I'm all in favour of Glasgow presenting itself positively on the world stage, but you've got to laugh at this report by Paul Hutcheon in The Sunday Herald which shines a light on a ridiculous recent 'junket' to Cannes in the south of France.
I don't always agree with local trade union reps, as regular readers know, although I do think that the Unison branch secretary (Brian Smith) rather hit the nail on the head with his pithy comment - "Did so many people have to go?"
Of course not, is the honest answer.
Because if the Council leader's presence was deemed to be justified why does another senior councillor have to tag along?
Likewise if the Director of Property Services was required to advise the Council leader, why did his assistant have to be away from his desk as well?
And as someone who travels to Europe on a regular basis, I can honestly say I've never paid anywhere remotely near £1,000 for a return flight.
What does this say about the City Council's priorities to those still fighting for justice when it comes to equal pay?
After swingeing cuts Glasgow council spent £17,000 sending team of 12 to Cannes
BY Paul Hutcheon - The Herald
GLASGOW City Council spent nearly £17,000 sending a dozen people to the French Riviera at the same time as making severe budget cuts.
Labour leader Frank McAveety and his aide Bob Wylie were part a dozen-strong team promoting Glasgow at a property event in Cannes.
Brian Smith, a branch secretary of Unison in Glasgow, said: “Did so many people have to go?”
The council and its arms-length bodies have been at odds with trade unions this year over budgetary decisions. Janitors took industrial action in the spring amid a pay dispute and IT staff went on strike this month in protest over fears of privatisation.
However, while McAveety has defended the administration’s savings plan, his council’s commitment to belt-tightening has been questioned.
In March, the same month as the walk-out by janitors, it was reported by the Evening Times that the council would, within days, be sending six people to the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, a city synonymous with the rich and famous. The trip took place just days after the Labour-run council pushed through a budget involving £58 million in cuts and savings in the current financial year.
But a detailed breakdown of costs reveals the council paid for twelve people to visit the sun-kissed location, rather than six.
McAveety and his political ally George Redmond were the only councillors in Cannes, and hotels and flights for the pair cost the public purse around £2,022.