I DIDN’T think I’d be writing again this week about Glasgow City Council’s administration of Coronavirus Business Support Grant funding but the poor progress made over the past seven days has compelled me to continue to shine a spotlight on this issue.

Figures released last week showing that Glasgow is the worst council in Scotland for processing grant applications sadly confirm what I’ve been hearing on the ground from the city’s businesses – many of whom are close to failure for want of the funds that they are entitled to.

As of April 29, there have been 3500 grants sent to Glasgow businesses out of more than 17,000 applications.

Less than 27% of applicants have received the funds that they are entitled to – compared to a figure of more than 70% for North Lanarkshire Council and more than 80% in Aberdeenshire.

When you compare the size and scale of Glasgow’s economy to these authority areas, those numbers are quite simply shocking.

During this crisis I have been reluctant to make political arguments over this scheme because I believe it’s in the best interest of the whole city for all parties to work together.

But the truth is that, as with all policy areas, this issue is a matter of political will and I refuse to stay silent when the SNP administration has so egregiously taken their eye off the ball.

On Friday, council leader Susan Aitken (pictured) shamefully tried to pass the buck on to council staff and avoid scrutiny by claiming that attempts to hold her accountable amounted to a “nasty attack” on frontline workers.

This is after another SNP councillor invited businesses whose applications had been ignored to read Glasgow City Council’s Twitter account. How out of touch can these politicians be?

It’s now been more than five weeks since the Scottish Government launched this scheme on the back of UK Government commitments and businesses who are relying on these funds to be able to pay their staff or rent cannot afford to wait any longer.

It’s a matter of priorities and the truth is that the business community in Glasgow has been consistently let down and ignored by this SNP administration.

Whether it’s their emphatic support for the introduction of a tourist tax and workplace parking levy, policies that are overwhelmingly opposed by small businesses, their shambolic handling of the aftermath of the Sauchiehall Street fires, or indeed the council leader herself who boasts that “we don’t have yet in the Glasgow region a clear interaction with the business community”.

The city’s recovery depends on our local businesses bouncing back after this crisis has abated and they cannot be allowed to fail because of this administration’s negligence.

These businesses simply need the funds that they are entitled to – and were promised by the Scottish Government would be delivered within 10 days – more than five weeks ago.

If the administration cannot or will not do so, they should hand over control to someone who can.