A church group who work to help people on the streets of Glasgow has been warned a new award of community funding will be their last, amid concern that the funds should be used for local groups.
The Glasgow city centre Street Pastors offer help to vulnerable people on the streets at night as well as the homeless and drug addicts, and were said to be “desperate” for the funding
Councillors on the Anderston, City, Yorkhill Area Partnership eventually agreed to give them £1414 to pay for flip flops, new volunteer uniforms, first aid equipment and other supplies last week.
However they warned it will be the last ever grant from the group.
They said the Christian organisation should seek funding from elsewhere, as the volunteers’ work focuses on the entire city and not just the local area.
Councillor Eva Bolander initially proposed declining the money, but changed her mind after hearing from other politicians.
The SNP’s Bolander said: “The service targets people more who are visiting the area than living in the area. I know it is an important service and helps people but the question is should the area partnership fund this service for the city.”
She pointed out the partnership funding is for the communities who live in the ward.
Responding to a query, a council official said pastors told her they wouldn’t have asked for funding if they “weren’t desperate.” She pointed out citywide funding can be difficult to secure and they are in a “sticky wicket”.
Emphasising how the charity is desperate for the money, Councillor Christy Mearns called for it to be approved.
The Scottish Greens politician said the problems tackled by street pastors benefit ward residents as they “don’t have people in their communities who are vulnerable and causing issues.”
Fellow party councillor Angus Miller said: “Everyone can agree on the importance of the work the street pastors do. But we have had conversations about the purpose of this fund and it being for communities in the ward we represent opposed to the wider city community who may be within the city centre.”
After discussion the Anderston, City, Yorkhill Area Partnership approved the funding with a caveat that it will be the final allocation for the street pastors.
The Partnership has funded the Street Pastors previously and had expressed concerns about whether it should be.
The Hillhead Area Partnership is also due to consider funding the organisation.
Reporting by Local Democracy Reporter Sarah Hilley