Car cloning boss SPT oversaw taxpayer-funded contracts for the company he became director of

Car cloning transport boss Gordon Maclennan oversaw £ 140,000 of taxpayer-funded contracts with a bus company he was later appointed director of, the Sunday Mail can reveal.

He was forced to quit his £ 153,000 a year job as CEO of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) on Friday after this document caught him driving an illegally cloned VW Passat.

But now we can reveal that he stepped down from a controversial non-executive director position at minibus modification company Allied Vehicles just hours after last week’s revelations.

He was appointed in March last year, but information obtained by the Sunday Mail shows that over the past 10 years the SPT has spent £ 60,000 on roadworthiness, maintenance and repair contracts for buses, £ 19,000 to adapt buses to EU standards and thousands more for the purchase of vans. of the firm.

And it can also be revealed that while Maclennan was managing director of the SPT, Glasgow-based Allied accepted free office furniture from the SPT when the transport organization moved its headquarters in 2016.

Shamed Maclennan was also criticized in 2016 after it emerged that the SPT sold buses purchased from Allied Vehicles at a fraction of their cost.

The minibuses were bought for between £ 82,000 and £ 84,000 but were then sold around six years later for as little as £ 450.

In addition to his tenure as a director at Allied Vehicles, Maclennan is also a co-owner and director of Millar Motors – a vehicle inspection and repair garage in Kilsyth, Lanarkshire.

The SPT says he did not receive compensation for any of these roles.

A former SPT employee said: “I sat right in front of his desk. The door was always open and the main thing I ever heard him do while I was working there was arranging technical checks and services for the cars in his garage.

“I thought he would fully concentrate on PTS given his job, it just seemed very strange. “

Asked about Maclennan’s involvement with Allied Vehicles, its managing director Peter Facenna said: “Mr. Maclennan became a non-executive director of Allied Vehicles Group Ltd in March 2020.

“At no time was Mr. Maclennan employed by the company or held operational responsibility. Mr. Maclennan resigned his post on Monday August 16.

“About six years ago, we got a call from SPT asking if we could help them clean the furniture in a building they were leaving.

“Most of the content had already been removed by some charities and what was left was mostly unusable.

Gordon MacLennan’s VW Passat clone car in his second home on the Isle of Lewis

“Along with a number of other suppliers, we supplied some vehicles to SPT over 10 years ago, but we were not involved in the subsequent sale of the vehicles by SPT, so we cannot comment on that. “

Maclennan’s departure from the SPT has been described as a retreat on Friday.

He was originally suspended after we caught him driving a VW Passat in his vacation home while an almost identical car with the same reg SF02 ORB was parked in his Glasgow office.

He was pictured with his son Stuart, a policeman on duty, leaving Dalmore on the Isle of Lewis and driving three miles to Carloway.

Called in by our reporter, he denied anything that claimed “it’s not true”, before declining to comment when told of the photographic evidence.

Car cloning is illegal and punishable by jail time, as is driving without insurance, vehicle inspection, and road tax.

A police investigation is currently underway.

A spokesperson said: “We have received a complaint and will assess any information we can get. “

Valerie Davidson stepped in as Interim Director General of the SPT.

A spokesperson said: “Mr. Gordon Maclennan, 72, has informed the SPT President, Advisor Dr. Martin Bartos, that he wishes to retire with immediate effect.

Gordon MacLennan's VW Passat clone car at his second home on the Isle of Lewis, which bears the same make, model and registration number as a car in an SPT garage in Glasgow city center.
Gordon MacLennan’s VW Passat clone car at his second home on the Isle of Lewis

“It was accepted and SPT thanks Mr. Maclennan for his many years of service. “

The SPT insisted Maclennan had not requested or received a refund, but his pension is expected to reach £ 100,000 a year.

MSP Monica Lennon wrote to Scottish Police Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, stating: ‘As the cloning of a license plate is illegal, I would be grateful if you would confirm the action taken by the Scottish Police to investigate this. serious matter, the progress made and whether any arrests or charges have been made.

She said: “Mr Maclennan has now retired and has been allowed to leave with glowing thanks despite being the subject of the criminal investigation.

“The police and the SPT have to get to the bottom of this if people want to be sure that this is not a rule for well-paid public servants and another for everyone. “

SNP adviser Angus Millar has called for a full body exam.

He said: “This is not the first time that the SPT has been mired in serious allegations.

“While it is true that due process should run its course in any investigation into these allegations, this latest episode must surely spark an urgent discussion about the purpose of the SPT.

“SPT is well served by talented individuals with leading expertise in transportation issues. They are not served by the scandals that engulf the organization and the structures within which it works.

“Now is the time to see how we are creating the right structures to better serve the traveling public, modernize transportation policy and governance, and break out of the continuing negativity that surrounds SPT.”

In 2015, it was reported that the directors of the SPT, including Maclennan, charged taxpayers almost £ 50,000 in travel and other expenses which never appeared on their published expenses.

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