IN the past week, Glaswegians have been faced with the devastating news that up to 59 sporting, cultural and community facilities across the city may never reopen their doors after this pandemic.

From historical treasures like Provand’s Lordship Museum to library services at Maryhill and Whiteinch, there is no quarter of the city that escapes being hit by these proposed closures. In response, the Leader of the council, Susan Aitken, has taken to social media to say that Maryhill Library is “not closing – it’s just moving across the road to the Glasgow Club”.

This is nationalist doublethink in action. The party has told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. When Susan Aitken promised only months ago not to close any libraries in Glasgow, you can’t have possibly thought that what she meant by that was that she would not close any libraries in Glasgow! How ridiculous for anyone to interpret her words as meaning exactly what they do. No, instead what she meant was that the libraries would close and a few books be moved to a sports centre a mile away.

My group has been clear – we reject the premise upon which these cuts are being made. The truth is that the Scottish Government’s budget is the highest in the history of devolution. They have never had as many resources at their disposal as at this very moment – and rightly so. The broad shoulders of the United Kingdom have helped to support every nation and region of our country during this national crisis. But instead of those resources being directed to fund our core public services like libraries and museums, they have been egregiously misused for the purposes of division and separatism.

Scots have been hit with a deluge of election bribes from the SNP – which the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies say is being paid for with emergency Covid cash. That money was intended to help organisations like Glasgow Life cope with the devastating impact of the pandemic on their income generation. Instead, the SNP are comfortable sacrificing Glasgow’s heritage on the altar of their nationalist ambitions.

My colleague, councillor Ade Aibunu, was right last week when he wrote to the Chair of Glasgow Life describing their plans as ‘cultural vandalism’. These buildings are vibrant community assets. And yet, despite warm words during her tenure about community empowerment, there has been absolutely zero consultation with local people about the SNP’s plans to decimate Glasgow Life services.

It’s no wonder so many of my constituents feel absolutely betrayed by this council administration. Not only did Susan Aitken herself promise to protect our city’s libraries, but her party’s social media accounts branded concerns over potential closures as “lies” and “scaremongering”.

Well, it turns out we were right to be fearful.

We have been completely misled by SNP councillors who seem content to allow vital community facilities to close rather than speak out.

And where is our First Minister, Glasgow MSP Nicola Sturgeon?

Well, she is nowhere to be seen. It seems that the future of Glasgow’s cultural and community heritage is another one of those issues that she has “taken her eye off the ball” on.

One thing is certain however, the people of Glasgow will not forget and will never forgive the SNP if they progress with these plans to decimate our services.