Latest Public Sector News


MPs say Glasgow council asleep at wheel for accepting mystery Rolls-Royce gift during austerity

Scotland’s largest local authority has been criticised for accepting an anonymous donation of a Rolls-Royce for use of Lord Provost Eva Bolander.

The donation of the two-year-old Rolls-Royce Ghost— which will replace one of Glasgow City Council’s Volkswagen Phaetons that was due to have its lease renewed— will be used to transport the Lord Provost and other city representatives for civic duties, as well as VIPs.

But MPs have publicly condemned the move, with one Labour member claiming the donation was ‘Dickensian’ to be using the vehicle whilst the city is going through austerity.

Labour MP Paul Sweeney tweeted: “It's Dickensian to have the Lord Provost of Glasgow swanning around in a new 8mpg chauffeur driven Rolls Royce while local council services are cut by SNP austerity.

“Nursery fees doubled and free swimming for kids the latest cuts [sic]. Auction it off to fund services for Glaswegians.”

But leader of Glasgow Council Susan Aitken defended the gift, tweeting: “a) this is a civic gift by a philanthropic donor. No one in the administration had any involvement & won’t be using the car b) no additional public money has or will be spent c) I understand it was a Labour Cllr who facilitated the donation.”

Aitken added a philanthropic donor is “fairly common” and their wishes to be kept anonymous have been fulfilled:

Conservative councillor Thomas Kerr tweeted: “When the civic head of GCC is donated a car worth more than £230,000, it is expected that the source of that donation is declared.

“We need real transparency over this and for the source of this donation to be publicly declared.”

Labour councillor Eva Murray argued that “you couldn’t make it up” with children’s services being cut around the area:

The Lord Provost said: “On behalf of the city, I'd like to thank the donor for their civic generosity and philanthropy. I want Glasgow to show its best face to the world and this gift will help us do that.

“It's a show-stopping car and a tremendous asset.”

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

 Image credit: Glasgow City Council


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >