COUNCIL chiefs have done a U-turn over funding of free advice centres for some of Scotland's most deprived communities, it has emerged.

But they still face funding cuts over three of up to 80% leaving the question of organisational cuts.

Campaigners warned of a "humanitarian disaster" as it emerged that five of Glasgow's eight advice centres which rely on public funding, were to get no money at all from Glasgow City Council.

Citizens Advice Scotland confirmed if funding is rubber-stamped the centres would not close but the cuts will still have an "adverse impact upon communities and their access to advice at a time when demand is expected to soar".

The CAB network has existed for more than 80 years across the UK with the first in Scotland opening in Glasgow Central in 1939.

Some 16 advice agencies were being hit by the cuts which could also have forced the closure of the Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre - the oldest of its kind in Scotland - which will also get funding albeit drastically cut.

Also getting a reprieve albeit with drastically cut funding is the Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis and Glasgow Women's Aid.


An online petition calling for the rescue of the CABs alone has received over 11,000 signatures.

The money to help support advice centres is coming from a £4 million "transition fund" which emerged after officials recommended to knock back over 100 charities, groups and third-sector organisations from lifeline funding.

The council had received an influx of grant applications from the Glasgow Communities Fund (GCF) totalling to £135 million. But only £58 million worth of grants made available.

ll five of the Glasgow CABs were at risk of closure having originally been on a council list headed 'applications not recommended'.

Last year the CABs were supported with funding of between £100,000 and £215,000.

Within guidance notes, applicants were advised that decisions "would be final and that there would be no appeals process".

But today councillors will be asked to approve officials' three-year grant allocations from the £4m.

The new wave of funding will still see massive cuts to advice centre budgets, however.

The Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau will be hardest hit with its three-year £1,002,502 request slashed to just £225,463, while there is 64.7% cut to the Bridgeton CAB which is due to get £224,068 of the £635,288 asked for.

Easterhouse CAB's request for £784,529 was cut by around a half to £371,563 as has the Glasgow (Central) CABA which is due to get just £480,414 of the £934,470 requested.

Castlemilk Citizens Advice Bureau had its request slashed by 44% from £323,185 to £179,522.


Data released by Citizens Advice Scotland shows that, since lockdown, in the space of five months, all eight city bureaux have helped provided 35,780 pieces of advice, helping 8,866 people, with a client financial gain of over £6.4 million.

They had warned that the devastating impact of the cuts, which would come into force in October, would see "thousands of vulnerable people fall through the cracks".

A petition calling for the reversal of the cuts said: "The decision to cut funding to CABs in Glasgow will devastate our city’s poorest and most vulnerable. Especially the disabled, women, and those living in the most deprived areas in Scotland; leaving them in a time of unprecedented economic turmoil and uncertainty without access to support and advice when they need it most and piling pressure on the remaining services."


Also gaining from the new funds is the Castlemilk Law and Money Advice Centre but it is being asked to work with £404,257 instead of £760,626.

Glasgow Women's Aid which wants £177,839 has been allocated just £50,948 while Glasgow and Clyde Rape Crisis is due to get £77,562 instead of £164,789.

A Citizens Advice Scotland spokesman said: “CABs in Glasgow have helped thousands of people during lockdown but will have fewer resources to do so as the furlough scheme nears its end and debt issues rise.

“We appreciate the funding pressures Glasgow City council themselves face and we hope to work with them and other organisations in the long term to ensure stability for CABs in the city.”

An analysis by city treasurer, Richard Bell said the funding proposals "will help address socio economic disadvantage".

He added:"It is anticipated that proposed funding recommendations will have a positive impact on third sector jobs, skills, local communities, social and community cohesion."

A council spokesman said: "Clearly, having received applications for around £135m, £4m cannot meet the total value of applications that were unsuccessful.

"The fund is explicitly about transitional funding – targeted at key sectors (advice, violence against women, equalities and arts) to try and alleviate any immediate risk of failure and create room for organisations to develop more sustainable financial models."