They bypass the democratic
will of the people. Are ALEOs
While we shouldn’t give way to excitable speculation about shadowy cabals – Glasgow City Council is more reminiscent of Tammany hall than la cosa nostra – it is plain that the matrix of power and accountability in Glasgow has become much more fluid and intangible during the past decade. While once we had a fairly predictable vertical arrangement of administration we are now treated to a barely intelligible spaghetti of partnerships amongst stake-holding agencies, both public and private.
Central to this re-vamped structure of service delivery has been the creation of a number of ‘arm’s length’ private companies (ALEOs) and limited liability partnerships to take over many of the functions of the council, leaving the latter free to do….well, other things. The attraction of these is obvious; accountable only to their shareholders, outwith the ambit of administrative responsibility, able to apply for alternative sources of funding, they are far more attractive than dull civic committees. And there is a political bonus. They bypass the democratic will of the Glasgow electorate and represent nothing short of a coup.