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GLASGOW LEADER TO STEP DOWN

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PERSONAL STATEMENT: COUNCILLOR CHARLES GORDON, LEADER OF GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL...
PERSONAL STATEMENT: COUNCILLOR CHARLES GORDON, LEADER OF GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

Charlie Gordon, the leader of Glasgow City Council, has announced his decision not to seek re-election to the position of leader at next month's AGM of the ruling Labour Group.

Outlining his reasons, the leader issued a personal statement today, stating:

'I went on record last year that the 'shelf life' of any leader is around seven years, in my view.

There will soon be a big change in my personal circumstances, with my wife Emma due to give birth in July.

I had recently privately decided to stand down as leader at our 2006 AGM.

But, inevitably, there has been speculation as to my successor and while I feel that I could have retained the support of the majority of our Labour group for one more year, I recognise that the speculation would have continued throughout the year, to the detriment of the administration, the council and the city.

I have therefore decided not to seek re-nomination as leader for the 2005 AGM of Glasgow's Labour group.

The vacant leader's post is thus free to be sought by any member of the group without negative terms like 'challenge' and 'faction' being necessary.

After the new leader is chosen, I urge all Labour group members to close ranks behind our new leader in the best interests of our party, our council and our beloved city.

I am available to serve the administration, if asked.

Naturally, I will continue to work hard for my Knightswood Park constituents.

I am looking forward to having a better work/life balance, but I have been active in Glasgow's labour movement for 36 years, and I remain a political animal.

Indeed, I intend to seek election to the Scottish parliament, where I feel that my knowledge, experience and ability could be deployed to Glasgow's advantage.

I want to take this opportunity to thank every Labour member of my administration, and the officers who served it so well.

Together, we have made Glasgow a much better place.

We've delivered on the regeneration of the Clyde after a generation of decline. We have tackled problems head-on - whether it be turning our city centre into one of the most successful in the UK, or extending re-generation within landmark schemes such as the internationally recognised developments at the Gorbals. Glasgow is a global brand, fit for business and fit for residents.

We got rid of the housing debt, clearing the way for£4bn of social housing investment over the next 30 years; we built 44 new schools and refurbished/extended 19 others; we won the battle to complete the M74; we've achieved record levels of property investment in our city; our tourist industry is stronger than ever, and we've created nearly 70,000 new jobs. I'm proud of what we've achieved.

But more needs to be done.

Too many Glaswegians don't share in our city's success.

We cannot rest until poverty is history in our city, and every Glaswegian can develop to their full potential.

Glasgow is no longer the 'second city of the empire', nor is it still the 'workshop of the world'. It is 'Scotland with style', but it must strive to complete its transformation from a post industrial city to a post welfare city.

I feel privileged to have served this great city for six years and look forward to continuing to fight for Glasgow in whatever capacity in coming years.'

GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL LEADER'S OFFICE

BIOGRAPHICAL PROFILE OF COUNCILLOR CHARLES GORDON,

LEADER, GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

Charles Gordon has been Leader of Glasgow City Council since May 1999, having been Deputy Leader since October 1997.

During 20 years working on the railways, he became a district official of the National Union of Railwaymen, and was President of Glasgow Trades Council from 1986-1991. A Labour Party member since 1979, he is a former Chairman of Garscadden Constituency Labour Party and was elected to the Strathclyde Regional Council in 1987, becoming Vice-Chairman of its Roads and Transportation Committee in 1990.

Since 1993, he has devoted himself full-time to politics. In 1994 he became the Council's Chairman of Roads and Transportation and in 1995 was elected to the new Glasgow City Council, serving as Chairman of its Roads Committee until 1996, when he became Chairman of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority.

As Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Gordon has driven forward the ruling Administration's Manifesto and Council's Strategic Plan, which prioritises Education, Social work services, City regeneration and council tax stability.

Key achievements for the Administration during his tenure of office include:

-The successful transfer of Glasgow Council's housing stock to the Glasgow Housing Association

-A Secondary schools' PPP programme which has resulted in the replacement or refurbishment of all of the Council's 29 secondary schools

-An innovative pre-12 strategy which seeks to provide state of the art pre-12 campuses throughout the City on a phased basis

-A free breakfast scheme for all Glasgow primary school children

-Free swimming for all schoolchildren

-The development and roll-out of a highly successful and innovative Vocational Training Programme covering the Clyde Valley area, which aims to provide an additional choice for schoolchildren in their third year, by allowing them to study for a vocational or national certified qualification together with other standard grades

-A proactive approach to the growth and development of the River Clyde and Clyde Gateway areas, working in conjunction with the private sector and other relevant agencies to regenerate activity, create employment and encourage economic growth for the City

He is a Director of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Hampden Park and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau.

He is a member of the GMB union and a founding fellow of the Institute of Contemporary Scotland.

He is married, and has 2 grown up sons from his first marriage.

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