Provost un­der pres­sure over £8,000 claim for clothes

● Ex­penses show Eva Bolan­der spent more than £8,000 in her first two years

The Scotsman - - FRONT PAGE - By GINA DAVID­SON

The Lord Provost of Glas­gow faces calls to re­sign and pay back thou­sands of pounds’ worth of ex­penses she has claimed, af­ter it emerged she spent more than £8,000 of pub­lic money on cloth­ing and beauty prod­ucts in two years.

Eva Bolan­der’s ex­penses in­cluded 23 pairs of shoes, six jack­ets, five coats, un­der­wear, hair­cuts and nail treat­ments since be­ing elected to the post in 2017.

The rev­e­la­tions come as Glas­gow City Coun­cil bat­tles to make cuts of £40 mil­lion, rais­ing coun­cil tax, re­duc­ing bin col­lec­tions and mak­ing coun­cil staff re­dun­dant. It is also fac­ing le­gal ac­tion af­ter be­ing ac­cused of deny­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion to the home­less.

The Lord Provost of Glas­gow faces calls to re­sign and pay back thou­sands of pounds’ worth of ex­penses she has claimed.

Op­po­si­tion politi­cians lined up to crit­i­cise the city’s cer­e­mo­nial leader af­ter it emerged she spent more than £8,000 of pub­lic money on cloth­ing and beauty prod­ucts in two years.

Ev­abolan­der­bought23­pairs of shoes, six jack­ets, five coats, un­der­wear, hair­cuts and nail treat­ments since be­ing elected to the post in 2017.

The SNP coun­cil­lor also re­port­edly spent £500 in one shop­ping trip to John Lewis, a spree which was de­nounced as be­ing “far more than a worker on na­tional min­i­mum wage earns in a week”.

The rev­e­la­tions come as Glas­gow City Coun­cil bat­tles to make cuts of £40 mil­lion across all ser­vices, rais­ing coun­cil tax, re­duc­ing bin col­lec­tions and mak­ing coun­cil staff re­dun­dant. It is also fac­ing le­gal ac­tion af­ter be­ing ac­cused of il­le­gally deny­ing tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion to the home­less.

Be­tween May 2017 and Au­gust 2019, it is re­ported Ms Bolan­der claimed £1,150 for 23 pairs of shoes, £665 for five coats, up to £374 for six jack­ets and nearly £415 for eight pairs of trousers.

The tax­payer was also charged £389 for two sets of Har­ris Tweed fabric and £992 for 14 dresses, £435 for seven blaz­ers, £143 for four skirts and uniden­ti­fi­able items cost £824.

Her pre­de­ces­sor, Sadie Docherty, made no charge on the pub­lic purse be­tween May 2015 and May 2017 but she has claimed for more than 150 items to­talling £8,224.

Scot­tish Labour MSP James Kelly, who rep­re­sents Glas­gow on the re­gional list, said: “While ser­vices for home­less peo­ple across Glas­gow are be­ing cut, the SNP Lord Provost has been tour­ing the city in a grotesque spend­ing spree at the tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense.

“In­ju­s­tonetrip­to­john­lewis she spent far more on her­self than what a worker be­ing paid the na­tional min­i­mum wage earns in a whole week. Eva Bolan­der should pay back the money and re­sign.”

An­nie Wells, who rep­re­sents Glas­gowasas­cot­tish­con­ser­va­tive list MSP, added: “For any politi­cian to think they can claim some­thing like this on ex­penses is a joke. These rev­e­la­tions show a pat­tern of be­hav­iour which will be com­pletely un­ac­cept­able to coun­cil tax pay­ers in Glas­gow.

“She must now do the right thing and stand down – there’s sim­ply no way she can con­tinue in this se­nior role af­ter these re­ports. She also owes the peo­ple of Glas­gow an almighty apol­ogy.”

How­ever, she was de­fended by Glas­gow coun­cil leader Su­san Aik­man, who said there was al­ways an “ad­di­tional cost to be­ing civic leader”.

A coun­cil spokesman said: “The na­tional com­mit­tee that over­sees coun­cil­lors’ pay recog­nises that the re­quire­ment to rep­re­sent their city at hun­dreds of events means Lord Provosts of­ten in­cur per­sonal ex­penses.

“For that rea­son, the Scot­tish Govern­ment al­lo­cates a civic al­lowance to each. For Glas­gow this is sub­ject to a yearly max­i­mum of £5,000.”

0 Op­po­si­tion politi­cians lined up to crit­i­cise Eva Bolan­der who was elected to the post of Glas­gow’s Lord Provost in 2017

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