The boss of a meals-on-wheels charity has hit out at Glasgow City Council after the organisation's van was denied an exemption for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

Eat Up operates across Renfrewshire and North Lanarkshire to deliver food and essentials to those in need.

The charity was previously able to extend its services to help people in Glasgow but has been forced to pull back because its van is not LEZ compliant.

Glasgow Times:

Their diesel refrigerated van from 2012 does not meet the Euro 6 standards required to enter the LEZ and was denied an exemption from the council.

The Glasgow Times understands that Eat Up's exemption request was turned down because the charity wasn't able to show that timely efforts were being made to comply, which would require having a replacement vehicle on order awaiting delivery.

Glasgow Times:

Tommy Reid, the founder of Eat Up, has said the charity feels "disgusted" by the decision and is struggling to afford a compliant van which would cost thousands of pounds.

He said: "Vans are very expensive these days and we just don’t have the capital for it. It's as simple as that.

“We just want access to the city a couple of times a month so we can do our work.

"We are actively looking to get a new van on the road to replace the one we’ve got for Glasgow but that’s an ongoing process."

Glasgow Times:

Mr Reid says the charity applied for a government loan to acquire a green vehicle but "it came up dry" and after looking at other loans and cash orders found the interest would cost too much.

He said: "It’s disgusting. It’s quite a strong feeling from our end, the more we thought about it.

“We believe that all the community groups should have access to the city with vehicles.

"These groups, when you think about it, are plugging a hole or a gap that policy or local government doesn’t cover somehow.

“It just doesn’t make sense a lot of it. They could easily let us through a couple of times a month just to do our thing.

“There’s literally people starving out there, there really is. There’s furniture they need to get, people are walking into houses with nothing.

“And that’s what we are trying to help in the best way we can and provide something to them.

“There are tons of charities, community groups, and social enterprises doing similar, it’s almost like a front-line service.

“It’s got to be recognised that that type of thing needs access without barriers.

“I’m all for clean air, I truly am. But charities need to be able to get in there and relieve poverty.”

Glasgow Times:

A council spokeswoman said:  “Glasgow’s plan to phase in a city centre LEZ was announced in 2018 and since then there has been an extensive programme of communications and engagement to raise awareness of the scheme, its timescale for introduction and the availability of funding to ease compliance.

“To maximise the effectiveness of Glasgow’s LEZ in bringing down levels of harmful air pollution, it is essential that compliance rates are as high as possible.

"This means that exemptions will only be considered in exceptional circumstances and where the organisation applying can clearly demonstrate that timely efforts are being made to comply with LEZ requirements.”