COUNCIL Aleos were controversial when they were created and they remain so many years later.

They were created for financial reasons and it is the finances of many of them which are causing concern today.

City Parking makes a loss despite bringing in millions from tickets and charges, and others, such as Glasgow Life and Cordia, have laid off thousands of staff in recent years.

City Building is an important firm in Glasgow, both as a major employer and as a provider of apprenticeships and training for young people and the unemployed.

Whatever its future is, those workers and those currently in training need to be protected.

The level of City Building losses in our report today, however, is significant and no matter how the number-crunchers argue that they are not actual losses, it comes across as an organisation unable to stand on its own two feet financially.

With all organisations that get public money there needs to be transparency, and it must be clear if they are making money or not.

All the Aleos provide essential services which must be maintained no matter how they are governed.

But it is now time, surely, to review the effectiveness of these ‘firms’ and assure ourselves that any benefits they bring are worth their cost to the public purse.

Or have our arm’s length external organisations finally over-reached themselves?