University’s wine cooler purchase branded a “disgrace”


By Michael MacLeod

BOSSES of one of Scotland’s biggest universities have splashed out £5,000 on wine cabinets, despite looming job cuts.

Strathclyde University said it needed to keep its bottles of wine cool to cut its carbon footprint.

But the new wine stores have raised questions over the university’s commitment to cutting costs in the face of a tighter funding settlement from the Scottish Government.

The Glasgow-based university recently unveiled a redundancy plan for staff, offering employees exit packages as part of a bid to reduce expenditure.

The two top of the range wine cabinets, worth £4,975, are in the university’s Collins Buildings, where meetings take place.

“Not a necessity”

The wine cabinet purchase was criticised by the SNP’s Sandra White MSP, whose constituency includes the university.

She said: “I think this is disgraceful.

“These wine cabinets are not a necessity, especially when courses are being cut and staff are being made redundant.

“Rather than spending money on wine for international conferences, Strathclyde needs to get its priorities right.”

Pauline McNeill, the Labour MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said: “This spending is questionable as it was at the same time as people were losing their jobs.

“I wonder if it was necessary.”

A spokesman for Strathclyde University said: “Strathclyde hosts a wide range of events, including international conferences, which generate business for the university and the city.

“It offers a full catering service as part of its provision.

“Following the closure of its wine store, as part of its programme to reduce its carbon footprint, the university purchased cabinets to store wine in a cost-effective way, prolonging shelf life in a smaller space.”