For this opinion piece I want to highlight the alarming issue that is facing communities all over Glasgow: council and Glasgow Life-owned properties who play host to vital services remaining shut for weeks, even months after the lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

The reason? Glasgow City Council/Glasgow Life claim they cannot reopen them, blaming lack of funds as their main problem.

I can only express to you the continual and ongoing damage this is doing to the residents of our communities. Over the years of living and working in Ward 14 I have seen first hand the repercussions that starving communities of proper investment can do. It is staggering.

Many of the communities have faced year after year of underfunding, relying on third sector and charity organisations for lifeline services.

For years these predominantly voluntary services have been carrying many of the communities in Glasgow and leasing a high number of council properties to house their work. Popular choices have been community centres and libraries, as those have proven over the years to be a stable and reliable source of venue. However, this does not seem to be the case anymore.

With so many being left with their doors shut, this leaves these essential projects unable to operate or have to move premises and we know that other bases are not easy to come by.

The People make Glasgow Communities project has been made in haste and without consultation but they are looking for the third sector to take on these buildings and run them without properly explaining how decisions will be made.

The third sector have a lot of major worries about this whole process. They worry that things are happening behind the scenes that they are not being told about despite being expected to take over some of the currently closed facilities. They worry about how they are supposed to find the sustainable funding when we all know how much of an issue funding already is, and this could lead to more derelict buildings in our communities.

There is a great worry also that it will be “for profit” organisations that take over the facilities and this will exclude local people from using them as they are no longer community facilities, they are businesses.

There is also the worry that very valued and necessary third sector organisations could go under and leave huge gaps in services due to lack of facilities for them and not being in a position to take over a centre.

This leaves me to ask the question: how long will Glasgow City Council let this unacceptable and damaging situation go on? #SaveOurCommunityCentres