Glasgow City Council told to revisit planned cuts to mental health charity's funding

The local authority's executive committee decided in December to cut funding to the Glasgow Association for Mental Health by up to 40 per cent

Glasgow City Council
Glasgow City Council

Glasgow City Council has been told to reconsider its decision to cut its funding for the charity the Glasgow Association for Mental Health by up £800,000 in 2015/16.

Members of the council’s operations and scrutiny committee voted last night to ask the council’s executive committee to review its decision. In December, the executive committee decided to cut between 20 and 40 per cent of its funding for the charity, which was allocated £2.1m in grant funding from the local authority in 2014/15.

A motion to review the decision – and cut the charity’s funding by 30 rather than 40 per cent – was proposed by the Scottish National Party councillor Martin Docherty and means that the council’s executive committee will have to decide on the issue for a second time at a meeting next Thursday.

Since December, GAMH, which works with people who are experiencing mental health problems and their carers, has been opposing the cuts through a campaign group made up of service users and staff, and led by the union Unison. A 40 per cent cut in funding means it would have to make up to 30 people redundant and halve its support services, the charity has said.

A spokesman for the council said the proponents of the original measure – led by Labour councillor Malcolm Cunning, the council’s executive member of social care – wanted to cut GAMH’s funding by 40 per cent because they felt there was too much duplication between the high-level crisis interventions the charity provided and those offered by another charity, Carr Gomm.

The council wanted GAMH to focus its efforts on early intervention services, taking referrals from GPs, and leave Carr Gomm to deliver crisis intervention services, which it believed the latter charity was better placed to do.

The cuts are a knock-on effect of reductions to the council’s social care budget, which the spokesman said had brought pressures on the department.

Jenny Graydon, chief executive of GAMH, who spoke at last night’s scrutiny committee meeting, was not available for comment.

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