A NEW community fund to help benefit charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across Glasgow has been approved by councillors.

The new fund designed by the council in partnership with the Glasgow Third Sector Interface Network aims to help more organisations tackle the impact of poverty, deprivation and inequalities across the city.

Proposals were discussed at Thursday’s city administration committee. But Labour councillor Martin Rhodes raised concerns that money and debt advice services in the city would suffer as a result.

He said: “I want to give reassurance to the advice services that we are not going to take away their funding. This new structure could mean organisations like Glasgow’s Advice and Information Network (GAIN) will receive less funding.”

Councillor Rhodes submitted an amendment to maintain the funding available to advice services at a current level. This was rejected by the rest of the committee.

Over the last four years GAIN has generated more than £103,800,000 for Glasgow’s citizens and worked with more than 21,500 people.

Glasgow’s Labour party has raised further concerns that third sector funding available could be cut by £1 million at next year’s budget despite official reports saying grant levels will be maintained for the next three financial years.

The report also states that up to five per cent could be cut from the new grant fund.

Sources say this is a worse case scenario.

Councillor Martin Rhodes, Labour’s spokesperson on Communities, said: “This is a disgraceful decision for the SNP to take today. Organisations delivering vital services will see £1m less every year. It is a time of great anxiety for the third sector in Glasgow, and this move falls significantly short of the clarity that they sought.

“The Third Sector works to improve the lives of people in communities across Glasgow every day. In the spirit of co-production, we sought to address the concerns raised by the Third Sector Interface – the representative body for all organisations in the City. Labour will continue to fight to make sure that there is clarity for the sector.”

The organisations from the advice centre will be able to apply for funding from the new system with the application process opens in a few weeks.

Councillor Jen Layden said: “Glasgow has needed a more equitable, accountable and transparent funding programme which world to benefit all third sector organisations for a very long time.

“Labour leaders, when they were in charge didn’t have the guts nor the political will to make this happen and denied thousands of groups access to funding.

“We have delivered for the many not the few.”