Rachel Stamford

Glasgow city councillors are required to visit cities across the world to learn how to better improve Glasgow's sustainability.

Nearly £270,000 of taxpayers' money has been spent on Glasgow city council accommodation during business trips since 2017.

In 2017, £99,290 was spent on hotels, with the figure increasing to  £110,460 in 2018 and dropping to £59,944 in 2019.

The shortest stay was one night in accommodation while the longest was 12 nights for a humanitarian aid who visited Malawi.

The business trips were supposed to benefit Glasgow city council activity and those who live in the city. 

Since 2004, the Lord Provost's international officer travels to Malawi as part of the Scotland Malawi partnership with other officers. The partnership is supposed to help people access education and healthcare as part of the local authority's commitment to help the people of Malawi. The partnership provides IT equipment, software and technical training to staff in schools, colleges and universities.

However, no elected members have been since 2014 when former Lord Provost Sadie Docherty visited.

Other business trips include ones made on behalf of the licensing committee that travels to various local authorities across the country to establish ways to handle complaints against licensed taxi and private car drivers, and prevent these drivers from taking part in criminal offences. Glasgow city council senior members are also required to visit cities throughout the UK and abroad to learn how they can improve sustainability across Glasgow and discuss environmental issues.

A council spokeswoman said: “Councillors carry out a very important job promoting the city and attracting inward investment as well as prestigious cultural and sporting events.

“As elected members they are Glasgow’s ambassadors, raising the profile of the city at home and abroad.

“This can involve domestic and international travel and associated expenditure, which elected members are reimbursed for carrying out their duties, for the benefit of our citizens and the city.”

A summary of each councillors' expenses and travel expenses for 2019/2020 is available on the council's website.

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