Interview with Roddy Maciver, Executive Legal Manager, Glasgow City Council
What are the key objectives of Glasgow City Council?
The Council’s Strategic Plan sets out four grand challenges:
- reduction of poverty and inequalities;
- increasing opportunity and prosperity for all citizens;
- addressing the climate emergency and delivering a just transition; and
- enabling our staff to deliver essential services in a sustainable, innovative, and efficient way for our communities.
“The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre supports the Council in the drive towards achieving zero biodegradable waste to landfill and increased recycling performance, positively contributing towards reducing the carbon impact of residual waste management.”
What is your role at Glasgow City Council?
I am the Executive Legal Manager for the Council’s Corporate Law Team.
What are your career highlights from Glasgow City Council?
I’ve been with the Council since 1996 and work mainly in corporate legal projects including key infrastructure projects such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games venues, the M74 motorway completion, the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre, and the Glasgow City Region City Deal Programme. I also advise on operational procurement activities, economic regeneration/sustainability issues, and local authority governance matters.
What is your current focus?
Glasgow City Council’s Corporate Law team provides strategic direction and operational legal advice to the Council’s service departments.
In our day-to-day business, we support a range of Council teams by providing expert advice in areas such as procurement, construction, sustainability, planning, FOI/data protection, and social care commissioning.
As well as operational activity, we provide legal support for major projects, such as the City Deal infrastructure programme for Glasgow, the Sighthill Transformational Regeneration Area, the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (a state-of-the-art Residual Waste Treatment facility), and the recently completed Burrell Collection Refurbishment project – all fantastic projects benefiting the people of our city.
Glasgow City Region’s GBP1.1 billion City Deal Programme was the first City Deal in Scotland and is one of the largest and the most advanced in the UK. As part of the deal, specific projects in Glasgow include Clyde Waterfront redevelopments, a new footbridge over the River Clyde next to the city’s Riverside Museum connecting the historic areas of Govan and Partick, the Avenues projects in the city centre, strategic drainage projects and area projects to remediate derelict or vacant sites to attract economic development and improve the environment. The City Deal is expected to give the Glasgow City Region a permanent uplift in its GVA of GBP2.2 billion per annum (4.4%); generate 15,000 construction jobs during the construction period and 28,000 permanent additional jobs once construction is complete; and will unlock GBP3.3 billion of private sector investment.
The Sighthill Regeneration Project is the biggest such project in the UK outside of London with GBP250 million spent on the regeneration of the area, which includes remediation and infrastructure works. The project has brought to Sighthill a new community campus school, a new pedestrian and cyclist bridge over the M8 motorway, a new road-bridge over the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line, new housing including private homes for sale and mid-market rent properties, and the creation of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems.
The GBP68 million Burrell Collection Refurbishment project saw the transformation of this world class collection in its specially designed home in the Glasgow’s Pollok Park providing additional gallery space to show a greater number of objects. The Burrell Collection has just won the Art Fund Museum of the Year 2023 at a ceremony in London – the largest museum prize in the world.
What is in the pipeline of projects for Glasgow City Council?
Future projects will continue to offer a range of diverse and exciting opportunities, such as the Clyde Metro project, and climate and sustainability projects (Glasgow Green Deal) aimed at meeting Glasgow’s net zero carbon targets and enhancing the economic and social regeneration of the city. Our team is also contributing towards ongoing work on low emission zones, expanding electric vehicle infrastructure, social care commissioning, and the Council’s capital programme.
What are the current challenges faced by Glasgow City Council?
The Council’s Strategic Plan will shape the Council’s response to the cost-of-living crisis, the climate emergency and pressures on public services, as well as increasing the prosperity and well-being of citizens.
In the context of climate and sustainability, what is your focus and what measures is Glasgow City Council taking towards the achievement of the UK’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)?
We are supporting several key projects which contribute towards a more sustainable city.
Firstly, we provide legal advice and support on contractual matters relating to the Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC). This is a flagship residual waste treatment facility, developed in partnership with Viridor, and is a key component of the Council’s Resource and Recycling Strategy 2020-30. The GRREC supports the Council in the drive towards achieving zero biodegradable waste to landfill and increased recycling performance, positively contributing towards reducing the carbon impact of residual waste management.
Further information on the GRREC can be found here.
More recently, we are now providing legal and procurement advice in the re-development of Easter Queenslie as a centre of excellence for resource management. A new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) will be built at Easter Queenslie which will process recyclable material collected as part of a new recycling collection scheme committed under the Council’s Resource and Recycling Strategy and in support of the Charter for Household Recycling in Scotland. This project will significantly improve the Council’s recycling performance and reduce its carbon impact.
Further information on the Glasgow Green Deal climate and sustainability projects aimed at meeting Glasgow’s net zero carbon targets can be found here.
How can the private sector do business with Glasgow City Council?
The Council’s website, Procurement - Glasgow City Council, has a section on how to do business with the Council.
The Register of Live Contracts shows the range of Glasgow City Council contracts and a work plan for this year, again this is linked on the website.
Being registered on the Find a Tender service and the Public Contracts Scotland portal will allow access to advertisements for contracting opportunities. Engagement with the supplier development programme particularly for Scottish SMEs and third sector can help with public sector contracting.
See Supplier Development Programme | Helping you bid better for further details.
It is always worth checking Corporate Procurement Strategy & Annual Procurement Report to see what has been and is going to be important to the Council as this can provide useful background when bidding for work. Current key topics of interest are Community Benefits, Fair Work First and Sustainability.