Friday, 17 January 2020

Glasgow, Spending and Climate Change

The GMB union has a pop the at the eye-watering costs of hosting a major climate change summit later this year,  making the case that there are far more important things on which to spend 'several hundred million' pounds.

Read the full article in the link below to the Evening Times and decide for yourself.

GMB union calls for Glasgow to call off major COP26 climate change summit

By Catriona Stewart - Evening Times

A UNION has called for Glasgow to "ditch" hosting a major climate change summit later this year saying the city has its "priorities all wrong".

It emerged today that policing costs for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26) will run into "several hundred million pounds".

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for Westminster to honour a pledge to cover the costs that will be incurred by Police Scotland.

But GMB Scotland says the policing costs will "sicken" frontline council staff and said the event should be moved elsewhere.

GMB Scotland Secretary Gary Smith said: "The prospect of hundreds of millions of pounds of public money spent on policing costs alone will sicken frontline council staff and struggling local communities.

“The world’s political elite will fly in and out of Glasgow later in the year but the city’s many challenges will remain the day after the circus leave town.

“What exactly are we hoping to showcase by hosting this summit?

“Glasgow waste crisis is getting worse – you only need to look at the latest footage of the conditions facing cleansing workers on a daily basis.

“Our home carers are working alone on foot at night to provide basic home care help for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

“The council needs to find an additional £250 million to settle residual equal pay claims for tens of thousands of council staff past and present.

“It also needs to replace its discriminatory WPBR with a new job evaluation system lifts up the pay and conditions of chronically low-paid staff."

An estimated 90,000 people, including around 200 world leaders, will attend the UN’s COP26 summit over 12 days in November.

A report by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) estimates security costs for the event could run to "several hundred million pounds".

The Scottish Government has maintained the bill should be footed by the UK Government, which is hosting the event.

Ms Sturgeon said she welcomes the fact the event is being held in Scotland, but discussions will need to be held over the costs involved.

She earlier told Radio Clyde News: "The UK Government has committed to meeting the policing and other costs and it’s important that they honour that commitment in full, and the Scottish Government will be looking forward to productive discussions to make sure that’s the case."

But Mr Smith added: “Our priorities are all wrong.

"The best thing government could do for Glasgow is to ditch hosting the COP and instead invest the money in dealing with the state of the city.”

A Glasgow City Council said: “Climate change is the biggest issue of our times and any suggestion it should not be considered a priority is extraordinary.

“The simple fact is that COP is of huge significance, both locally and globally.

"Hosting the event presents major opportunities for Glasgow, its communities and the local economy.”