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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 20:37 GMT 21:37 UK
Glasgow MSPs lose Braehead battle
Braehead shopping centre
Most of the Braehead centre is currently in Glasgow
A Glasgow MSP has failed to overturn a decision on the future of the land where one of Scotland's largest shopping centres is built - despite cross-party support.

Labour, Conservative and Scottish National Party members backed an attempt to keep Braehead within Glasgow's boundaries.

But the arguments failed to convince Holyrood's local government committee - and other MSPs within their respective parties.

Gordon Jackson
Gordon Jackson challenged the decision
The committee voted by five to two against Labour backbencher Gordon Jackson's bid to stop the centre being placed within the boundary of neighbouring Renfrewshire.

Earlier this year, ministers announced they had accepted the Boundary Commission's recommendation to transfer 230 acres of land from Glasgow City Council control to Renfrewshire Council.

This handed Renfrewshire victory in the long-running dispute over whose boundary should include the Braehead centre.

The change is due to come into effect next month.

However, Glasgow Govan MSP Mr Jackson mounted a late bid to keep the centre within Glasgow's control.

'Victory' welcomed

He asked the local government committee to annul the order moving the boundary, which currently runs through the centre of the Sainsbury's store at Braehead.

He was supported by SNP Glasgow list MSPs Nicola Sturgeon and Kenny Gibson and Tory Glasgow list MSP Bill Aitken.

However, West of Scotland SNP members Colin Campbell and Fiona McLeod welcomed the "victory" for Renfrewshire and Tory MSP Annabel Goldie described the committee's decision as "common sense".


People who clearly had no interest in the decision... saw fit to take the decision themselves rather than let parliament decide

Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Mr Jackson, who was backed by Glasgow Labour colleagues Pauline McNeill, Johann Lamont and Janis Hughes, argued that Braehead was a crucial part of Glasgow's economic development.

"We talk about joined-up government, this would be a disjointed community and it is a disjointed strategy, it makes no sense," he said.

He called for the move to be postponed until the Scottish Parliament could debate the issue in the context of the executive's on-going cities review.

However, Deputy Local Government Minister Peter Peacock backed the Boundary Commission's report.

The commission believed it was best to base the decision on the area's geography and topography.

Annabel Goldie
Annabel Goldie: "Common sense has prevailed"
Mr Jackson said the decision should not be taken on the basis that it made "a nice wee line on a map, which is ultimately what this argument comes down to".

Speaking after the vote, Mr Jackson said he was "disappointed" by the committee's decision.

Ms Sturgeon said she was disgusted at a "slap in the face" for Glasgow.

"What disgusts me most is that, with the exception of Sandra White and Tricia Marwick (both SNP), the committee members sat and said nothing before acting as lobby fodder," she said.

"People who clearly had no interest in the decision then saw fit to take the decision themselves rather than let parliament decide."

'Huffing and puffing'

However, her colleague Mr Campbell said: "To have a debate questioning the judgement of the independent Boundary Commission would be a very bad precedent to establish, both in the committee and the parliament."

And Miss Goldie said she was unsurprised by the "huffing and puffing" of Glasgow MSPs.

"It was not a clearly determined right and wrong issue, it had to be determined on a basis of a balance - which was the better option - and I think common sense has prevailed," she said.

See also:

30 Mar 02 | Scotland
MSP challenges Braehead move
07 Jan 02 | Scotland
Decision in shopping centre battle
20 Sep 01 | Scotland
Ikea unpacks its latest store
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