UNIONS in Glasgow have launched a petition which demands city councillors refuse to vote through any more cuts and call for extra money.

Unison, EIS, GMB and Unite are behind the ‘Save Our Services’ campaign, a bid to protect the “glue that holds communities together”.

They say the city was facing a £91m funding gap over the next two years before the “spending consequences” of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, while “not clear”, are “predicted to be significant”.

The focus should be on “winning more money from the Scottish Government” over increasing service charges or council tax, the unions claim.

A council spokesman said setting an illegal budget would “achieve nothing other than a massive, unsustainable rise in council tax” and emergency action to cut spending.

Brian Smith, Unison branch secretary, said: “The trade unions are asking their members and the wider Glasgow public to sign and support the petition.

“We are calling on Glasgow’s politicians to do the same and use their influence to win more money for our city.”

The petition states Glasgow City Council has seen almost £400m cut from its budget by national governments over the past decade.

“We have seen jobs lost, cuts to services, increases in charges for other services and a shrinking of the council’s role in economic activity in the city,” it adds.

“Almost one in three children in Glasgow are now in poverty. Many children require more support, yet a range of school budgets and services have been cut.

“Community advice services for families requiring benefits and legal rights assistance have been cut and are threatened on a yearly basis.”

Cuts to services such as cleansing, parks and roads are “obvious to all who live in the city”, the petition states.

“Public services are the glue that holds communities together and will be crucial to our society’s recovery in the years ahead.”

Union representatives want Glasgow MPs and MSPs to publicly support their statement and “use their influence to secure more money for our city”.

They ask councillors to do the same and “also refuse to implement any more cuts in the council budget while a campaign is built to win more money for the city”.

A council spokesman said: “Nobody involved in local government would argue against more resources – particularly in the face of a challenge like the coronavirus pandemic.

“However, setting an illegal budget would achieve nothing other than a massive, unsustainable rise in council tax – and the city being forced to take emergency action to cut spending, with unthinkable consequences for lifeline services and the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Overall Covid-19 support packages for councils now total more than £1billion, a Scottish Government spokesman has said.

“Despite a real terms cut of £840m by the UK Government to Scotland’s discretionary resource budget since 2010/11, we have ensured our partners in local government receive a fair funding settlement that supports vital public services.”