regeneration and the Economy Policy Development committee

SNP MSP John Mason said: “Putting councillor Kucuk on leave sounds like a sensible move. If something has gone wrong, then the Trust should act. I think local people see the Hub as being part of the council, which has a reputation for presiding over a jobs-for-the-boys culture. Politically, we need a change in the council.”

PDT chair Tracy Spence said: “We are currently working with the management team to take the organisation forward, ensuring we are delivering services and projects that will support and develop the Dalmarnock community.

“The board are working closely with all our funders and welcome the audit by Big Lottery. Yvonne Kucuk is currently on leave from the organisation. We no concerns with David writing a letter to OSCR. The board are open and transparent and have nothing to hide.”

Kucuk did not respond to requests for comment.