AN emergency council meeting has been called to find crisis funds to ensure residents get the help they need.

Demand continues to increase even as West Dunbartonshire Community Foodshare (WDCF) was knocked back for core funding to pay two part-time staff.

West Dunbartonshire Council committed £25k each year for four years to WDCF and Food 4 Thought earlier this year.

But the charity pays the council back £22k in rent for their storage space in Dumbarton and use of community halls for distribution.

And their current projected shortfall over three years could be up to £100,000.

Now opposition councillors have made a joint motion calling for all rental costs to be waived and for a £50,000 contingency fund to be made available should the foodshare need it.

But the SNP hit out at Tory members signing the Labour motion as “hypocrisy”.

Trustee Clair Coyle said they learned they had failed to access the Scottish Government’s “investing in communities fund” in November and wrote to all politicians about their plight.

She said: “The funding would have done us for the next three years for salaries. We have about 90 volunteers but to manage and run all these services, we need staff.

“Without the two part-time staff, we would not be able to continue running the services we do at the moment.

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“As a charity we are really concerned that at a time when demand for services is increasing, we would have to reduce the support we deliver.”

The motion states: “As an emergency measure, council agrees to set up a contingency fund of £50,000 from free reserves for the use, as required, of WDCF at this challenging financial time.

“Council also agrees to waive all rental charges payable by WDCF until further notice.”

Council leader Jonathan McColl said his SNP administration had not yet been able to meet to discuss the motion ahead of Wednesday’s meeting. But he insisted they had helped put the foodbank on firm footing.

He said: “The work of our two local foodbanks has been vital in supporting people through tough times caused by Tory austerity, and frankly I’m deeply upset by the hypocrisy of Tory councillors Page and Walker signing a letter expressing what can only be faux support for the plight of people in West Dunbartonshire who are starving at the hands of their own Conservative party policies.

“I had intended meeting with WDCF early in the new year to establish what has changed since we last met, but this motion has jumped the gun a little bit.

“At the last budget we made sure they were on a firm financial footing by fully funding their rental costs, providing extra money for their use on top of this and giving them much more space for their storage and distribution.

“We’ll look carefully at the situation and do whatever we can to help while ensuring we are making good use of public money and other resources.”