It’s a while since we’ve taken a look at how Glasgow City Council is getting on with implementing the ruling Labour group’s 100 manifesto promises. Recently I’ve been focused on number 55, the pledge to revamp George Square, with the Tumblr blog that Dave and I set up, Nicer Than George Square. Pop over if you’ve not seen it yet, it’s getting quite a bit of attention – even STV wrote about it!
But there was much more to the manifesto than just George Square. For example, what about the pledge to “make Glasgow a wireless city, providing a free wireless network across the city”? That would be bloody brilliant. Of course, it will take time, so I don’t imagine they’ve started laying cable or installing modems or whatever it is they actually need to do. But presumably somebody somewhere has been charged with making it happen.
To find out, I took another heroic dive into the Council’s papers. Because I totally know how to rock a Saturday night. The minutes of the last full Council meeting on 28th June STILL haven’t been published, so that’s no help.
Instead, I had a look to see what Committees had met since 1st July, when I last ferreted about on the Council webpage. The handy Council diary told me that the Personnel Appeals Committee had met five times since then, but that absolutely nothing else had happened.
Things seem to gear up again in August, with a cavalcade of committee meetings taking place. The Regeneration and the Economy Committee meets on 21st August and looks like the best bet for dealing with the free wireless project, so I’ll check out their papers when they’re published.
In the meantime, I had a peek at the Personnel Appeals Committee’s papers, since it’s the only show in town at the moment. It seems to be by far the most active Committee, dealing with grievances and appeals against dismissal and disciplinary decisions. I appreciate that Glasgow City Council has many staff, so perhaps it’s not that surprising that there are a lot of these appeals, but is this really the best use of Councillors’ time? Couldn’t the paid staff deal with these issues? In my work, which is a charity, managers of increasing seniority deal with hearings, appeals and so on, but we’d never bring the Board in, which is basically what’s happening at the Council. Is this normal, or a bit silly?