I WILL make no apology for returning this week to the future of our libraries, museums, sports venues and community centres.

The more often the leadership of the SNP here in Glasgow responds to the genuine concerns of our communities and the legitimate criticisms made by Labour councillors, the more confusing and uncertain the situation becomes. Any regular reader of the Glasgow Times must wonder which version of the SNP position to believe.

In yesterday’s Times, Susan Aitken insisted that community concerns were no more than politically motivated scaremongering. In the very same edition, the First Minister clearly acknowledged that there was a problem and promised to do everything to help resolve it. Well, everything that did not involve actually providing the necessary funding.

On Tuesday, Mike Dailly, a prominent SNP convert and campaigning lawyer, castigated the plans announced by Glasgow Life and insisted that the city administration had to come clean about the future of our libraries. Little wonder that people are confused and, as a result, entirely unconvinced.

A very simple statement from Susan Aitken would perhaps help clear the air. In line with what is actually council policy, she must give a commitment that all facilities will reopen as soon as Covid regulations allow. She has signally failed to give that reassurance.

If you examine the detailed list of facilities and services not currently scheduled for reopening, you will find the following statement repeated time and time again:

“This facility has been earmarked for community management through the People Make Glasgow Communities initiative.”

The inevitable question is will Glasgow City Council reopen these facilities while discussions for transfer progress or will they remain mothballed until a community group ride to the rescue? The future of football pitches, tennis courts, golf courses and bowling greens remain entirely uncertain.

For many of the libraries and community centres it is stated that “the building is in need of significant refurbishment”. Will these buildings be reopened pending refurbishment or remain closed while we wait for Nicola Sturgeon to find some extra cash down the back of a sofa?

In my own ward, Barlia Sports Centre is currently being used as a Covid testing centre.

The buildings are out of bounds for anything other than that purpose and will remain so for some time. The pitches themselves are lying unused and increasingly subject to vandalism. Discussions about community transfer of Barlia predate Covid by some considerable time. We have asked that, in the interim, the pitches are opened for community use and properly maintained. To date we have been told that this is not possible due to costs and other factors.

The fear in Castlemilk, and in other local venues, is that by the time Barlia is ever transferred to the community it will be so dilapidated that it is no longer fit for purpose. So, forgive me, Susan, if your sweeping and often contradictory statements bring me no comfort. You insist that services will not be closed but you refuse to be clear about when they will reopen. Glasgow deserves better.