THE Scottish Government has been asked to step in and “get a grip” of the Glasgow Life funding issue that has led to dozens of venues remaining closed after lockdown.

Around 60 community centres, sports facilities and libraries remain shut across the city as the council-owned body said it does not have enough income to re-open all the venues it manages.

Campaigns to re-open libraries in Maryhill, Cathcart and Whiteinch have been running since the announcement they were not re-opening. Others are on a list where the preferred future option is for an asset transfer out of council control.

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Paul Sweeney, Glasgow Labour MSP, asked the Community Wealth Minister if the Government would give the necessary cash to get venues open again.

He has asked the minister for his response to calls from trade unions for an extra £17 million to support Glasgow Life services this year.

Tom Arthur, Community Wealth Minister, said decisions were for the council and he said the council has had a fair settlement and hundreds of millions of pounds extra.

He said: “The Scottish Government does not underestimate the impact Covid-19 has had on the arts and cultural sector in Glasgow which is hugely important to the wider city economy and Scotland’s cultural life.”

Arthur added: “Glasgow City Council has already been allocated an additional £221.7m to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown through the local government settlement, over and above their regular grant payments.”

Sweeney said Glasgow Life’s budget has been cut by the council which in turn has been cut by the Scottish Government.

He said: “Over the past decade as a whole Glasgow Life’s block grant from Glasgow City Council has been cut by 8% and this Government has cut Glasgow City Council’s budget by over 10%, so clearly there are interdependencies. For the leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken, to continue to claim the proposed venue closures come as a result of Covid is disingenuous at best. So will the Scottish Government please get a grip on the situation and provide local authorities with the funding they need.”

Arthur told the Glasgow MSP the Scottish Government has had to deal with austerity from Westminster and challenged him to say where the extra money comes from.

He said: “If he wishes to see increased resources for local government, it is incumbent upon him to identify resource.”