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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glasgow City Council drops George Square Hogmanay party

Glasgow's traditional Hogmanay party in George Square has been scrapped after the city council decided it was no longer delivering value for money...
This year's event will finish at 22:00 and feature music, ceilidh dancing and curling on the George Square ice rink.
The council said with services under pressure it was "imperative that we get the best bang for every Glasgow buck".
Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "At the moment we are being asked to justify spending £34 of public money per head on an event which just isn't delivering value and indeed received a fair amount of negative feedback last year"... "This is on top of the £19 ticket price we are asking the public to pay....
Glasgow's traditional Hogmanay celebrations attracts 4,500 to George Square but the council said this was only "a fraction of those out and about in the city"...
"By promoting Glasgow as a destination we can encourage locals and visitors to use the wide range of top-class facilities, enjoy themselves during their stay and to visit again."
  There is a question which it has never occurred to the BBC official state broadcaster to ask
Dear Glasgow Council,
I see that you have decided to cancel the official George Square Hogmanay celebrations because, on a mere ticket price of £19 per head it has been possible for Glasgow Council to run it at less than a further cost of £34 per head.
I would be interested to know if the opportunity to run this was put out to tender and what the results were. Please treat this as an FoI inquiry.
It strikes me that it would be quite surprising if no commercial organisation thought it possible to run a profitable show at Hogmanay, in the centre of Glasgow, at a venue that doesn't have to be hired when it had already been proven people were willing to pay £19 each.
Or did the Council simply decide that if they, with their well known commercial ability, couldn't make a go of it, it would be embarrassing if some capitalist entrepreneur could and thus decided not to run the risk.
I'll let you know the answer which should be here in 20 working days (or less but they are never less). This assumes that those in charge respect the Freedom of Information Act which, unfortunately, I have found most government departments simply don't.

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