Millions of pounds of cuts to third sector organisations have been agreed, following a number of reports submitted to Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee.

Glasgow Association for Mental Health’s will suffer significant funding cuts and their service model will be restructured following a decision to remove 40% of their Council funding. The new model is to concentrate on a high ‘throughput’ of service users, using short term interventions, meaning longer-term support is in danger. Despite a protest by the organisation’s service users and supporters outside Glasgow City Chambers, Councillors approved the recommendations submitted by the Executive Member of Social Care, Councillor Malcolm Cunning.

The report confirms proposals are being worked on that would see Carr Gomm, another mental health charity, realigned to the Community Mental Health Team ‘secondary care level’ provision in Health and Social Work, while GAMH would be positioned alongside Primary Care/GP’s as a service that both Health and Social work can divert service users to.

It is unclear as yet what the impact of these cuts will be, however, there are bound to be job losses and the removal of services that aren’t a ‘strategic fit’ with Social Work policy.

In related news, funding for housing support services provided by Glasgow’s housing associations is to be cut by 40%, from £5m to £3m following a review, which is outlined in a report to the Executive Committee . Sheltered housing is included in the review.

Options for housing support services discussed by council officers and service providers include the following:

  • Development of hub and cluster services involving a continuing central role in the provision of locality/community based support for older people by the RSL sector across Glasgow.
  • Termination of services where no significant demand has been identified.
  • Decommissioning of services to alarm only support.
  • Deregistration to ‘retirement housing’ with an alternative funding source.
  • Reduced hours registered service.
  • Providers seek other sources of funding to maintain current levels of service.

The review will affect different housing associations in different ways, depending on the type of provision they provide. For some this will mean that they can no longer pay warden’s salaries and this effectively means no housing support will be available. In other cases, reducing the warden’s hours means a reduced service for the residents. Crucially, ‘floating support’ services are also affected, which means support provided to older people which enables them to remain in their own homes, may also be reduced or no longer available.

Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations have written to the leader of the council, and to councillors, to state their members’ opposition and detailed concerns about the cuts and the way that they have been communicated to members (including a very short time frame) and have urged them to reconsider both the magnitude of the cuts and the timeframe for implementing them.  The Forum has pointed out that the decison to implement the cuts by April 2015 leaves little time for what will be a complex and multi-faceted process; furthermore, housing associations have a number of legal obligations to fulfil, not least consulting with their tenants before implementing major changes.

As previously reported by GCVS, Glasgow’s Integrated Grants Fund has also been cut by over £2m, affecting grant funding to both public and third sectors in the city.  Citywide funding recommendations were approved by the Executive Committee, while local funding recommendations were approved by Glasgow Community Planning Partnership’s Strategic Board last week.  Organisations will receive confirmation of funding awards this week.