Plea for support amid Glasgow Life job fears

Hundreds of jobs could be axed if the Scottish Government does not step in to save Glasgow Life, councillors have warned.

Glasgow City Council’s elected members have called on Holyrood to provide support for the charity to continue providing vital community services, such as libraries and sport complexes.

Earlier this month, Glasgow Life revealed a phased reopening approach in line with the government’s route map, which will see 61 locations open their doors for the first time between now and October.

However, councillors fear the “significant impact” of Coronavirus means some venues may not reopen at all.

Labour Councillor Paul Carey said: “I cannot stress how grave this situation is. Glasgow Life is, in my opinion, on the verge of not coming through this.

“There is a strong possibility that many community facilities will not reopen and there are hundreds of jobs at risk.

“This administration must step up to protect these jobs along with our community facilities that play a vital part in our community.”

While Green Cllr Jon Molyneux, who has written to Glasgow Life chair David McDonald about the situation, echoed Cllr Carey’s statements.

He told the Glasgow Times: “There’s a clear case for the government to intervene.

“People in communities are worried and concerned about the future of their own local services.”

“The priority should be to protect the services which provide the most public good and the jobs that go with them.”

A spokesman for Glasgow Life said: “We have been very clear that the financial challenge facing Glasgow Life because of Covid-19 is unprecedented.

“We know people love and value the services and venues we deliver but since lockdown began we have lost £12 million of income from memberships and ticket sales to date and expect to lose tens of millions by the end of the financial year.

“It is essential for Glasgow Life that we develop an operational model that is sustainable now and in the future.

“The fundamental principle that informs which venues and services can restart is the financial landscape that Glasgow Life will have to operate within for the foreseeable future.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “It is no secret that the pandemic and the necessary public health response over the coming months and, potentially, years will test the financial resilience of every local authority in the country.“Securing the financial stability of the council family will be essential not only for the delivery of services – but to support the rest of Glasgow’s recovery and the key priorities of economic and social renewal.

“This will mean taking whatever action is necessary to ensure we can balance the city’s budget, including maximising external funding. We are already engaging with the Scottish Government, through Cosla and directly, on this.”

Glasgow Times | News