ON Tuesday, 1200 Labour councillors from the across the UK wrote to Boris Johnson, demanding that targeted support for those businesses and industries most affected by Covid restrictions continue after the furlough scheme ends in October.

I had no hesitation in adding my name to that demand.

The Office of Budget Responsibility predicts that, without intervention, up to one in eight of the UK workforce will be unemployed by Christmas. 

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Other informed commentators put the figure even higher. While thousands of us are now getting used to working from home; there are many sectors that cannot so easily find workarounds and there are many jobs that simply cannot be undertaken from the kitchen table.

Of particular concern locally is the future of Glasgow’s night-time economy. Glasgow has developed a well-deserved reputation for its pubs, clubs and diverse range of music venues. 

The sector not only serves Glaswegians but attracts punters from the greater Glasgow area and it is an integral part of our attraction as a visitor destination. 

More than 16,000 jobs here in Glasgow are dependent on the night-time economy and it generates £2.16billion per year in income. We cannot afford to lose that.

Last week I took part in an online meeting with a range of club owners, promoters and other industry representatives. 

The picture they painted was frightening. Wide-ranging redundancies are just around the corner and businesses face the prospect of permanent closure. 

“We were the first to close and will be the last to reopen, if we reopen at all,” was the heartfelt comment of one prominent club owner. 

It is clear that the industry also believe that every level of government, Westminster, Holyrood and local councils is failing to effectively engage or offer the sort of support they desperately need.

Most club venues cannot easily be converted to operate as pubs, though the Licensing Board has made that a simpler process. And, perhaps core to the problem, the effective ban on all music renders many venues almost pointless. 

The industry accepts that until Covid-19 is under control the club and music scene cannot return to normal. 

What they are seeking is targeted support to ensure that thousands of jobs are not lost forever, and much-loved venues closed for good.

Now I am willing to admit that I was not likely to be seen in The Garage or The Shed prior to lockdown. 

Codgers my age are not the target audience. 

You might, however, have found me enjoying live music more to my taste in some other venue. 

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The entire range of our night-time experience and musical entertainment are under threat. That is why I signed the letter to Boris Johnson and have pressed Glasgow City Council to work with the industry to facilitate and promote solutions. 

When all this is over, I suspect we would all appreciate a really good night out. 

Let’s make sure there are still places open where we can enjoy that night out and the company of friends and strangers.