Glasgow City Council Leader To Stand Down

18 August 2015, 06:15 | Updated: 18 August 2015, 07:44

Councillor Gordon Matheson CBE has announced that he will stand down as leader of Glasgow City Council on the 10th of September.

A new leader will be appointed at the council meeting on that day.

Councillor Matheson said: "One of the judgements of politics is to know when to move on. The time is right for me to consolidate the successes I have enjoyed in Glasgow in recent years and progress to the next phase in my career.

"Glasgow is Scotland's big success story. There is a buzz about this city. We have a great international reputation following the delivery of the best ever Commonwealth Games. Our population is growing again and educational attainment in the city is improving every year".

During his time as leader, Councillor Matheson launched a £250 million investment in primary school buildings, developed an industry-led economic strategy, launched a plan for housing that will see 25,000 new homes built in the city over the next ten years, established the city's new brand People Make Glasgow, and launched free public-space wifi and the most successful bike hire scheme in the UK outside London.

Councillor Matheson added: "Personal highlights of my time as leader include welcoming Pope Benedict to Glasgow, leading Labour to an overall majority victory at the 2012 council elections, speaking at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, and successfully negotiating the biggest City Deal in the UK that will create 29,000 new jobs."

"I am most proud of my administration's promotion of the Living Wage and our £50 million Glasgow Guarantee that has created 6,000 jobs and apprenticeships for young people, graduates, armed forces veterans, care leavers and those aged 50 and older. Every one of those jobs and training places provides an opportunity for that individual and their families to grow in confidence and get on in life. That is why I came into politics".

"Undoubtedly the lowest points during my leadership were the Clutha helicopter tragedy, and the Queen Street bin lorry crash. We will never forget those who lost their lives or were injured, and our hearts go out to the families and loved ones whose lives were changed forever. The selfless and generous response of the emergency and public services, and the people of Glasgow helped the city to deal with these tragedies with dignity and resilience".

Gordon Matheson was first elected to Glasgow City Council in 1999. Prior to being elected leader in 2010, councillor Matheson served as Justice of the Peace, bailie, executive member for education, and city treasurer. Councillor Matheson plans to remain as ward councillor for Anderston/City but will not stand again in the 2017 council elections.

Councillor Matheson said: "The decision I have announced today was made by me some weeks ago. By confirming the date, the process can begin to effect a smooth transition to a new leader in time for the next meeting of the full council."

"Being leader of the city I love has been the greatest honour of my life. It is not a job for the faint hearted, especially given the budget cuts we have had to contend with, but I would not have missed this experience for the world."

"I am ready to pass the baton to the next leader, but not before thanking from the bottom of my heart all of the dedicated and professional public servants who work across the council family, my fellow councillors especially my colleagues in the Labour Group, everyone across the city and beyond who has worked alongside me in recent years to make Glasgow better, and above all the people of Glasgow. None of this would have been possible without you".

"We have every reason to be proud of our city and we can look forward to the future with great confidence. Let Glasgow Flourish!"