COMMUNITY representatives are being “locked out” of funding decisions totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds, Glasgow Labour has claimed.

Grants to voluntary and community organisations are usually agreed by 23 area partnerships, representing each ward in the city.

Members of community councils and other local groups would normally discuss proposed donations at partnership meetings.

However, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, emergency decision-making arrangements were introduced by Glasgow City Council on March 17. A move supported by all political groups at the time.

Grants are currently being agreed by a senior council officer after talks with the chairs of area partnerships, who are all SNP councillors. Around £360,000 was allocated in April.

The Labour Group is calling for the process to be made “more open and transparent” before more decisions are made on Tuesday (June 30).

A council spokesman said the recommendations for the next round of funding had been sent to all councillors, with responses expected yesterday (June 25).

Councillor Martin Rhodes, the Labour Group’s Communities spokesman, wrote to the SNP administration about the issue.

He said he had been told there would be “wider input” this time but “despite this assurance”, there has been “no input from local communities whatsoever”.

“This is, once again, a very disappointing decision from the SNP administration to effectively lock-out vital representatives of Glasgow’s communities,” Mr Rhodes said.

“Clearly, all the representatives could be involved in the same way that all councillors have been involved now. That they have not been means that this is not an open and inclusive process.

“Community representatives on the area partnerships provide vital input and valuable intelligence on what is happening in our local areas.

“That kind of input is even more important in the current situation, and these communities should be included in the process immediately.”

Each area partnership’s budget is mainly used to provide grants to organisations, such as charities and schools, which apply for funding to meet local needs.

A council spokesman said: “The current, emergency decision making arrangements were agreed by all parties at the City Administration Committee in March.

“Given the logistical challenges posed by the pandemic, and the need to start delivering projects and services in communities as quickly as possible to tackle the local impacts of it, a streamlined process has been put in place so that this funding can be released to local organisations.

“For this round, all elected members were sent the recommendations for their local area partnerships and we expect responses from each Chair by today so that funding decisions can be made by June 30.”

Emergency decision-making arrangements were introduced to reduce the need for face-to-face meetings and allow senior officers to focus on responding to the pandemic.