Thursday, 7 June 2018

Gifts, Ghosts and Equal Pay

Glasgow City Council has got itself into habit of pickle over the mysterious gift of a £235,000 Rolls Royce - and here's a great photo from the Evening Times with the Lord Provost proudly posing outside Glasgow City Chambers with her glamorous new set of wheels.

Apparently, the personalised licence plate - GO - is worth even more than the 'Roller' itself, but the top-secret nature of the donation has caused a big stir in the newspapers and social media, as you can imagine.

Now what I don't understand is why the Council doesn't just sell the Rolls Royce and its fancy number plate and put the money into a special account aimed at meeting its obligations over equal pay.

A terrible 'own goal' on the Council's part, if you ask me.

Council accepts top-secret gift of £235K Rolls Royce for Lord Provost

By Stewart Paterson and Alan Ferguson

A LUXURY Rolls Royce has been gifted to Glasgow City Council from an anonymous benefactor.

The council has accepted a two-year-old black Rolls Royce Ghost to drive Lord Provost Eva Bolander to official events and for visiting VIPs.

But the council is refusing to reveal who gifted the luxury car and opposition councillors are demanding transparency over the gift.

Lord Provost Eva Bolander 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.”

The council says it will replace one of its Volkswagen Phaetons that was due to have its lease renewed and it will save money.

The 6.6L car would cost around £235,305 brand new and has high fuel consumption.

At 15 miles per gallon, one gallon of petrol would hardly get the Lord Provost from one side of Glasgow to another. From Clydebank to Baillieston is 14 miles.

Labour, Conservative and Green councillors said the gift and the donor should be declared openly.

Labour group leader, Frank McAveety said: “The council said it would be open and transparent, but the people of Glasgow would like to know where it has come from.”

Conservative councillor, Thomas Kerr, said: “It’s ridiculous - doubling up early years, introducing swimming charges and the Lord Provost’s driving around in a Rolls Royce.

“Serious questions need to be asked. Why is no one telling us where it has come from?

“I think a lot of working parents and families will think this is a slap in the face to them.”

Jon Molyneux, Green councillor, said “It would be great to move beyond a culture that thinks gas-guzzling status symbols are necessary to show off our city to guests, when there are clearly more sustainable and more appropriate alternatives.

“However, what will concern citizens most is the anonymous nature of this elite-level gift. In an era when people rightly expect full transparency it would clearly be better if the donor made their identity public.”

The Council’s policy on acceptance of gifts for employees states: “Employees should notify a member of their Service leadership team, or nominated authorising officer of all offers, whether accepted, declined or used for charitable purpose. This must be recorded in the Gift and Hospitality register within 7 days of the offer.”

The ghost is a car favoured by the rich and famous who have a taste for the flamboyant lifestyle. American rappers including Ice-T and The Game are owners. Rod Stewart, J-lo, Puff Daddy, and boxer Floyd (Money) Mayweather are all owners.

*Rolls Royce Ghost 0-60 in under five seconds. Could hit 60mph by the time it leaves George Square.

*Top speed of 155mph although it will of course never be driven at that speed.

*Co2 emissions 327mg/km. For comparison BMW 5–124mg/km Fiat 500 110mg/km

*Fuel consumption 15mpg.