Glasgow ‘deserves better than Labour’s empty promises’

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By a Newsnet reporter

Responding to the Labour claim that the party will rebuild or refurbish every primary school in Glasgow if re-elected in May, SNP group leader in Glasgow Allison Hunter has urged Labour group leader Gordon Matheson to reveal how he would fund this investment programme, and dismissed Mr Matheson’s pledge as another “empty Labour promise”.

Speaking to the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, Mr Matheson dismissed the mass resignation of Glasgow Labour councillors as an attempt to “wreak revenge” by councillors who were disaffected after being deselected by the party.

Mr Matheson used his interview to claim that if re-elected, Labour will rebuild or refurbish every primary school in the city, saying:   “All of the city’s secondary schools and Early Years centres have been dealt with.  But this is unfinished business because there are primary schools which, while they may be excellent schools, the condition of the building is not acceptable.”

Mr Matheson added: “The pledge is that every school which has the need will benefit from a newbuild or a deep refurbishment programme; we are not talking about a lick of paint.”

However Ms Hunter said that Labour had not stated how it proposed to fund this rebuilding programme, and accused Mr Matheson of blatant electioneering ahead of May’s local government elections.  Ms Hunter noted that Labour had not included the costs of this rebuilding and refurbishment programme in the budget which it narrowly managed to pass during Thursday’s dramatic budget meeting.

Ms Hunter said: “The SNP is committed to our young learners and dedicated to ensuring they are learning in the highest quality school buildings.

“Considering the fact Gordon Matheson’s party failed to put forward any relevant amendments to the budget this week how can he expect any credibility in terms of how he runs his finances?  Will he tell us how he plans to fund this investment programme?

“This appears to be blatant electioneering.  There was no suggestion of Labour having this plan prior to last week’s events.

“It is clear Labour is unfit for Glasgow and unfit for purpose, with Councillor Matheson’s leadership increasingly untenable.

“The people of Glasgow deserve better than empty promises from a shambolic Labour party.”