Glasgow’s Advice Agencies have secured a last minute temporary rescue plan after half faced closure in just over a month.
The news comes after it was announced last week that Glasgow advice agencies faced swinging cuts from Glasgow City Council, with some facing closure within just a month, in time for the UK’s Furlough Scheme coming to an end.
The plans, which are believed to have been drafted before the Lockdown would have seen potentially five Citizen Advice Bureaux, Drumchapel Money Advice Centre and Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre (Scotland’s oldest law centre) close possibly by the end of the year.
The Citizen Advice Bureaux facing closure were:
- Castlemilk Citizen Advice Bureau;
- Glasgow Central Citizen Advice Bureau;
- Bridgeton Citizen Advice Bureau;
- Parkhead Citizen Advice Bureau; and
- Easterhouse Citizen Advice Bureau.
Other Agencies Facing Closure
Other agencies across the city including the Legal Service Agency (Scotland’s largest Law Centre), Govan Law Centre, Pollok Citizen Advice Bureau, Money Matters, Drumchapel Citizen Advice Bureau and the Ethnic Minority Law Centre also faced cuts of up to 36%, meaning many of their core services would have been impacted.
However, after a demonstration was called in Glasgow’s George Square, a last minute transitional rescue plan has been offered by Glasgow City Council of £4 million, although details of the plan are still unknown.
First Minister Wants Agencies to go from Strength to Strength
Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, has been called to intervene to protect Glasgow Advice Agencies and provide leadership to secure their long term future.
Speaking at First Minister’s Question Time, Nicola Sturgeon, herself a former solicitor at what was formerly Drumchapel Law and Money Advice Centre, has said she wants to see advice agencies go “from strength to strength”.
Speaking at the protest, Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate, and Principal Solicitor of Govan Law Centre said of the proposed cuts:
“The idea you would reduce the capacity of the Advice Sector in Glasgow during the worst pandemic in my lifetime and I am sure during your lifetime, is reckless, it’s feckless, its dangerous and its downright not acceptable.
“Ultimately”, he continued, “I think we are going to win this, but we need to see the details of the Transitional Plan and we need to make sure this never, ever happens again”.