Jobs fear as charity goes under

More than 500 voluntary sector staff face uncertain futures after one of Scotland's largest charities went into liquidation.

Family-support charity One Plus collapsed last week after the Scottish Executive refused to provide £2m to bail it out.

The demise of the organisation, which had an annual turnover of £11m, has been blamed on poor management. Accountancy firm KPMG took control of One Plus last week, a day after the charity's trustee board voted to put it into voluntary liquidation.

No one at the charity was available for comment about the future of its staff or services, but KPMG issued a statement that said: "In recent months One Plus has suffered severe financial difficulties.

"These have been attributed by the company to poor management information systems masking the operation of loss-making services, which led to a recent cash-flow crisis.

"This is a deeply regrettable situation, and our first concerns are with the employees and the parents affected by the loss of these valuable services."

A delay in the distribution of European structural funds - grants for projects helping socially excluded people - added to the charity's financial woes.

The Glasgow-based organisation, whose 520 staff helped 1,000 lone parents, received more than half of its income from the state.

The Scottish Executive turned down a last-ditch request by the directors of One Plus for £2m to re-finance the organisation.

An spokeswoman for the executive said that the charity's request to refinance the organisation with £2m "did not stand up".

She added: "The executive and local authorities felt the right thing to do was to focus on ensuring continuity of services through other providers.

"We are continuing to work very hard with our local authority partners to ensure that key services to vulnerable people are maintained."

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council, which contracted 26 services from One Plus and handed over a £700,000 rescue package to the charity before the liquidation, said it hoped to continue running services through other voluntary and private sector providers.

She said: "We are delighted that other organisations, both private and voluntary, have offered assistance so quickly, and we are confident that the vast majority of young people who are affected will face little or no service disruption."

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