CUTS to Glasgow’s social work services are “untenable” unions have warned after the latest budget.

In the budget, agreed by Glasgow City Council, of the total cuts worth £26.5m to meet a spending cap of £41.8m, the Social Work service is shouldering a cut of £7.6m.

It is 28% of the total cuts to departments across the council.

In the budget paper presented to the council it simply states: “Savings allocation to IJB (Integrated Joint Board) £7,600,000.”

Decisions on how the cuts will be implemented and the budget spent, with a contribution of £441.2m from the council, will be taken by the IJB, a partnership of the health board and city council.

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The IJB is funded through cash from the council and from the health board and has to meet priorities set by both, and the Scottish Government.

Union leaders in Glasgow said the services that will be hit are those which have seen similar cuts over the last decade.

The council agreed to meet the spending gap through £10.2m from increasing council tax by 4.64%, £26.5m in revenue savings and another £4m through reserves and £1m from removing contribution to General fund balances.

In delivering the budget speech the City Treasurer, Allan Gow, said the council had received a disappointing settlement from the Scottish Government.

Unions said it is the people who are most vulnerable who will pay the price in a reduced service and that the cuts were not sustainable.

Brain Smith, of Unison Glasgow branch said the cuts were likely to fall on the same areas as in recent years and said, “Glasgow’s situation is untenable”.

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He said: “It affects children and older people. There are children who need specialist places purchased outwith the council. They could be disabled or are vulnerable though disruptive behaviour. This is continually being cut.

“Social workers say the see a lack of specialist resources for vulnerable children and many end up in the wrong placement.”

Mr Smith said these specialist places are expensive and have already been subject to cutbacks.

For older people he said the problem was two-fold affecting both residential care and home care services.

He said the council policy, rightly, is about maximizing independence and keeping people in their own homes for as long as possible.

However, he added: “But the front-line staff are starting to see some older people who should be admitted to residential care sooner than they are being.

“Again, residential care is more expensive. There is also a lack of funding for home care services, there has been a funding gap there for some time. It is between £1m and £2m lower than what it needs to be. We have people left in the community for too long and they are also not getting the level of home care they need.

“Anyone with family or friends in this setting knows there is a diminishing service. “

The council gets money allocated from the Scottish Government for social care services that must go to the IJB and as a result is protected more than most other departments.

The £7m is from a social work budget of almost £450m, the second highest in the council after education.

Education which also has certain Scottish Government priorities protected had a cut of £1.6m.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council, said: “Detailed budgets for care services are set by the IJB, not the council.

“Under the terms of the Scottish budget, local authority allocations to joint boards are heavily protected.”