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By Martin Kelly

A Glasgow MSP is demanding answers from Labour controlled Glasgow City Council (GCC) after it emerged the authority did not submit a bid for school build funding to the Scottish Futures Trust.

Glasgow SNP MSP Bob Doris said he was “seriously concerned” that the local authority did not bid in the latest round of funding despite being formally invited to do so in February.

Labour run GCC instead submitted one ‘variant bid’ for a project the council was already committed to.

The SFT is currently completing plans for allocating funding to local authorities as part of the third phase of the £1.25bn scheme to replace schools in disrepair.

Mr Doris was alerted to the situation after receiving a query from Wyndford and District Community Council who were seeking the re-introduction of a primary school in their area.  The MSP immediately contacted Glasgow Council asking what bids it had made to the SFT.

Mr Doris said:

“I am seriously concerned that there was no single school bid from Glasgow City Council to the latest round of SFT funding.

“Every council was asked in February to prepare bids for submission by the July deadline.  This is a huge allocation of money and local authorities across Scotland will be climbing over each other to get at the cash.

“Labour’s school closure programme in 2009 is still fresh in the minds of many of my constituents, especially those have had to send their kids out of their communities to go to school.

“Between February and July this year, instead of working hard to prepare funding bids for new Glasgow Schools, Labour councillors were working on their manifesto for the council elections which promised to replace or refurbish every Primary school in Glasgow.  The electorate now have to hold them to account on this.

“The SNP is ambitious about school building.  We built more schools in our first four years in office than the last administration managed in eight years.  But the Scottish Government’s ambition needs to be matched by local authorities.”

The SFT not-for-profit public procurement model was introduced by the SNP in 2008 to replace the discredited and expensive Private Finance Initiative (PFI).  The SFT announced savings to the taxpayer of £129 million in 2010/11 which prompted a third phase of funding for up to 12 extra new schools across Scotland.

All of Scotland’s local authorities were contacted in February this year inviting them to enter bids to the SFT’s for funding for schools in their own area.

Responding to Mr Doris’s query, Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education at GCC said:

“Officers have been tasked with bringing forward a programme of prioritised investment for the Council’s consideration in the Autumn of this year.  This investment programme will not only need to take cognisance of the condition and suitability of the existing education estate but also reflect the population growth and demand for school places predicted over the next 10 years.”

Ms McKenna added: “Given the timescales I have outlined for bringing forward investment proposals for the Council’s consideration, Autumn of this year, this did not reconcile with the timescales for Glasgow submitting a single school bid for Phase 3 SFT funding.”

Glasgow SNP Education Spokesperson, Cllr Mhairi Hunter added:

“I welcome each and every opportunity to improve Glasgow’s schools and I hope that the ‘variant bid’ the Council has submitted will succeed.  But I’m disappointed the Labour administration did not seize the chance to bid for new school builds.  Could they really not think of any school that was suitable for a like-for-like replacement?

“The people of Glasgow are entitled to their fair share of this money. In the current financial climate every chance to secure additional funding for our city is vital and should be grasped – especially when the administration has made such a firm commitment to renew the whole primary school estate.”


# brusque 2012-08-24 15:18
This is a National disgrace!

If the mainstream media fail to report this, they will be denying the people of Glasgow an opportunity to petition their Council Members for a very good reason for their failure.

When are these people ever going to put the needs of Glasgow and its' citizens, before their own?
# bagonails 2012-08-24 15:28
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2012-08-24 16:53
Not a chance. Don't be daft.
# call me dave 2012-08-24 18:15
Why did Glasgow SNP Education Spokesperson, Cllr Mhairi Hunter not know, or was up to speed, about the Labour Administration's intention not to apply for funding from the SFT.

To learn from a community council source that it was not going to happen seems odd to me.

Anyhow the fact that the Labour administration is still hell bent in doing anything it can to avoid an SNP initiative will surprise no-one on this site.

Pity that some of the public in Glasgow are not aware of what is going on or are of a similar persuasion to the labour party.

Still there will be another vote soon and we can only hope for a little movement in our direction.
# rgi50 2012-08-24 18:23
If it wasn't for newsnet i would never hear about this. This is a disgrace.
# mackdee 2012-08-24 18:40
10 years ago i finished my studies at a Glasgow school, it should of been knocked down ten years previous, under Labour it will still be there in another 10 years.

Wasnt all bad, we got alot of free days off due the school flooding because of old plumbing, broken boilers, big bastarding holes in the roof ect ect ect...AHHH The good old days.
# Davy 2012-08-24 18:45
Dont worry about it folks, they have an excellent excuse they are all to busy getting ready to campaign with the tories this weekend on the better-together roadshows.

Good old Jim Murphy has finally reappeared on the "labour hame" site with all his excuses for doing this, and my favorite is his "In this debate I am not and never have been a unionist ???". Methinks he does protest to much, I reckon their moderators will have their fingers on delete all night, a bittie like the Glasgow labour council does with its bids to the "Schools futures trust".

Glasgow you deserve better, Vote YES, Vote Scotland, Vote for your future not labours.
# J Wil 2012-08-24 18:59

It's not just posters on these pages who think the BBC manipulate their street interviews to get their preferred 'public opinions' across.
# Mark 2012-08-24 19:35
Labourhame is back from a long recess and Jim Murphy is telling us why he will be campaigning with Tories:
# bringiton 2012-08-24 20:17
Can someone please explain why an electorate which is mainly social democrat in nature would accept an idea from supposedly social democratic politicians that it is better to have policies imposed on them from a non social democratic government And for an indeteminate amount of time than have a social democratic government in their own country looking after their interests ?
I don't get it.
# Rafiki 2012-08-24 19:47
OT Anyone notice that BBC 6.30 news trivialised Alex Salmond's appearance by showing clips from the Festival; they did manage a sentence or three from Gordon Brown at another venue.
# call me dave 2012-08-24 19:59
Yes it was a very carefully controlled report.

I said to my better together half that Brown got to say his peace and then 'The First Eck' was asked to comment on that. We never heard anything of 'The First Eck's speech AND immediately cut to the festival and three dancers singing something about (and I kid you not)
'Lies' 'Lies' 'Lies'.

Yes that is what they were singing. Coincidence my ar@e.

Good old Glen and the BBC.
# call me dave 2012-08-24 20:23
Better news:

Independence no issue for Diageo
The boss of drinks giant Diageo says Scottish independence would make "no difference" to any decision on investing in the country.
# xyz 2012-08-24 21:07
Report here:

Sometimes even the BBC can't avoid the truth about independence.
# xyz 2012-08-24 20:47
It's incredible . why are they not being held to account? .. I did not see this particular report but I've witnessed this kind of editing on many occasions.
# Barontorc 2012-08-25 08:24
Salmond nails them in this morning's NNS lead article - "The First Minister has told an audience of television producers and executives that Scottish viewers and producers are being failed by out-dated Westminster attitudes.... “

“If Scotland votes to become independent, said the SNP leader, the plan will be to create a Scottish national broadcaster, "based on the existing staff an assets of BBC Scotland".

"Further details on how that broadcaster would operate and its continuing relationship with the BBC will be published next year," the First Minister added."

Many BBC Jockland jobs are on shoogly nails!
# Robabody 2012-08-25 08:38
Correct CMD, that was exactly what happened and I had the same reaction to it as you.

The BBC at their twisted best.

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