'Dickensian' council criticised over anonymous Rolls-Royce car donation

An MP has criticised a "Dickensian" council for accepting an anonymous donation of a Rolls-Royce for use as the Lord Provost's car.

Glasgow City Council said the Rolls-Royce Ghost will replace one of the council's Volkswagen Phaetons that was due to have its lease renewed and expects the move will save the city money.

The car, which bears the council's unique 'G0' number-plate, will be used by the Lord Provost and other city representatives for appropriate civic duties as well as VIPs requiring transportation.

It comes as the council prepares to increase nursery fees by 57%, sparking outrage among affected parents.

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Labour MP Paul Sweeney suggested the car should be auctioned to offset such costs.

He tweeted: "It's Dickensian to have the Lord Provost of Glasgow swanning around in a new 8 mpg chauffeur driven Rolls Royce while local council services are cut by SNP austerity.

"Nursery fees doubled and free swimming for kids the latest cuts. Auction it off to fund services for Glaswegians."

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said its chief executive had carried out checks on the donation and found no conflict of interest.

He said: "It's important to remember this is a donation which has not cost the council anything and in fact will save money.

"It would clearly not be appropriate to buy a car such as this but having received it as a donation there will be occasions when it is appropriate to use it."

He added: "When the donation was offered, it was made clear the donor wished to remain anonymous.

"The chief executive of the council personally carried out a diligence exercise; looking into the donation and donor.

"She was of the view that there was no conflict and that it was to the city's benefit to accept the gift. On that basis, she was content to agree to the donor's request for anonymity."

Local councillors voiced their concerns on twitter.

Labour councillor Eva Murray tweeted: "Kids & pensioners have had their free swimming removed & childcare costs have been doubled in our city but everyone, it's all good, we've accepted a car that costs £235K, is awful for the environment & won't even say who's donating it.

"You couldn't make it up."

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Conservative councillor Thomas Kerr tweeted: "When the civic head of GCC is donated a car worth more than £230,000, it is expected that the source of that donation is declared.

"We need real transparency over this and for the source of this donation to be publicly declared."

Receiving the car on Tuesday, 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."