Glasgow City Council Conservative Group

Group Leader’s Report – Glasgow Annual General Meeting

It has been an honour to lead our group for yet another year where we have once again seen our support in the city go from strength to strength. We had respectable results in two by-elections and worked hard to retain our 2 list MSPs in the city. We’ve also held the SNP accountable while working our local communities putting us in a great position ahead of next year’s local government elections.

Key Achievements:

  • I was delighted to be re-elected as the Group Leader at our Group’s AGM in May.
  • The Group opposed the minority SNP administration’s Budget. We proposed our own budget proposal which focused on the cleansing crisis with unions stating that we had the best budget out of any group. Members spoke up in the debate.
  • We proposed a motion at full council calling for the SNP to get a grip of the cleansing crisis they have created in the city, with great media coverage of our campaign to #CleanUpGlasgow
  • Passed a motion regarding business support and the lack of help taxi drivers in the city received during the pandemic.
  • Remained active on all council committees, with Conservative Councillors regularly speaking out on a wide variety of issues.
  • Questioned Susan Aitken over her taxi expenses and held her accountable for her lack of care to public money
  • Held the SNP administration accountable over the cuts to the Glasgow Communities Fund which resulted in CABs all over Glasgow losing money
  • Scrutinised the SNP on Glasgow Life closures and pushed back on local closures all over the city
  • Despite the difficult circumstances we’ve worked hard in our wards with Councillors delivering newsletters and campaigning hard in the Scottish Parliament elections which resulted in us retaining two seats in Glasgow with Annie Wells MSP and Sandesh Gulhane MSP
  • I have sat on City Administration Committee speaking up on numerous big items including the communities fund, the city centre strategy and business support
  • Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus emergency we have been holding the administration’s feet to the fire over their slow delivery of business grant funding and lobbied the Scottish Government for funding for small market traders and taxi drivers as well. I have written numerous letters to government ministers lobbying on behalf the city.
  • Raised concerns on several occasions regarding the city’s struggling hospitality trade
  • As Group Leader I also attend Leader's Briefing/Renewal Programme meetings every two weeks where I have questioned council officers and Susan Aitken on numerous topics
  • I write a weekly column every Monday in the Glasgow Times on numerous topics.
  • Campaigned hard in both by-elections in Partick East/Kelvindale and Baillieston where we got respectable results in very challenging circumstances
  • Launched campaigns to reverse SNP cuts to the winter fuel payment and on restoring bulk uplifts
  • Spoken in George Square against the Scottish Government and SQA exam fiasco last summer
  • Fought against the proposed closure of McVities Factory in my own ward of Shettleston
  • Campaigning against SNP closures of local community facilities

I am confident we will continue to strive. The SNP are also losing trust and support amongst the public and their own members with YET ANOTHER two councillors resigning from the SNP, this means the numbers are:

Party = Number of Councillors
SNP = 35
Labour = 31
Conservatives = 7
Greens = 6
Independents = 5
ALBA = 2 

This will make our voice crucial in the last year of this term before the elections and I intend using our string position as an advantage to hold the SNP and Labour accountable.

This list is just a small sample of what we’ve achieved over the past year and why I am so proud to be Group Leader of the Glasgow Conservatives. As we move forward, I want us to continue that work and would be grateful for your continued support.

I also want to put on the record my thanks to my entire team on Glasgow City Council. We have 7 Conservative Councillors on Glasgow City Council, they represent their local communities but also hold specific spokesperson roles to hold the SNP accountable and develop policy. Those members and spokespeople are:
Name - Role
Councillor Thomas Kerr - Group Leader and Economic Investment Spokesperson
Councillor Euan Blockley - Deputy Leader and Education Spokesperson
Bailie Kyle Thornton - Business Manager and Environment Spokesperson
Councillor David Meikle - Deputy Whip and Finance Spokesperson 
Bailie Ade Aibinu - Health and Social Care Spokesperson
Councillor Robert Connelly - Glasgow Life and Communities Spokesperson 
Councillor Phillip Charles - Veterans Champion and Licensing Spokesperson 

If anyone in the association has any issues relating to a specific issue or ideas for our 2022 manifesto don’t hesitate to contact the team.

I also want to give a special shout out to Naveed Ashgar and John Daly who done a power of work in the by-elections and I hope to be welcoming them into the Chambers next year. 

Lastly, I wouldn’t be half the Leader I am without the support and dedication to our 8th group member, Patrick Logue our policy officer, who is a fantastic asset to the entire team.

Councillor Thomas Kerr
Glasgow Conservative Group Leader
0141 287 4378
Thomas.Kerr2@glasgow.gov.uk
@CllrTKer