Anger as Labour pushes through GAMH cuts

Gamh demo cropped

​Charity's future hangs in the balance

Graham Martin's photo

22nd January 2015 by Graham Martin 2 Comments

Charity workers have been given the devastating news that swingeing cuts to their budget will go ahead – putting jobs and a vital service on the line.

Glasgow Labour councillors voted to push through a controversial cost cutting package at a meeting of the city council’s executive committee today (Thursday, 22 January).

They decided to axe Glasgow Association for Mental Health’s (GAMH) funds by 40% – a move which could cripple the frontline charity, which deals with some of the most vulnerable people.

The council took the decision to make the cut last year – but it has been bitterly opposed by staff, service users and their supporters.

The fight is not over and we will keep the pressure up and will now look at challenging this legally

GAMH was thrown a lifeline last week when SNP and Green councillors forced the issue before the council’s scrutiny committee, which recommended reducing funds by 30% instead of 40%.

Though this could still entail job losses, it is believed the charity could have survived this size of cut as TFN understands it had budgeted for losses up to this scale.

It has always maintained that a 40% drop could make it untenable.

Thursday’s decision by the Labour dominated executive to disregard the scrutiny committee’s recommendation and plough on regardless is a “bitter blow”, according to trade union Unison.

However, official Deborah Dyer said a legal challenge will now be looked at as the proper procedures were not followed.

She said: “This is devastating – we are very sad and angry at this. The Labour party voted to go through with these cuts.

“However, the fight is not over and we will keep the pressure up and will now look at challenging this legally. We will not give up this fight.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "Following further consideration of the paper on the review of mental health services, the council's executive committee voted to uphold the original decision of the committee.

"Social work's proposals emphasised the need for early intervention and prevention work that delivers better outcomes for individuals.

"Under those proposals GAMH is still envisaged as significant provider of mental health support in Glasgow.

"However, a duplication of work was identified during the service review and the original proposal sees GAMH working more closely with GPs, focusing on prevention rather than crisis intervention and delivering that preventative support more effectively."

24th January 2015 by Geordie

As well as cutting vital services , how about cutting there rise in wages and cut expenses by 40%. No I don't see that

3rd February 2015 by rab

Disgraceful, labour party representatives voting this through,they should hang their heads in shame where is the "social justice " the politicians speak of for people with mental health issues