Glasgow Labour leader Gordon Matheson denies Orange parade promises

Orange parade New measures in 2010 limited the number of parades in Glasgow

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The leader of Scotland's largest council has denied making "promises" to the Orange Order before the recent local government elections.

Glasgow City Council passed measures in 2010 that effectively capped the number of Orange parades allowed.

It was reported that Gordon Matheson had told the Orange Order the policy was wrong and would be looked at again.

Asked by BBC Scotland what pre-election promises he made on the issue, Mr Matheson replied: "Absolutely none".

The Glasgow City Council leader made the comments on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme on Tuesday.

'No promises'

"I made no promises before the election," he said.

"The policy itself includes the provision for an annual review and that annual review is under way.

Start Quote

"The policy of the council...was to look at reducing the overall number of parades within the city and to reduce the negative impact on it, such as policing costs”

End Quote Councillor Gordon Matheson Glasgow City Council leader

"But you can always learn from implementation and that's as far as this story goes."

The new rules allow Glasgow City Council to prevent marches that may cause too much disruption or congestion.

At the time they were passed, the Orange Order described them as "discriminatory and illegal".

It was reported, however, that Mr Matheson had attended a hustings of Orange Order members in the run-up to the local council elections in May.

The reports said he admitted the new approach to parades was flawed and would be looked at again.

Mr Matheson told the BBC, however, that the new approach to managing parades was working.

"The policy of the council, which was adopted just over a year ago, was to look at reducing the overall number of parades within the city and to reduce the negative impact on it, such as policing costs," he said.

"Actually, we've been really remarkably successful in that."

Mr Matheson said he "unquestionably" backed a retention of the ban on Orange parades playing music as they passed places of worship.

He said: "It's a bit mischievous for anyone to suggest otherwise. It was never on the table for that issue to be reviewed."

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