A WEEK is a long time in politics, so they say.

Well, three weeks since the Budget decision is even longer, and the fallout from the choices the SNP and Greens made that day is going to have a detrimental effect on our city for a long, long time.

There is no getting away from it, the Budget was brutal. The council tax freeze that First Minister Humza Yousaf hoisted upon us in a bid to save the most dire SNP annual conference made sure our hands were tied before we even started.

But in a disheartening move that speaks volumes of the current administration’s priorities, its Budget has taken aim at one of the most pivotal support structures for the city’s youth: the MCR Pathways programme.

Glasgow Times:

This decision is not just a reduction in numbers, it’s a devastating blow to the very fabric of youth support in Glasgow.

MCR Pathways is a beacon of hope for many vulnerable young people in Glasgow, providing them with the mentoring and support necessary to navigate the challenges of adolescence and the education system.

By pairing young individuals with mentors who guide and support them, the programme has been instrumental in transforming lives, offering a path to personal and academic achievement that many might not have found otherwise. The impact of these cuts cannot be overstated. For many young Glaswegians, MCR Pathways represented a critical lifeline, a chance to break the cycle of disadvantage and aspire to a future brighter than their circumstances might suggest.

The programme’s success stories are a testament to its value, with countless participants going on to achieve academic success and personal growth that seemed out of reach before they got involved.

Yet, in one fell swoop, the council’s budgetary axe threatens to sever this lifeline. The decision to slash funding for such a crucial programme under the guise of an educational service review is nothing short of a travesty. It’s a move that reeks of dishonesty and a lack of transparency, leaving the city’s most vulnerable in an even more precarious position.

And what’s equally alarming is the silence from those in positions of power who ought to be champions of such invaluable initiatives. The absence of outcry or opposition from SNP MPs and MSPs is a glaring omission. Their silence on the matter is a stark abdication of their responsibility to protect and nurture the future of Glasgow’s youth.

This is not just a budget cut, it’s a direct assault on the prospects of countless young Glaswegians. It’s a decision that undermines the very essence of what programmes like MCR Pathways aim to achieve – empowerment, equity and the breaking down of barriers to success for all young people, regardless of their background.

As we grapple with the implications of these cuts, it’s crucial to remember the faces behind the numbers – the aspiring young minds whose potential may now go unrealised. The city of Glasgow, and indeed its leaders, must be called to account for this short-sighted and detrimental plan.

The potential loss of MCR Pathways’ funding is not just a line item in a Budget – heck it wasn’t even given a line by the SNP/Green administration –

it’s a blow to the heart of community support and youth empowerment in Glasgow.

On a personal note, it was with great sadness that I, along with more than 500 family, friends and neighbours, said our farewells on Monday to Angie Blair who was a true Bridgeton Community Champion. She was small in stature but her huge personality more than made up for that.

Angie was someone who always had the interests of her family and her community at heart with fairness and justice at the core of everything she did. Her family gave her a fitting tribute despite their pain.

We will all miss Angie, I will particularly miss her 7am phone calls giving me instructions for the day. Thanks for everything Angie.