THOUSANDS of redundancy notices could be on the cards for Glasgow’s third sector organisations if plans to scrap the £23million support fund are implemented.

The city’s Labour group has written to the administration asking them to rethink their decision which they argue will affect people who have been working on  the front line throughout this pandemic. 

The party previously wrote to the SNP asking them to postpone the decision in May.

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Now, Labour councillor Martin Rhodes said that if the SNP are determined to push this through then they have a responsibility to establish a contingency fund, to prevent anyone suddenly losing their jobs in the midst of this crisis. 

Mr Rhodes wrote in his letter: “This decision to push ahead will mean the start, in the next few weeks, of the process of issuing redundancy notices to staff in third sector organisations across the city. 

“If you are unwilling to reconsider your course of action of pushing ahead with this change, the Labour group would strongly argue that at the very least a contingency fund is put in place immediately so that no organisation has to issue redundancy notices due to this change being introduced by the council during this public health emergency.”

In April, the SNP Leader of the Council Susan Aitken wrote that the response from third sector and community organisations had been ‘lifesaving’. 

The current Integrated Grant Fund, which is being replaced by the Glasgow Communities Fund, supports more 2,000 staff and sessional staff and funds hundreds of organisations across the city, many of which have been involved in providing food, supplies and companionship during the crisis. 

Mr Rhodes added: “It is clear to absolutely everyone that the world has changed since March this year, and we do not yet know the scale of the challenge that the city will face. How we approach funding for third sector and community organisations needs to respond to the changes caused by the ongoing public health emergency, and so the SNP in Glasgow should stop these plans now and rethink them.

“These organisations have been at the forefront of the city’s response, and it is absolutely right to say that they have saved lives. The decision to force those organisations to issue redundancy notices right now just isn’t right. 

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“If the SNP administration decide to push ahead unnecessarily with a plan and a timetable drawn up before we had coronavirus, then they should at least provide a contingency fund to keep people in their jobs at this difficult time.”

An SNP group spokesperson said: “The third sector in the city have been doing immense work throughout this pandemic and we will continue to support them.

“It is clear that the core aims of the new Glasgow Community Fund - to reduce poverty and inequality - are more important than ever. As we move in to the recovery and renewal phase we are keen to ensure that there is equity in funding support across the city for all organisations that have applied to the new fund. This is an approach which is supported by sector.

“Should Cllr Rhodes bring forward a plan to pay for the contingency fund he is asking for, we would of course consider it. However, he is yet to do so.”