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SURPRISE GLASGOW CHOICE PLEDGES CHANGE

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Frank McAveety, the surprise victor in last week-s leadership elections at Glasgow City Council, has dedicated hims...
Frank McAveety, the surprise victor in last week-s leadership elections at Glasgow City Council, has dedicated himself to institutional change, including the externalisation of services.

The 36-year-old teacher, little known outside the faction-ridden local Labour group, defeated Jean McFadden and Jim Coleman in an election campaign he fought on the issue of 'no political deals'.

Mr McAveety-s success in ending months of political stagnation will hinge on his ability to reconcile warring factions with the city-s Labour group - a feat which eluded his predecessor, Bob Gould.

'The climate has changed,' Mr McAveety told LGC. 'We need strong and consistent leadership and to build a team of members who are committed to tackling the council-s problems and changing the way it operates.'

Drawing up a£43 million cuts package for next year is a priority. 'We need to prioritise services and decide which are retained,' he said.

Mr McAveety will also have to comply with Labour Party instructions to push through changes in the council-s structure of 50 committees, which will reduce the lucrative convenorships, and to restructure the 21 departments.

He will be supported by Charlie Gordon, the council-s new depute leader. Mr Gordon is currently convenor of the Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority.

Both men will effectively be on probation until December, when Glasgow-s Labour group is expected to hold a long-delayed annual general meeting.

Mr McAveety, regarded as on the left of the Labour Party and an ally of Lord Provost Pat Lally, has played up to his relative youth, describing himself as a punk in a suit who likes nothing better than to go to a good gig, and revealing his dream to play for Celtic.

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