A COALITION is being formed to fight proposed cuts to care services in the country's largest city, as campaigners warned that vulnerable citizens face losing their jobs and homes as a result of dwindling charity funding.

Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) is facing possible closure after it emerged that local authority funding reductions would result in its budget being slashed by up to 40 per cent, while other charities are facing similar pressures.

A conference to be held this week will see the formal launch of a new group, Glasgow Care Crisis, which aims to unite those fighting cuts in mental health, learning disability and similar services in the city.

GAMH, which has a budget of £2.18 million and works with more than 1,000 people every week, has warned 120 of its staff that they could be made redundant after Glasgow City Council set out plans to reduce its funding by £875,000.

Campaigners behind the new drive have claimed that "unfair" cuts across the city will hit the most vulnerable, while the local authority has been accused of "ripping great big holes" in the welfare safety net.

Marion Nisbet, of the Glasgow Care Crisis group, said: "The cuts in Glasgow are not smart or fair as they target vital services and will only put greater pressure on other services which are already under pressure, leading to higher spending down the line.

"These cuts are also very irresponsible because they immediately put vulnerable people under increasing stress and at increased risk."

Like all local authorities, Glasgow City Council has been forced to deal with huge reductions to its funding in recent years. The authority has warned that it is likely that it will have to make further savings in coming years, but has pledged that statutory services will be maintained.

Those who rely on services as well as their families and trade union campaigners are to attend the Glasgow Care Crisis conference, which will be held on Saturday. Councillors from all political parties have been urged to attend.

In recent years Cordia, a council run company who provides home care in the city, have cut hundreds of home help jobs according to the campaigners. The Charlie Reid Centre, for those with mental health problems, was closed in October last year.

GAMH has said that if the proposed reductions in its funding go ahead, the lack of an early intervention service which it currently offers will cause some to lose housing or their jobs.

Brian Smith, UNISON Glasgow Branch Secretary, said: "The trade unions have been arguing for a number years that council politicians have a choice - make the ConDem cuts or do not.

"We continue to urge them to use all available financial mechanisms to hold-off any further cuts whilst leading a fight to win more money for the city. Our politicians should be defending social care services, not cutting them."

Last November, hundreds of people, including service users and staff, took part in a demonstration outside the City Chambers in protest at the cuts.

The council has previously said that most of the GAMH service users are not known to social work. It said that those who are known to them will continue to be supporter by the department.

Like other local authorities, the council is faced pressures to cut its budget.