Thursday, 18 February 2010

Corruption within the Labour Ranks

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) describe their Vision as:  A world-class, sustainable transport system that acts as a catalyst for an improved quality of life for all.

SPT is a quango which was established by the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005, (introduced by  the then labour/libdem government), which created Scotland's seven Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs).  SPT comprises of 20 councillor members representing the 12 constituent unitary authorities in the West of Scotland and between seven and nine appointed members.

When I visit the west of Scotland I use my own private transport so I have no idea if public transport has improved since the conception of SPT - it may well have done.

However, certainly there have been improvements in the SPT, particularly to councillors' expenses and thus their bank accounts.  Two senior officials have been paid almost £30,000 in travel expenses for using their own cars and a FOI enquiry ascertained officials have claimed more than £100,000 in expenses between 2006-2009.

The chairman, Alistair Watson resigned earlier this week, on health grounds, after details of his expenses were revealed.  Ron Culley, the Chief Executive, resigned with effect from today.  Mr Culley, who is seeking early retirement on the grounds of failing health and a desire to spend more time with his young family, has issued this statement.  Vice-chair Davie McLauchlan has also stepped down from his post. Two are labour councillors and Ron Culley is known to have labour connections. 

Audit Scotland said it was considering the complaint against SPT and would decide whether to launch an inquiry within 30 days.  SPT should be investigated by AS.

Some years ago it was decided councillors should be salaried.  The old chestnut of the electorate getting a better quality of councillor was churned out.  I certainly haven't seen any difference in the quality of councillors in my area but I am aware many regard their position first and foremost as a job. They don't regard themselves as public servants but public workers.



Quiet_Man said...

Seems like paying them a salary simply increased their greed. Same with all politicians, though Labour do seem to excel in dipping into the public purse.

Unknown said...

Why didn't they use the public transport they represent to get about? Wasters - good riddance

Andrew said...

Don't think Ron Culley is a Labour Councillor (where?), but he is certainly, as Alex Neil said, part of the Labour mafia in Gasgow.

Hythlodaeus said...

I was living in Glasgow from 2004 to 2009, and in SPT's defence, public transport certainly didn't get much worse (with the exception of those robbing buggers at FirstBus). The subway service probably got better, with longer running hours.

Still, the entire thing clearly needs to be torn up and started again. See if that will shift the culture of claims out of there.

G Laird said...


You should amend your post Watson and McLachlan are Labour Councillors.

Culley was a former Labour PPC.

I don't think he is a councillor anywhere.

So much sickness in the SPT, have they had the swine flu jab?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Jess The Dog said...

SPT - I believe they operate the only Metro system in Europe that has not been extended in the last 30 years.

Transport in Scotland and Britain is utter rubbish, a generation behind best practice on the continent, and it doesn't take a study trip to learn that lesson!

On the plus side, some good transport programmes in the pipeline and recent improvements - mainly rail, with new line (re)openings and Glasgow-Edinburgh improvements. Still far too slow and the main limitation to economic growth and productivity.

subrosa said...

What I wonder is how many more quangos are abusing the taxpayer in this manner QM.

subrosa said...

Can't have that Cosby. They might have to mix with the folk who elected them and get upset at some remarks.

subrosa said...

My info was wrong then Andrew but as you say he's part of the labour setup in Glasgow.

subrosa said...

Hythlodaeus, this quango didn't seem to get off the ground until 2006 by the looks of it.

I've never heard my Glaswegian friends say there's any improvement in public transport.

subrosa said...

I've heard that is so Jess but also I've seldom heard complaints about the metro.

JRB said...

Councillors - quango - expenses claims – questions – resignations - investigations

…and we are surprised by all this, because?

Such, would now appear to be, sadly, the ‘norm’ at all levels of political life.

subrosa said...

John, I'm not in the least surprised. That's the really sad part of it all. Like you say we accept this behaviour and do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Ill health seems to afflict so many of these public servants, doesn't it?

Terrible, don't you think?

subrosa said...

It is Tris. I think they should undergo a complete medical check, at their own expense, every year.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Rumour has it that Labour introduced salaries for councillors because so many of them were defrauding the incapacity benefits?

However in this instance it would seem the quango involved could claim at least one initiative; namely by refraining from using the system, they lessened the demands put on it.

Of course this was at great expense and also lessened their experience as to its quality or efficiency but is that not the level of devotion and sacrifice we expect from our quango's?

Perhaps this sudden splurge of resignations due to ill health underlines the fact they should never have come off the incapacity benefit but, perhaps, the 'incapacity'should have been certificated to the mental categories.

Slightly off blog here - but it seems our duplicious government has pulled another fast one on us.

Seemingly when the 17.5% VAT rate was dropped to 15%, with no publicity they increased the tax on fuel by 2% to offset the loss on Vat. Now that the Vat is back to 17.5% they have not reduced the tax back to what it was; hence in a large part, the increase in fuel prices we're seeing today.

There is a petition (around 60k have already signed) asking for this anomaly to be corrected - fat chance with these duplicitous bar stewards.

We all know there's worst to come whoever gets elected to the Westminster pimp house - my monies on the Vat rate being increased to 20% the day after the election - but short of full scale revolution my prediction is turnout for this election will fall far short of the
usual 50% who struggle to convince themselves of their vote having some connection to representation and democracy.

I've read the Stack fellows suicide note - he may have been mad - doesn't mean he was wrong.

subrosa said...

Ah, so that could explain it RA, I never heard that rumour. They look quite healthy to me in their photographs.

Now, that was pointed out to me earlier this week about the fuel not being reduced.

I'd agree that VAT will increase.

Stack wasn't wrong in my opinion, just worn out with working for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Oh good one SR.... at their own expense LOL LOL LOL.... as if!

subrosa said...

I can but dream Tris. :)

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