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Council vote to slash Glasgow mental health charity's funding

Council vote to slash Glasgow mental health charity's funding

Glasgow City Council has voted in favour of 'devastating' cuts to a local mental health charity.

The Glasgow Association of Mental Health will see almost half of its budget slashed after the council voted 9-7 to pass cuts to the city's social work budget.

The charity, which currently helps more than 1000 people a week, will see £800,000 withdrawn - which amounts to 40% of GAMH's total funding.

Unison say that the most recent cuts would see at least 29 people, almost a quarter of the GAMH's staff, lose their jobs and would render the organisation "unable to provide a city-wide service".

A recent report by the charity found that, for an annual investment of £2.1m, it provides a social return of £11.1m, meaning its closure could cost the council more than it would save.

GAMH's staff and service users protested outside the City Chambers for the second time today in a bid to protect the charity.

Mental health charity fights cuts that would force closure

Read More

However, Labour councillors pushed through the cuts, which total £2m, with SNP and Green members attempting to block the move.

Unison official Debroah Dyer described a council report written by Glasgow Health and Social Care's David Williams as "a direct attack on GAMH".

She said: "This isn't over. We're looking to have the decision scrutinised and will utilise any legal challenging available to us.

"We need the full council to see the full report. The Executive Committee approved £2m worth of cuts with nothing to back it up.

"They've cut £800,000 from GAMH, but what about the other £1.2m?"

Dyer had earlier blasted the council for their "bully boy tactics", claiming they refused to open any negotiations with Unison or GAMH over the budget.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: "The council is facing an exceptionally challenging financial situation and we have to ensure tax payers' money is being spent effectively.

"Over the past twelve months we have reviewed our mental health services to ensure we are making the most of available resources.

"Under the proposals passed by the Executive Committee, we fully expect GAMH to continue to be a significant care provider within the city's overall mental health service.

"However, the review of mental health services undertaken by the council highlighted a clear need for GAMH to improve the services they provide and also that there is a duplication of services.

"As part of the overall reconfiguration of mental health services, we envisage GAMH working more closely with GPs, focusing on prevention rather than crisis intervention and delivering that preventative support more effectively."

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