Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow’s Lend/Lease plan wins approval

No need to go into any real detail since I went over this one when it was proposed.

There might have been more of a story had the proposal NOT been adopted – it would almost have been worth the disaster to see just how those who might have opposed the plan were able to ‘magic’ up some £550 million out of thin air.

Then again, as with all such things, those who create such problems are seldom the ones who then have to find a solution – they just sit smugly on the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that they’re not responsible for fixing problems they create.

So, the list of properties was announced, and under the proposals the following venues would be transferred to the City Property portfolio:

  • Emirates Arena
  • Riverside Museum
  • SEC Armadillo
  • Scotstoun Leisure Centre
  • Tollcross International Swimming Centre
  • Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
  • Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  • City Halls
  • Toryglen Football Centre
  • Gorbals Leisure Centre
  • Bellahouston Leisure Centre

Equal pay deal: Glasgow City Council approves £548m ‘remortgage’ plan

While the plan will see Glasgow bear the cost of this pay deal (not the current council’s fault, but a legacy from its lovely predecessor – the one that made so many Glaswegians refer to the council as a ‘Bunch of crooks’), it does mean that it will only (sorry for using the word ‘only’) have to find a relatively small amount every year, although the net result is that it will be paying for longer, so the total bill over the period will be greater (than if it had been able to manage a quicker plan).

At a meeting on Thursday, city leader Susan Aitken said this would be one of the most significant issues councillors would ever have to consider.

She said: “I’m delighted to have won backing for a deal that finally delivers pay justice for thousands of women in our workforce.

“When I became council leader in 2017, I promised I’d bring to an end more than a decade of inaction on equal pay.

“A year ago, we began negotiations and, today, the council formally agreed a plan to pay women at Glasgow City Council what they are owed.

“That starts to put right a wrong that has damaged the council, its workforce and the city for too long.

“I want to thank the women for their determination; their dedication to the city and its people, and for trusting me to deliver what they have always deserved.”

Also among the building that the council expects to become part of the City Property portfolio are Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Tollcross International Swimming Centre, City Halls, Toryglen Football Centre, Gorbals Leisure Centre and Bellahouston Leisure Centre.

The council said it would still be managing the venues and that visitors would see no day-to-day changes.

Glasgow ‘to sell’ concert hall to pay £500m equal pay bill

It’s just a shame the bill can’t be handed to the ones responsible for us being where we are today.

They have effectively walked off laughing into the sunset – and played a ‘Get out of jail for free’ card.

Funny thing…

The only place on that list which I have been in is Riverside! (Even with a fence around it.)

Riverside Fenced

Riverside Fenced

Now enjoy the moron’s take on this deal

Fortunately, I seldom assign anything a political ‘colour’ but, as expected, the morons that live under the stones of The Scotsman’s Moron Comment section leapt into full ‘ignorant’ mode later, and if you want a good laugh, then I recommend having a look through their truly brilliant reinterpretations of how this sort of deal works, matched only be their complete and utter ignorance of where the need to find this money arose in the first place

Glasgow Council to sell key assets before leasing them back in £500m remortgaging deal

That’ll be me at the front, with one of those commenters behind me.

Sad and Happy

Sad and Happy

09/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Pay deal could see Glasgow City Council adopt leaseback option for properties

While the old fogies will no doubt be up in arms and having strokes, palpitations, and panic attacks, we live in a different world from that of two or three generations ago, and it’s refreshing to see Glasgow City Council is not entrenched in the dead-end thinking it suffered from in the past. Then, it was almost frightening to look in the papers (yes, newspapers) and see the next ‘Tale of the Unbelievable’.

It may come as a surprise to some, but money doesn’t actually grow on trees, nor can it be magicked up out of thin air by consulting the latest Harry Potter novel.

On top of whatever else ‘new money’ the council has to come up with – cough cough Winter Garden cough cough – there’s now something in the order of £550 million to settle a pay deal extorted by threats of strike action (oh don’t be so childish – call it what it is!).

There’s money in property, but it needs thought to realise it as negotiable funds.

If you own it, like a spare house or second home, you can sell it – but that doesn’t work if it’s your only property, and you want to live in it.

If you need to keep it, then you need to sell it and agree terms to live in it. That way you get a pot, can ‘enjoy’ the benefits, and just toss a few pennies at the new owner.

This has been done on the Continent for years, and there have been some famous tales reported in the media where an older person has had the last laugh on the ‘buyer’. Instead of ‘popping their clogs’ after a few years, they’ve lived to a really ripe old age, and the buyer can’t increase the charge they make to let the old soul live in the property, evict them, or end the deal, which has no limit and only matures when the person dies.

An equal pay deal costing Glasgow City Council more than £500 million could be funded by selling some its most popular venues to an arm’s-length company.

The deal in principle came after thousands of council workers walked out on a 48-hour strike in October to settle the long-running dispute over women’s pay.

On Friday, the local authority published a report to go before members of the City Administration Committee next week, which stated the settlement will cost an anticipated £548 million.

City Property Glasgow Investments LLP (CPGI) was requested by the council to consider what capital could be realised from the property assets of both parties.

The proposals include “the option of sale and leaseback of certain council operational properties”, meaning the company would acquire sites such as the Riverside Museum, SEC Armadillo and Emirates Arena.

Council leader Susan Aitken said: “I’ve always been clear that, although settling equal pay has been about delivering justice for thousands of the women in our workforce, meeting the substantial cost of doing that must be fair for citizens.

“Releasing the potential of our property, while keeping it in the city’s ownership, protects services and the future of these valued assets.”

Long-term loans will fund CPGI’s purchases, with the council’s lease payments meeting the borrowing cost.

The paper will go before the committee on Thursday February 6 as discussions continue with potential funders.

Glasgow council considers selling venues to fund equal pay deal

There could be fun to come as this is considered.

And it’s already started, if you’re prepared to offend your eyes and take at look at the sad drivel which appeared in the usual Scotsman’s Moron Comment section after the article.

If Lend/Lease was good enough for World War II, then… 😉

If you would prefer not to have your eyeballs and brain assaulted by seeing any of the moronic comments after The Scotsman article, follow this alternative link…

Glasgow venues may be ‘sold’ to fund equal pay deal



02/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Friendly Glasgow sign

One of those irritating pics as I can’t quite recall exactly where it is.

I’m pretty sure it’s a slightly obscure side or back street around Parkhead, where quite a few business are ever so slightly ticked off on match days at a nearby football ground, when ‘fans’ park their cars on any bit of ground not protected by yellow paint – and the wealthy ones just ignore that anyway.

Rather than try ‘polite’ requests to protect their ground and property, many owners have resorted to the simple expedient of earth barriers or mounds around the perimeter. A foot or two high (less than a metre, or enough to beach a 4×4 or SUV that might try to drive over) and these  blocks most vehicles, and makes it hard for anyone not invited onto the land to argue that they didn’t realise they were somewhere they were not invited to be.

Others, and property agents, have recently added metal fences and gates to secure what many may see simply as ‘spare ground’.

Private property towing sign

Private property towing sign

02/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Inverlair Lodge for sale


Inverlair Lodge

Inverlair Lodge via The Unmutual Web Site

Inverlair Lodge is one our more interesting subjects, having taken part in the secret training operations carried out in the isolation of Scotland during World War II. This past history was to become the inspiration for the 1960 television series, The Prisoner.

If you have a spare £1 million (at least) or so, then Inverlair Lodge, and its surrounding estate could be yours. Details of the lodge and the sale can be found in the related pdf document, which has some excellent pictures and details of the site.

Sadly, the brochure also contains the following carefully worded myth, no doubt added with an eye on raising the profile of the lodge and possibly boosting its desirability and price:

It is reputed that Rudolph Hess, Deputy Leader of the Nazi Party was imprisoned in Inverlair following his crash landing near Glasgow in May 1941 on his secret mission to Britain.

Take it from your scribe, the chance of Rudolf Hess ever having been anywhere near the house are as remote as a summer without rain in Scotland. You’ll find a short itinerary of his visit to Scotland, together with the dates and places he is known to have been moved to and been held at, on our Rudolf Hess Flight page. Quite why anyone would have moved him there and back given the remoteness of the location and travel time involved is one mystery, while the other would be where they would have found the time anyway, between his arrival and fairly rapid despatch to London.

In 1941, the lodge was requisitioned and became one of the facilities operated by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II, and was known as No.6 Special Workshop School, part Inter Services Research Bureau (ISRB),

SOE (and SIS or MI6) planned many secret operations in enemy territory during World War II, and it was inevitable that there would be occasions where volunteers would refuse to take part once they became aware of the full details. Some were unable to kill when the occasion was reduced to a one-on-one scenario, as opposed the anonymity of a battlefield exchange. With information being released on a Need to Know basis, their training meant that they were in possession of highly classified and secret information relating to pending missions, and could not be allowed to return to public life, where a careless remark could have compromised their secrecy. Inverlair Lodge became a detention or internment camp where such individuals could be accommodated, safely isolated from public contact. Conditions there were described as luxurious, and the lodge was even said to provide a safe haven for former agents or spies, who could not risk being seen in public, for fear of being recognised and killed in retaliation for missions they had carried out.

George Markstein, who worked with Patrick McGoohan on the 1960s TV series The Prisoner, has told of how he learnt about places such as Inverlair Lodge during the war, when he was a journalist, and there can be little doubt that the discovery influenced the design of the fictional Village in which the series was set. Commenting on the residents “They were largely people who had been compromised. They had reached the point in their career where they knew too much to be let loose, but they hadn’t actually done anything wrong. They weren’t in any way traitors, they hadn’t betrayed anything, but in their own interest it was better if they were kept safely.

05/09/2008 Posted by | World War II | , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Millionaire’s Row grows

houseWhile it was little more than a collection of woefully inadequate numbers which would need to be provided with considerably more background information before any meaningful conclusions could be drawn, this week’s story about the changing pattern and numbers of properties in the £1 million and £2 million ranges as researched by the Bank of Scotland does show that things are anything but stagnant at that end of the market.

Sales of £1 million properties made up 0.2% of all Scottish sales in 2007, which rose by 3%, but from a total of 144 sold in 2006, the number sold in 2007 rose to 343, and increase of 138%, or 2.4 times more than the previous year, if expressed sensibly.

Measured from 2003, the total here has increased by 7 times.

Looking at the £2 million plus range, the increase there was 30%.

Measured from 2003, these property sales have increased by 9 times.

The £1 million total for the whole of Great Britain was 8,257, up 36% on 2006.

In geographic terms, Edinburgh was second, after London, in terms of the number of £1 million properties sold. However, the pattern is changing, and while Edinburgh still accounts for the majority of of such property sales, its share is showing a decline, with clusters beginning to appear in places such as Glasgow, Perth, and Kinross.

We’ll never have, or see the information if it is available, but it would be interesting to see how these apparent increases fared if they were corrected for the effects of inflation and the general effects of increasing property prices, and how many of the properties were purchased by people who truly owned them through their own wealth, rather than by loans or mortgages, which are really only borrowing, until that last payment is made – of they can keep up the payments.

It’s always slightly amusing to watch English property programmes, and see homeowners sigh as they look at the soaring value of their properties, with many becoming unwitting property millionaires simply through lifetime ownership of the family home, but trapped in it as they do not have the income to support a move elsewhere, or realise that unless they move far, far away from their roots, there is no way for them to convert that increase in value into cash. If they sell and move anywhere nearby, all the other properties will have increased in price by a similar amount to their present abode.

As they say, you just can’t win.

10/05/2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment


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