Here in the District Valuer’s last letter to Glasgow City Council he condemns GCC’s concessions to Celtic but remains hopeful that:
“However, at least additional sums should be paid to the Council whenever the valuation of Westthorn is determined by arbitration”.
Well the District Valuer’s hopes were dashed because it never went to arbitration. Here was the District Valuer being conned into thinking that Westthorn was going to be decided by arbitration when all that was happening was that he was being squeezed out. So then Glasgow City Council would have free reign to set Westthorn’s price based not on actual abnormal costs of an already developed Belvidere but on Celtic’s hypothetical URS Desk Study with abnormal costs pulled out of mid air.
There was only one party working for the ratepayers of Glasgow and it was the District Valuer, the council worked with Celtic to get rid of him. Not one department in Glasgow City Council including Development and Regeneration Services (DRS), Geotechnical and Planning worked to get the best price for Westthorn for the public purse.
History of the District Valuer’s Involvement in GCC Land Sales to Celtic
The first District Valuer letter is dated 19 January 2005:
however his involvement starts 26 November 2004.
And the final District Valuer letter is dated:
November 2004 until February 2007 the District Valuer was trying to get Celtic and Glasgow City Council to agree a value for Westthorn.
That 2 years and 4 months.
As can be seen both Glasgow City Council and Celtic were both negotiating in ‘good faith’. I am being sarcastic.
To put it in further context, February 2007 was also 16 months after the Lease Agreement 2000 had finished in November 2005.
That’s what happens when you are Glasgow City Council’s favour social project.
Celtic made no attempt to negotiate with the District Valuer
From the District Valuer’s February 2007 letter:
Above in 2.3 “The Council has now decided to have the valuation of Westthorn decided by arbitration”. Glasgow City Council decided to go for arbitration.
Did this happen? No. This move for arbitration appears to have just been a ploy by Celtic and Glasgow City Council to get rid of the District Valuer.
From above, the District Valuer says that Celtic:
“used other means to ensure that agreement was reached without the involvement of the District Valuer”
There, it’s as plain as day. Celtic squeezed the District Valuer out of overseeing the Westthorn valuation and the calculation of the Abnormals, deductions. And Glasgow City Council went along with the ploy.
There was no way either party wanted a neutral independent party overseeing their negotiations.
Getting Rid of the District Valuer
How to get rid of the District Valuer? The escape clause was in the Lease Agreement 2000 which had the missive, condition, for the disposal of Westthorn at end of lease in November 2005 that if both parties, Glasgow City Council and Celtic, could not agree a value then an independent arbiter would decide.
Here’s the description of that escape clause in the GCC Development & Regeneration Services (DRS) Report 19 January 2007 from Steve Inch:
Did Glasgow City Council and Celtic go to Arbitration? No.
Here’s the relevant section in a FoI reply from Glasgow City Council:
As soon as the District Valuer was gone, the coast was clear and Glasgow City Council without doing their own Geotechnical Report or site investigation of Westthorn proceeded to use Celtic’s tainted URS Desk Study which claimed that the Barrowfield Claypit, Well and Brick Works were on Westthorn and gave every concession that the District Valuer warned about.