Eleven Labour Glasgow City Councillors, including Councillor George Ryan, who suddenly pulled out of the contest to represent Labour in the crucial Glasgow East by-election, were reported to the Standards on 18 June 2008 in connection with a controversial land deal in the city centre.
The complaint surrounded their conduct in relation to the controversial attempt to close down the 150 year old Paddy’s Market in the city and obtain land on which the market is currently located.
The complaint which was submitted to the Standards Commission of Scotland by a representative of Paddy’s Market traders claimed that Councillor Ryan misled the council in a report he presented to the council’s Executive Committee which recommended the council purchase the head lease of the land where the market is situated and for the historic Paddy’s Market to be closed down.
The report which was presented by Councillor Ryan at a meeting on 20 March 2008, and subsequently led to the council’s endorsement of its recommendations, stated that the owners of the land had agreed to provide the lease at a reduced rate to the Council. However, the forty page complaint document submitted to the Standards Commission included information that clearly indicated that no such deal had been made with the council.
Councillor Ryan also faces investigation for other breaches of the Code of Conduct in relation to this matter along with ten other high profile Glasgow City Council Labour councillors including the Council leader, Steven Purcell.
Paddy’s Market representative, Brian Daly said:
“This market has been here for over 150 years, and my family has been trading here for three generations. The Labour councillors who are intent on closing us down have failed in their responsibilities as elected members to engage with us at any time in relation to this. They have, instead, chosen to make backroom decisions and bulldozer them through without any regard for the democratic process.