“SENIOR COUNCIL SOURCE” – SAVE POLLOK PARK CAMPAIGN COULD BANKRUPT COMMON GOOD FUND

In other news – council claims protesters cause flood, pestilence & global financial crisis COUNCIL COMMON GOOD POLICY MUST CHANGE

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We’re kidding about the flood and pestilence…

…but this is just as nonsensical as the ‘senior council source’ who is quoted by The Herald:

“The stance taken by the campaigners has been overly simplistic and this issue is just another example of how managing successful services is more complex than they want to admit.”

This blatant attempt to shoot the messenger is not only crude but inaccurate. We welcome the following assurance from Cllr Stephen Curran, Executive Member for Service Reform:

“I share your concern at these unfortunate and unattributable comments, which are simply inaccurate with regard to “Save Pollok Park” for whom the phrase “overly simplistic” is wholly inappropriate. Clearly there is a risk to maintaining the current high level of expenditure in Pollok Park and the Common Good Fund if those are not addressed, but they did not preclude its consideration and inclusion as a Common Good Asset and are in no way insurmountable.” “ In my previous role as City Treasurer I introduced a new investment policy on the Common Good that had been developed on a non-partisan and cross-party basis, focussing on appropriate measures to protect the level of the Common Good Fund in future.”

Referring to Common Good assets in general, Cllr Curran says:
“(At the Executive Committee meeting) I also asked and received confirmation that it was “not difficult” to manage Pollok Park effectively as a Common Good asset.” “I added that we support Pollok Park’s inclusion as a Common Good asset and that accounting for this will be an ongoing issue in future, particularly as additional properties may be included on the Common Good Asset Register.”
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Council policy on Common Good must change

The Council would not be in such disarray if they were simply to update the Common Good asset register as required by the Scottish Government. This should have been completed by 31 March 2009.

According to the Chief Executive’s department this would cost £1.3 million to implement. Perhaps a ‘senior council source’ would tell us how this figure has been calculated? It sounds like a lot of money but perhaps it should be put in the context of the £2 million bill for the salaries and expenses of the Chief Officers’ for 2008-9. Details here.

The absence of an up to date register was partly responsible for the wrong advice to councillors about Pollok Park’s status and the eventual downfall of the Go Ape proposal. It will be interesting to see how much that fiasco cost the Council when our FOI request for details of all the expenditure is finally answered. Having failed to provide the data at the first request the Council now has until 9 November to provide this information on appeal.

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…and finally – more news about Go Ape

The website for Friends of Itchen Valley Park reports on Go Ape’s attempts to build a course in a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the local council’s attempts to block the protesters.

Bill Fraser

Save Pollok Park

Tel: 0141-424 0447

Mob: 07775 832 461

Fax: 0141-626 4235

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