ASSURANCES are being sought on when key library services will reopen in Glasgow after funding was secured through a covid fund.

Labour Councillor Archie Graham raised the issue at a meeting of Glasgow City Council yesterday and asked when the remaining Glasgow Life venues will be reopened following the Scottish Governments award of just three months funding to reopen some libraries.

Glasgow received £448,000 from the Scottish Government's public library covid recovery fund and Councillor David McDonald, depute leader of the city council and chairman of Glasgow Life, which run culture and leisure services for the city, responded by saying it will enable them to open the libraries at the Couper Institute, GoMA, Maryhill and Whiteinch and Barmulloch following its use as a vaccination centre.

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Cllr McDonald said: "While we have yet to set the council's budget for next year which will be the opportunity to fully answer the question, I can confirm that it will be the city government's intention find the resources to keep all of these libraries open in the new financial year."

The Herald: Questions still remain over the full reopening of the Couper InstituteQuestions still remain over the full reopening of the Couper Institute

Cllr Graham pointed out Cllr McDonald's party were elected on a manifesto which included the phrase "we will build a positive, constructive relationship with the Scottish Government - one that actually delivers the best results for Glasgow.

However, Cllr Graham added:"Given the number of venues that remain unopened and no sign of money coming to reopen them, does he think that the administration have actually fulfilled that manifesto promise?"

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Cllr McDonald hit back by saying they know there are a lot of challenges to overcome as a result of the pandemic which he said was the reason that venues had to close.

He added: "We are now working with all of our stakeholders from community level through to national governments in Scotland and the UK to get as much resources funnelled into Glasgow as we possibly can.

"We have now, for the first time since the pandemic, projected opening dates for all of our libraries, including the two that this administration is investing in the form of new major capital refurbishments at Elder Park and Woodside libraries which will also both open next year. I am always pushing for more resources for Glasgow and we are never going to stop asking for more resources for Glasgow."

The Herald: The Herald has been leading a campaign calling for a fairer funding deal for GlasgowThe Herald has been leading a campaign calling for a fairer funding deal for Glasgow

He said he was also aware that the challenge Glasgow has is not one of the Scottish Government/s making it is one of four or five decades of failures of previous administrations to properly fund local resources.

"We all have examples in our local communities where there are facilities that have been crying out for funding for decades," Cllr McDonald added. "Our administration inherited almost a £200m backlog of deferred  maintenance in public buildings so when the pandemic came along we had to wrestle not only with that legacy and challenge left by the previous administration but also with the huge financial loss caused by the pandemic."

He called on opposition groups to come to them and work together to make the case for why Glasgow's local venues are so important and put the city's best interests in front of party political interests.

Cllr Stephen Curran asked whether it was just the library at the Couper Institute that would be resourced to open or the institute as well.

In response Cllr McDonald the funding applied to the library and there needed to be a wider conversation about the future of the institute.

The Herald has been leading A Fair Deal for Glasgow campaign calling for a fairer funding deal for the city's cultural assets and leisure services after Glasgow Life, the charitable trust which runs them, lost £38m in the pandemic.