The Lord Provost of Glasgow has apologised after it emerged she has claimed £8000 in expenses for clothes, shoes and beauty products.
Calls were made for Eva Bolander to resign after it was revealed she had spent thousands of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money on 23 pairs of shoes, seven blazers, 14 dresses, five coats, six jackets and underwear.
The SNP councillor also claimed for money spent on ten haircuts, 20 nail treatments and make-up.
With lord provosts expected to attend hundreds of events, the Scottish Government has allocated a civic allowance to each council. For Glasgow City Council, this is subject to a yearly maximum of £5000.
In a letter sent to council colleagues on Wednesday Bolander said she was “privileged to represent and advocate for Glasgow” as she apologised for claiming for items that she “should not have chosen to reclaim” and vowed to repay any “relevant expenditure”.
Bolander wrote: “As Lord Provost I am privileged to represent and advocate for Glasgow, its communities and people at hundreds of events – from local gala days to diplomatic events and solemn occasions such as Remembrance Sunday.
“Over the first two-and-a-half years of my term, I have been proud to be able to open up the city’s civic functions to new groups and events; including volunteers, community councillors, LGBT Pride and Black History Month.
“It has always been recognised that the role of Lord Provost carries an additional cost, taking place as it does almost entirely in the public eye.
“However, the role of First Citizen must be open to any elected member of the Council. I hope we can all agree that it is appropriate to ensure that members who might take on this position are not excluded from doing so by not having the resources to carry out the role.
“In submitting claims, I have always tried to ask myself the question, ‘would I require this if I were not Lord Provost?’ Each has been made in good faith and scrupulously accounted for, within the rules.
“Although the spending incurred was within the rules, on reflection there are items which I should not have chosen to reclaim.
“I am sorry about that and I am in discussion with financial services to come to an arrangement to repay the relevant expenditure.”
In response to the letter Conservative MSP for Glasgow, Annie Wells, says Bolander’s apology does not go far enough and called for her to resign from the role.
She said: “It’s not just her fellow councillors that the Lord Provost should be apologising to, it’s the people of Glasgow.
“She has wasted a scandalous amount of public money, and these late attempts to pay some of it back don’t make up for that.
“To think that these claims were acceptable in the first place shows a startling lack of judgement, and it’s clear that she needs to go.
“There’s no way that she can continue in her role, and she must now do the right thing and stand down.”