GLASGOW Life is being urged to open “lifeline” libraries and sport centres left out of relaunch plans.

The charity, which delivers cultural and sporting activities for Glasgow City Council, has planned the phased re-opening of 61 venues between July and October.

But chairman David McDonald, the depute leader of the council, said opening all venues safely would not be possible.

Sean McNamara, the head of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland, has sent an open letter to Mr McDonald to share “real concerns over the plans to only open one third of Glasgow’s libraries”.

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He said: “At a time when libraries are hugely popular and the social, educational and economic benefits of them have never been more clear and needed, to keep two-thirds of libraries closed indefinitely, including some of the city’s largest and busiest, is very worrying.”

Glasgow Times:

Glasgow Life is facing major losses, estimated to run into the tens of millions of pounds, as a result of Covid-19 and nearly 1000 staff have been furloughed during the pandemic.

Green Party councillor Jon Molyneux said there is a clear case for the Government to step in to safeguard facilities.

“Re-opening so many venues is not straightforward – but for communities with local facilities that don't feature at all in these initial reopening plans there will be real concerns.

“In recent years, dozens of libraries and community venues have been threatened with closure at budget time. Many of those same venues have been left out of this first wave of re-openings.”

Whitehill Pool, which campaigners fought to save at budget time in 2019, has not been listed to re-open by October.

Glasgow Times:

It has not been revealed when the Mitchell Library will re-open, although staff can return from September 21.

Labour councillor Soryia Siddique, who represent Govanhill, said: “There are concerns that Govanhill Library and Glasgow Club Holyrood are not on the list which I have raised with Glasgow Life.

“Communities in Govanhill face stark inequalities, overcrowding and poverty.

“There are concerns there was no consultation or communication with local communities on the decision.

“Safe access to community facilities is important for health well-being and economic activity."

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Govanhill’s Active Life Club, a charity supporting young people through sport, uses the Holyrood facilities.

Chairman Raza Sadiq said: “We are currently running Zoom calls with our members and the most important questions from young people are asking when we will be starting sports sessions.

“There will be many families disappointed and future generation needs more support than withdrawing facilities.”

Glasgow Times:

A spokeswoman for Glasgow Life said: "We’ve reviewed all of the venues in our estate across all service areas, including museums, libraries, theatres, music venues, community centres and sports facilities.

"Our plans for which buildings should open was based on a number of criteria, including financial implications of Covid-19, and which venues would be able to accommodate current social distancing guidelines.

"We also had to prioritise reopening venues which were essential in providing childcare and education services in order to best support local communities.

"In the venues which are reopening, additional staff may be in place to support the new operating arrangements."