NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde(NHSGGC), the successor of Greater Glasgow Health Board(GGHB), due to numerous FoI requests has kindly listed some of the documents related to the Lennoxtown transaction with Celtic in the following list. Amazing with this amount of source material none of the mainstream media have picked up the documents, not even a comment that the listing has happened. Much better to create rumours of administration from un-named sources, echoing in a vacuum, bouncing off the usual list of ‘journalists’.
One of the documents in the list is called ‘Report to Chief Exec and Dir of Finance of GGHB – proposed purchase land at former Lennox Castle Hospital by Celtic FC‘.
One excerpt from the document reads:
‘Any part of the site, which achieves a ‘greenbelt compatible’ use, will result in the entire receipt being applied to the Initiative, and any other or additional use will result in the NHS and the Initiative sharing the receipt‘.
Obviously this is before Lennoxtown was designated ‘greenbelt compatible‘ land by the EDC but you can see the incentive for the Lennoxtown Initiative to work to get Celtic the land – the LI get all the funds. so far from being an independent charity, the LI was working with Celtic, as we’ve seen before.
So if the EDC and the LI weren’t working to get the best price for the land and the NHS Adviser was absenting himself from LI meetings discussing the sale – who in public office was ensuring that the taxpayers got the best price? No one.
Another excerpt reads:
‘I advised the Club’s project manager that the disposal of NHS property is strictly regulated by the Scottish Executive and in the guidelines established by the Executive, this proposal would be designated as an off-market sale. In addition, they were made aware of the fact that these should only occur in exceptional circumstances and only where there is explicit agreement from the Property Adviser and the Independent Valuer that an off market sale will deliver a clear advantage over an open market sale.’
Well this transaction of Lennoxtown to Celtic was off market – it was not offered to anyone else, it wasn’t advertised. In fact Celtic approached the GGHB.
Since the transaction took place then the Property Adviser and the Independent Valuer must have believed that the off market sale would deliver a clear advantage over an open market sale. What were the reasons then – well it’s hard to find any document that lists any advantage when they didn’t test the market.
There is no rationalising by the Property Adviser and the Independent Valuer for the ‘exceptional circumstances’ which were required for the transaction to be acceptable.
The land even if ‘greenbelt compatible’, could have been marketed by someone like Colliers in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. How many wealthy Americans with Scottish roots would have loved to have bought the estate for the 500k? How many oil Sheiks would have loved to set up their horse breeding & training facilities or have their Balmoral at Lennoxtown? Well we’ll never know because a Marketing Advisor, as per the NHS Property transactions handbook was not appointed.
First Valuation Report
The first Valuation Report by Inglis & Partners suggested a developer could purchase the Lennoxtown land and bank it, sit on it, for future development. Then on the last page is included the ‘Market Value‘ paragraph to get over the off market transaction hurdle:
‘it being assumed that the property is publicly offered to the market’
How can it be assumed that the property was publicly offered when it wasn’t? Clearing the hurdle, it doesn’t even bother to make a run up.
Missing from the Valuation
The Inglis & Partners document admits they didn’t access any services reports. They made no site investigations, no soil tests, no geology reports, no environmental audit. There was no enquiry sent to the Local Planning Authority because it involved a detailed report & a fee. Without all the above how could they value the site?
Where is methodology for calculation of the valuation? Where is the price/hectare of the different areas of land? Where are the deductions? Although the buildings were raised to the ground, drainage, water, sewage, heating services were delivered underground from central locations so the pipes & trenches were still in situ. there would have been deductions for those with possibly asbestos. Hospitals also disposed of their waste onsite with incineration. No details.
Just one figure pulled out of the air.
Second Valuation Report
The 2nd ‘report‘ is just 2 paragraphs with the same single figure as before therefore even less detail than the previous valuation. It was also on the 24th August and not the 16th as specified in the NHS GGC list.
The non-appointment of a Marketing Advisor was admitted by the review of the transaction in the Monitoring Proforma document in:
Question 20: Was advice of Property Planner/Marketing Agent Sought?
Question 22: Was Property Sold/Leased on Open Market to Highest Bidder? (If ‘no’ give brief details)
NO DISPOSAL GREENBELT COMPATIBLE LEISURE COMPATIBLE WITH THE LOCAL PLAN DESIGNATION OF THE SITE. RECEIPTS APPLIED IN ACCORDANCE WITH TRIPARTITE AGREEMENT.
Because the land was designated ‘greenbelt compatible‘ didn’t stop it being offered on the open market. None of the reasons given affect offering on the open market. How the receipts are applied has nothing to do with the sale method.
So the price obtained is just like an on market open transparent transaction even though it’s not – because we asked a valuer to put in a special paragraph.
Funny though because the Professional Valuer has not signed the Monitoring Proforma page:
That’s NHSGGC’s evidence. They’ve got their bodgies (‘thumbs’) up – so we must stop chasing them. Note: Scottish kids used the thumbs up to protect themselves when playing games. But that didn’t stop them getting caught.