FOR almost 10 weeks now grassroots community activists have taken to streets across the city to stand up and fight for the future of vital local services such as sports facilities, museums and libraries.

Many of these city assets still do not have re-opening dates despite it now being council policy that all venues will re-open as soon as it is safe to do so, thanks to a Glasgow Labour motion at a recent full council meeting.

In response to a Labour-led request for additional funding for Glasgow Life-run venues, the SNP Scottish Government refused to even acknowledge that there was a problem. Six months after the initial letter, SNP ministers finally responded and flat out refused to commit to any additional funding.

Yesterday, at the council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and City Engagement Committee, councillors had the opportunity to hear directly from campaign groups from across the city.

All of them telling us directly what these services mean to their local areas and why they must be saved and re-opened as soon as possible. These campaigns have been messed about by SNP leadership in the council and have noticed the deafening silence and absence since the election from their local SNP politicians.

They know they deserve better and I am glad that yesterday they at least had the opportunity to speak directly to some of them. It’s important to note that this additional meeting only went ahead thanks to Glasgow Labour councillors pushing for it to happen, before the council’s summer recess which will begin at the end of this week, after attempts by administration politicians to kick it into the long grass.

Those speaking at yesterday’s meeting know exactly who have stood with them since day one and who will continue to support them in the weeks and months ahead, and those who have attempted to silence them and feed them misinformation.

Nevertheless, the testimonies we heard yesterday cannot simply be a tick box exercise. Councillors cannot sit back and feel better about themselves because they have now, finally, given space to and listened to those on the ground campaigning, but then push ahead as if nothing has to change.

Instead, we must use the words of many of our constituents to continue fighting and make the case for our city to get a fairer deal. I know myself and Glasgow Labour colleagues will be with them all the way, just like we have done for the past 10 weeks.

As I mentioned earlier in this piece, Glasgow City Council will go into recess following today’s Full Council meeting, this means for six weeks there will be no formal council business but for activists across the city the campaigning will continue and I look forward to seeing my fellow councillors out there with them whether it’s our sports facilities, museums or libraries – we will be there with you.