MSP Warns Against Return of Monklandsgate
Airdrie and Shotts MSP Alex Neil has called for an enquiry into the running of North Lanarkshire Leisure, an offshoot of North Lanarkshire Council.
Mr Neil said information supplied under a recent Freedom of Information request plus other information which he has been obtained has revealed that:
• There are allegations of cronyism in the recruitment of staff at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre. For example one Duty Manager’s son, daughter and niece are all employed within the Centre and the Facility Manager’s wife and niece are also employed by NL Leisure
• There are also allegations of cronyism in relation to the allocation of overtime hours worked in the Ravenscraig Centre. While some employees got over 320 hours of overtime in the latest 12 month period for which figures are available, others have had as little as two hours overtime
• Casual workers are getting paid much more per hour than full-time staff, costing the taxpayer an estimated £89,000 a year
• There are allegations of victimisation against those who complain against management practises. For example one employee worker’s father has been banned from all NL Leisure premises for trying to blow the whistle on what’s going on at the Ravenscraig Centre
• There are allegations that at least one casual worker has been used to provide senior members of staff with Spanish lessons on the Ravenscraig Centre premises when he was being paid to work, with another worker being paid to cover for him
• There are allegations of vacancies being filled without first being advertised, contrary to NL Leisure’s own policies and procedures
Mr Neil said “If any of these allegations are true it signals the return of Monklandsgate to Council run facilities in North Lanarkshire, which is totally unacceptable.
“There has to be an immediate, independent enquiry into the running of this organisation and any mal-practise stamped out as a matter of urgency.
“If this is being allowed to happen at an arms length agency of the Council it begs the question of whether there is still cronyism and mal-practise taking place in the Council itself.”