GLASGOW City Council does not have a bottomless pit of money. And the money it does have is considerably less than it had before.
That means every penny spent – or loaned out – has to be justified in terms of delivering what the people of this city either need or want.
The upgrade to the Theatre Royal will undoubtedly bring benefit to the city. It is a Glasgow institution and that’s why the council rightly agreed to contribute £850,000 to the project.
However, many people will rightly question Scottish Opera staging an Oliver moment by asking for more ... in this case a loan of another £1m due to “unforeseen costs”.
In the current financial climate, the council could be forgiven for screaming ‘More?’
So they must be sure they are happy with the justification of the overspend and that they can be repaid this money in good order.
There must be total transparency over exactly how ‘unforeseen’ these circumstances were.
Owing to budget restraints, the council is cutting staff and services from which people all over the city will suffer. It will be little comfort to them that the Theatre Royal has a spanking new atrium space for patrons to gaze into with admiration.
The recommendation is repayment based on the theatre’s business plan, contribution to the councils strategic plan and it’s financial position.
We believe the financial position is clear, the council needs this money back as soon as possible.