A UNION is urging the council to pull adverts for 16 liaison co-ordinators and put the money into “frontline” services – such as bins, roads and parks.

Glasgow’s budget for the coming financial year – passed earlier this month – allocated £800,000 for the creation of sixteen neighbourhood liaison co-ordinators roles.

Unison believes this money would be better spent on “essential” services to ensure the “health, safety and wellbeing of the citizens of Glasgow”.

It would “lead to a reduction in complaints received by elected members” and “provide a better service to the public”, the union claims.

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But a council spokesman said the liaison team has been “highly effective” and communities across Glasgow will “quickly see the benefit” of the new staff.

They have been described as the “first point of contact” for councillors, community groups and residents – working with council colleagues and external agencies to “problem solve local issues”.

An extra 16 staff would take the liaison team from seven to 23 members, providing an officer for each council ward.

However, Unison has concerns over the long-term implications of the appointments.

In an email seen by the Glasgow Times, branch secretary Brian Smith asks councillors to support the union’s position.

“We do not see how these posts will provide a better service to the public and believe the money would be better spent in frontline areas of the service where additional staff are needed,” he said.

These areas include environmental health, trading standards, cleansing, roads and parks.

Mr Smith’s union is “concerned about the long-term intentions around the nature of these posts”, with fears they “will be used to facilitate further jobs/services being taken out of council control under the guise of community empowerment”.

“The public are looking for their complaints to be dealt with and that means enough staff in those areas who can rectify the problem,” the email continued.

“There is sufficient staff at present liaising between councillors/complainants and the sections who carry out the work.”

The council spokesman said the team “works directly with elected members, community groups and residents to provide solutions to local environmental concerns”.

Co-ordinators are a “first point of contact” on issues such as “cleansing, social behaviour, parks maintenance and community initiatives among many others”, he added.

“A democratic decision of the council approved the expansion of the team, which will lead to all 23 council ward areas in Glasgow having its own neighbourhood liaison officer in the near future.

“We are certain communities across the city will quickly see the benefit of having dedicated liaison officers close at hand and we’ll happily explain to Unison in more detail what the team actually does, if they wish.”