MSP takes aim at council’s ‘secret deals’

The MSP has questioned the council's use of private meetings
The MSP has questioned the council's use of private meetings

MSP Rona Mackay has sent a Freedom of Information request to East Dunbartonshire Council after receiving no response to enquiries she has made relating to Betfred bookmakers in Lennoxtown.

Ms Mackay was concerned that a discussion and decision was made in private at the last council meeting in June. Five years ago, the council agreed to underwrite any loss of profits Betfred incurred during a property deal.

The council also paid £140,000 to refurbish new premises for Betfred in a former housing office.

Ms Mackay said: “There should be transparency over this matter. This issue was discussed in public five years ago and I believe it is very much in the public’s interest to know if a large sum of public money is involved at a time when the council is trying to cut terms and conditions of front line workers and vital services are being cut.

“Why the secrecy? I very much regret having to issue an FOI but I have written to the Council’s Legal Director Karen Donnelly on three occasions and have not even received the basic courtesy of an acknowledgment to my enquiries.

“The council now have 20 days to reply – if they do not I will be reporting the local authority to the Information Commissioner.”