The Scottish Government has slashed the amount of cash to fund the holiday food programme in Glasgow by £1m.

Last year the summer holiday programme which provided food and activities for thousands of children was funded by the government with £1.66m.

But this year it has only given £662,000 leaving the council to find the money to maintain the level of service.

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The council had been waiting for clarity from ministers on funding and, to ensure the programme went ahead this summer, had to allocate cash to dozens of projects across the city without any commitment from the government.

A paper presented to councillors this week confirms the cut in funding.

It shows that in 2022 the summer programme was funded by the Scottish Government with £1,665,024.

As late as June 2023 the Scottish Government still had not provided details of funding for this year so the council allocated 52 awards worth £1,664,226.

After the council leader and depute leader met with the First Minister and Cosla had talks it was agreed the government would give £4m across Scotland to assist with costs.

The report states: “The funding allocated to Glasgow to assist with the cost of a 2023 summer holiday programme is £662,910.”

Councillors have been told the £1m shortfall will be met by “Unallocated approved carry forwards”.

The October and Spring projects will be funded by the council as in previous years.

No government commitment has been given to funding future holiday food programmes and the council will allocate cash when it sets the budget for 2024/25.

City Treasurer and depute leader, Ricky Bell, said: “I’ve seen first-hand how important the Holiday Food and Activity programme is to households in my ward and across the city.

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“The SNP fulfilled a need which for far too long had never been addressed and I’m proud that it was one of our first policies in Glasgow. 

“After a period of some uncertainty, I’m pleased that we’ve been able to secure funding, including from the Scottish Government, to deliver the programme in the upcoming October and Spring holidays.

“With the cost-of-living crisis, more than at any time in recent years child poverty is firmly on our agenda. The Holiday Food Programme has a crucial role in addressing that. Prioritising the funding to continue this important programme is something I and every single member of the SNP City Administration is absolutely committed to.”

He previously said he had raised the issue several times with the Scottish Government.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scottish Ministers understand the financial pressures many families are currently facing due to the costs crisis caused by the UK Government’s handling of the economy and policy decisions. That is why the Scottish Government provided all local authorities, including Glasgow City Council, with £4 million in additional funding to help them deliver their summer programmes this year.

“This funding will also support the transition to a year-round system of school age childcare, which follows on from the First Minister’s announcement of a £15 million investment to design, test and build such a system.

“Additionally, the Scottish Government is providing £21.75 million for free school alternatives for eligible families during the school holidays.”