​Labour already treating City Chambers like a hotel - John McLellan

Edinburgh City Chambers, where the alleged rule-breaking party took placeEdinburgh City Chambers, where the alleged rule-breaking party took place
Edinburgh City Chambers, where the alleged rule-breaking party took place
​A couple of weeks ago in this column I floated the idea of selling off the City Chambers to a commercial operator, and it seems the ruling Labour group has already begun treating the place like a hotel.

Although the rules very clearly state that council facilities and resources should not be used for party political purposes, Labour organised a meet and greet for activists to enjoy some booze and nibbles with election candidates and councillors in the Chambers.

All the parties hold Christmas functions in the building, but they are not party political and are usually attended by members of the other groups as a gesture of seasonal goodwill, however hypocritical that may seem.

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And with opinion polls showing Labour set to overtake the SNP at the General Election, it must be the season of goodwill in the council group, because pictured enjoying the fun was Leith councillor Katrina Faccenda, for whom voting with her party has become optional.

But with such a long-standing councillor and experienced leader as Cammy Day, how was such a basic rule about the use of public facilities overlooked? Or did they hope no-one would notice until some dope posted a happy snap on social media?

It appears the only action taken by chief executive Andrew Kerr was to send political group leaders a wee reminder about the rules, but even if backed into a corner, Cllr Day has done the right thing by agreeing to pay for the room use and referring himself to the Standards Commission.

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