Glasgow City Council leader slammed for cost of Cop28 Dubai trip

GMB cleansing convenor Chris Mitchell has raised concerns that the trip, which will see councillor Susan Aitken and three council officers attend the event at the Expo City, Dubai for two days, will cost in the region of £7000. 

But council officials have said these claims are “wholly speculative and wildly inaccurate” and the leader’s attendance, which was approved by a cross-party committee in September, would cost roughly £1600. 

Chris Mitchell said: “The indication is that it will cost around £7000 which I think is ridiculous for a two day trip.

“The leader of the council and three council officers are away in Dubai which is hosting Cop28 to talk about climate change which covers a load of issues including flooding, recycling and avoiding sending waste to landfill.

“How can our leader go and promote that when our cleansing department is struggling to keep the streets clean.

“It is quite clear how bad the city is right now because we have got a lack of resources – big time.

“I wouldn’t like to think they will go to Cop28 and say that everything is rosey in the garden when it quite simply isn’t.

“The money that is being spent on this trip could go towards cleaning the city.”

Cop28 is being held from November 30 until December 12 this year.  The local authority says that the highest potential cost at any point was just over £5,000 for everybody – and it has been clear with elected members that it will now be substantially lower, with the costs for the leader’s travel and accommodation and one officer being met by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The costs being quoted by the GMB are wholly speculative and wildly inaccurate. Travel and accommodation costs for the leader are not even being met by the council.

 “A cross party committee resolved to send the leader of the council to COP28 almost two months ago – three officers will also attend. Their visit will be timed to coincide with days when the event’s agenda will focus on green investment and the role of cities in addressing the climate crisis – and to support Glasgow and Scottish businesses taking part in a trade mission at the event.

“The leader of the council has also been invited by the United Nations Environment Programme to participate in the launch of its Generation Restoration programme, for which Glasgow has been selected as the only UK model city – along with Paris, Seattle, Istanbul, Toronto, Cape Town and others from across the globe.”

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