Expenses questions for ex-SPT chief Ron Culley

NEW questions have been raised about the public-sector expenses of the former chief executive of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

Ron Culley, 60, stood down last week from his 129,000-a-year post at the Glasgow-based transport quango last week with a golden goodbye worth 61,000.

He announced his resignation earlier this year after a series of revelations about his expenses at the quango.

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However, it emerged yesterday that Mr Culley had claimed nearly 38,000 in expenses in just three years at his previous public-sector post, as chief executive of Scottish Enterprise (SE) Glasgow, the jobs quango for Scotland's biggest city. His expenses were six times higher than those of the man who succeeded him, Stuart Patrick.

Papers seen by The Scotsman show Mr Culley claimed 14,478 for hospitality, entertainment and gifts in 2004, 2005 and 2006. He also spent just under 8,000 on foreign travel in his last year on the job alone.

Mr Patrick, by comparison, spent 690 on trips abroad and just over 2,000 on entertaining in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Mr Culley, a former Labour Party parliamentary candidate, was seen by many as a charismatic champion for his home city.

James Dornan, the leader of the SNP group on Glasgow City Council, yesterday said: "This seems like more evidence of Mr Culley living the high life at taxpayers' expense.

"Mr Culley has done very well out of the public purse right through from his time in SE Glasgow and SPT."

A spokeswoman for Scottish Enterprise said that it would be "inappropriate to comment" until more details of Mr Culley's claims were available.