Funding hope for Glasgow’s under-threat groups


Council will decide today the fate of the city's third sector as funding cuts are announced 

3rd September 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Charities in Glasgow have welcomed a potential lifeline fund but still don’t know if they’ll be saved.

Glasgow City Council officials will meet today to decide the fate of third sector groups after they announced cash allocated to its Communities Fund would be slashed by £87m.

After widespread outrage, councillors have proposed a £4 million transitional fund which will sit outside of the Communities Fund. 

Advice groups, as well as Rape Crisis organisations and Women’s Aid groups, can apply but details on how the cash will be allocated is not yet known.

It comes as protestors from the city's advice sector protested outside the City Chambers as the decision to knock back the funding may force the closure of Castlemilk Law Centre, Drumchapel Money Advice Centre, the Castlemilk Bureaux, Bridgeton Bureau, Parkhead Bureau, Easterhouse Bureaux and Glasgow Central.

Councillors will vote today on the cuts, forcing many vital charities and community groups to the brink.   

Kate McCallum, manager of the Castlemilk CAB, said: “Yet again, we find ourselves in a situation where the local authority has dealt it necessary to cut third-sector projects.

“This happened in 1985, 2012 and now it is happening again in 2020. We have been fighting for the rights of our local communities since 1979.

“If our service disappears – and the law centre which is under threat as well – there are no advice provision services at all in Castlemilk. Where do they go?

“It will impact the community in so many ways. We get people coming to our door who don’t have phones. If you’re living on benefits you can’t afford a phone. Then we have elders who don’t have the internet and don’t know how to use digital platforms.

“We have got a system to make claims and that is what we are there for. We hold hands and we help people.”

Citizens Advice Scotland revealed the closures would affect over 12,000 people living in Glasgow who rely upon their services. The knockback would also cause 66 redundancies alongside the loss of 149 volunteers within the CAB centres alone.

Council leader Susan Aitken tried to defend the move and said: "We’ve worked round the clock over the past few days to find a solution for the CAB and other organisations who missed out on grant funding.

"We’ve now identified over £4 million in additional support for the advice sector and VAW, equalities & cultural organisations.

"This brings to over £60 million the investment we’re making in Glasgow’s third-sector over the next three years, including £millions for organisations previously shut out of grant funding.

"Very few councils fund the third- sector to this extent but we choose that investment in our communities.

"The opening up of the old grant fund has clearly been a big cultural change for the sector. But we’re committed to working with CAB and others to find a model for the continued provision of modern, fit-for-purpose advice services, delivered when and where communities need them."