Games tickets system not sporting says councillor

THOUSANDS of people across the UK were bitterly disappointed when they failed to get their hands on gold dust tickets for the Commonwealth Games.

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So it came as no surprise that some Glasgow councillors were equally miffed when they found out they were not getting free passes to the largest sporting event Scotland has ever staged.

Given the controversy over the allocation of tickets at the London Olympics, the question of who gets what in Glasgow was always going to be a sensitive subject.

Last week, the city council finally announced which councillors and officials were going to the sporting event.

They include Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, deputy Lord Provost Gerry Leonard, council leader Gordon Matheson, deputy council leader Archie Graham, council chief executive George Black and Glasgow Life chief executive Bridget McConnell.

A further eight Labour councillors, all of whom are spokesman and women for the main council departments, will also receive Games accreditation.

Council officials insist they have been given passes to the sporting extravaganza because they will be there schmoozing with bosses of world sporting organisations in a bid to persuade them to bring further events to Glasgow.

But SNP deputy leader Billy McAllister is not happy with the arrangement - not happy at all.

He believes senior councillors from all political groups should have been offered tickets for the Games.

Mr McAllister insists he would have turned down the chance to watch some of the world's top sportsmen and women in action.

And he refused to speculate on how his Nationalist colleagues would have reacted if they too had been given accreditation.

But Mr McAllister is angry they were not given the chance to attend and that only senior Labour councillors have been allowed the opportunity to represent the city.

As far as the Canal councillor is concerned, only the Lord Provost and the council leader should be allowed tickets to the Games if members of other political groups are ruled out.

And Mr McAllister insists the fact a total of 12 Labour councillors will get accreditation will be seen as a "jolly".

He said: "I have an email saying there would be no favouritism. Once again it has proved it is a jolly for certain people."

Whether the councillors who are asked to watch sports they know nothing about will agree with that comment is another matter.

Especially if it is an outdoor competition on a typical West of Scotland summer day of driving rain and strong winds.

Local government

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