Published On: Thu, May 26th, 2011 at 1:46pm

Glasgow MSP urges Council rethink

Newly elected MSP for Glasgow, Humza Yousaf, has urged Glasgow City Council to call a moratorium on their proposals to withdraw concessionary rates for local charities.

The current proposals are estimated, by Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS), to affect 200 local charities, community groups and service providers.

Mr Yousaf has released an open letter to Glasgow City Council from local charities, national organisations, international NGOs, civic leaders and cross party MSPs calling for a rethink on the proposed plans.

The letter urges the city council to consult with the third sector and warns that many local services will be lost, if the plans go ahead, with the cost having to be met by the local authority and taxpayers.

Humza Yousaf MSP said:

“I’ve been consulting many local charities over the last week and it is clear that these plans are making all of them extremely anxious and worried.

“The findings from GCVS clearly indicate that many of Glasgow’s loved charities and local community organisations will have to shut if their rent is forcibly increased by the City Council.

“The proposal seems extremely ill thought out. With local services, such as Carers centres, having to be reduced or scrapped, the taxpayer and the city council will have to pick up the bill

“These proposals are a dagger in the heart of Glasgow’s historic and global reputation as a caring and compassionate city.

“With support from DEC members such as Oxfam and Islamic Relief, Civic leaders from Churches and Mosques and even cross-party support from my parliamentary colleagues, I am sure the call for a moratorium is loud and clear. I urge Glasgow City Council to listen to that call.”

The letter is below:

Charity Concessionary Rates

We the undersigned, urge Glasgow City Council to reconsider its position to withdraw concessionary rental rates for charities across the city.

We believe that Glasgow has an historic tradition of responding to those most vulnerable in our society and current proposals would threaten this global reputation.

Many of the charities affected offer a vital local service which they can only provide because of the concessionary rental scheme. The withdrawal of this will lead to many of them having to either close down or provide a seriously reduced service.

We believe the cost to the local authority of losing these services will far outweigh the income they may generate from withdrawing the concessionary rate.

We therefore call on Glasgow City Council to put an immediate moratorium on their plans and consult with the third sector to find a way forward, whereby Glasgow’s reputation as a caring city is not put at risk.

Judith Robertson – Director Oxfam Scotland

Habib Malik – Chairperson Islamic Relief Scotland

Rev. Neil Galbraith – Moderator of the Glasgow Presbytery

Mr Shaheen Tufail – President of Glasgow Central Mosque (TBC)

Rev. John Matthews – Chair Faith in Community Scotland

Martin Sime – Scottish Council Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)

Helen MacNeil – Chief Exec Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector (GCVS)

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

Dr Rami Ousta –Black and Ethnic Minority Infrastructure Scotland (BEMIS)

Colin Lee – Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Organisations (CEMVO)

Gary Christie – Head of Policy & Communications Scottish Refugee Council

Ross Galbraith –Glasgow the Caring City

Agnes G. McGroarty – Glasgow Forum of Scottish Seniors Alliance

Humza Yousaf MSP (Glasgow Region)

Sandra White MSP (Glasgow Kelvin)

James Dornan MSP (Glasgow Cathcart)

John Mason MSP (Glasgow Shettleston)

Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland)

Bob Doris (Glasgow Region – SNP)

Ruth Davidson MSP (Glasgow Region – Scottish Conservatives)

Patrick Harvie (Glasgow Region – Scottish Green Party)

Angela Donaldson – Scotland Director Arthritis Care Scotland

Shirley Maxwell – Epilepsy Connections

Elizabeth Gore – Energy Action Scotland

David Thomson – Destiny Church

Frances Monaghan – Wise Women

Mohammed Rajak – Ucare Foundation

Jack Trow – Harps Community Project

Robina Qureshi – Positive Action in Housing

Firooz Behseresht – Iranian Scottish Association

Derek Goh – Glasgow Chinese Association Kut-O Village Benevolent Society

Furrah Arshad – Ethnic Enable

Arvind Salwan – New Media Corp

Ian Dickson – Your Choice (Strathclyde)

Kiran Women’s Support Group

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