A CHARITY that has supported victims of asbestos-related illness in Glasgow for more than 30 years is “in jeopardy” after being refused lifeline funding from the city council.

The manager of Action on Asbestos (formerly known as Clydeside Action on Asbestos) accused the council of a “cynical attempt” to save money by turning down charities’ applications over tiny application flaws.

It is understood staff at Action on Asbestos had submitted its annual application for just over £50,000 in council support, but initially failed to attach a necessary document to the email.

The application was later re-submitted with the attachment, but manager Phyllis Craig said the council refused to accept it.

Glasgow City Council said its process is “rightly rigorous”, and that it made clear at the outset which documents were needed.

Ms Craig, who was awarded an MBE for her work with the charity, said: “Funding from Glasgow City Council has been the charity’s only source of public funding over the past decade and so we were very keen to submit a new application as normal.

“However, due to a small glitch in the application process, which was quickly rectified by Action on Asbestos, the council is now refusing to accept our application. This will place severe financial strain on the charity.

“We believe this is a cynical attempt by the council to reduce the numbers submitting applications for funding. We are greatly concerned and appalled that the council is taking such an inflexible approach to this.”

Ms Craig called on the council to resolve the stalemate.

She said: “The victims and their families need to know support will remain place. We are calling on Glasgow City Council to rethink its decision and accept our application. We make that call in the name of those who are living with, and indeed dying, of the legacy of widespread asbestos use in Glasgow.”

Funding helps pay for services such as the provision of specialist asbestos nurses for patients in the city and Edinburgh. Action on Asbestos is Glasgow’s only specialist charity for victims of asbestos exposure and other industrial illnesses.

Thomas Mooney has mesothelioma and has been using the services of Action on Asbestos since he was diagnosed.

Mr Mooney said: “I am appalled that Glasgow City Council is using a very small human error as an excuse to reject Action on Asbestos’ application outright without even reading it or considering its merits.

“What kind of message does it think this sends to me and the hundreds of others that are living and dying of an asbestos-related condition in Glasgow?”

Glasgow has the highest global incidence of mesothelioma, a rare and incurable cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust.

Asbestos was widely used for decades in shipbuilding and construction before finally being banned in the UK in 1999.

Gary Smith, treasurer of Action on Asbestos and secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “It seems particularly rigid of the council to not accept our application, or indeed the applications of the other agencies that we also know have also been caught out.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “The application process is rightly rigorous to ensure applicant organisations are able to demonstrate good governance, as well as evidence they can make an impact.

“It was made very clear at the start of the process that certain pieces of documentation would need to be provided and support was given to potential applicants right the way through.

“The majority of applicants [provided] the necessary evidence on time.”