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Councillor Fined By Police Scotland


South Lanarkshire Council's deputy leader has been fined for urinating in public.

Labour’s Jackie Burns, who was first elected as a councillor in 1990, was hit with the £40 fixed penalty notice in the early hours of Saturday morning.

It is understood the incident took place near the Hamilton Palace nightclub.

He did not comment on the fine, but a source close to the councillor said: “Jackie is deeply embarrassed about this. He was caught short but he totally accepts there is no excuse for it. He accepts it was wrong and will pay the fine.”

Mr Burns represents Larkhall and sits on a range of committees including social work, planning and education resources.

He was a civil servant for the Department of Work and Pensions and used to work as a communications manager for former Labour MP Jimmy Hood.

He is listed as a board member of NHS Lanarkshire and was set to be Labour’s Holyrood candidate for the Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse seat, but stood down earlier this year for personal reasons.

John Wilson, an MSP for Central Scotland, said: “I am disappointed by this behaviour. He should consider his position as deputy leader.”

Separately, Burns was facing questions about his political links to a businessman who had been awarded over £200,000 in taxi contracts.

Council employee Peter Henry - Burns’ former election agent - is currently suspended after an anonymous complaint was made to the local authority about the taxi contracts given to his nephew Stephen McGhee.

It emerged on Sunday that McGhee helped organise a fundraiser for Burns and was on the Labour campaign committee to help get the councillor elected to Holyrood.

There is no suggestion Burns played any role in the awarding of the taxi contracts.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “I can confirm that a 51-year-old man was issued with a fixed penalty notice in relation to a minor act of anti-social behaviour within Hamilton town centre on Saturday 7 November.”