SNP Raise Concerns Over Convener's Conflicts of Interest
Saturday, 09 October 2010 09:53
The SNP’s spokesperson on Economic Development, Councillor Angus MacDonald has raised concerns at this week’s Full Council meeting regarding the suitability of Cllr Adrian Mahoney as the Convener of Falkirk Council’s Economic Strategy & Development Committee following recent declarations of interest which show he has had business dealings with the two main bodies that deliver business support for Falkirk Council.
At the most recent Economic Strategy & Development meetings Cllr Mahoney has had to vacate the chair due to business interests with Scottish Enterprise and Falkirk for Business.
Raising his concerns to Full Council, Cllr MacDonald said:
“The SNP group has concerns that the Convener of Economic Strategy & Development, Cllr Adrian Mahoney, had to declare an interest in agenda item ESD 17 which was a Scottish Parliament consultation on the review of enterprise networks, as Cllr Mahoney had a contract through his private business with Scottish Enterprise.
“This follows on from a similar declaration of interest which Councillor Mahoney had to declare at the April ES&D Committee meeting (Item ESD5 – Business Support Update on Falkirk for Business/ FEAT) as he had provided business services to FEAT in financial year 2008/9.
The Convener had to excuse himself from the chair on both occasions
Councillor MacDonald continued:
“There are two main areas of concern to me:
i) the fact that an elected member of the ruling administration is securing contracts from a body that is heavily funded by Falkirk Council
ii) the Convener has close financial ties with the two bodies that Falkirk Council’s Economic Development section works closely with to deliver business support and the business gateway
“I would say there is a clear conflict of interest which I am calling on the Labour/Tory/Independent administration to address. While we are all trying to create a positive and welcoming climate to encourage enterprise and inward investment into Falkirk district, particularly as we drag ourselves out of the aftermath of Labour’s recession, there are doubts over the propriety of the Convener’s business interests, which are clear conflicts of interest that would not be permitted in other forums.
“To avoid a perception of impropriety hanging over the Council, should the Convener of Economic Strategy and Development not consider his position?”