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Council accused of “cynically” rejecting charity’s funding

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Vital funding rejected because of missing attachment

An award-winning charity chief has accused Glasgow City Council of cynically attempting to stop its funding.

Phyllis Craig, who was awarded an MBE for supporting victims of asbestos, said the council had rejected her charity’s annual £50,000 funding application because she forgot to attach a necessary document.

Despite resubmitting the attachment, Glasgow Council rejected Action on Asbestos’s application.

Craig said: “Funding from Glasgow City Council has been the charity’s only source of public funding for over the past decade and so we were very keen to submit a new application as normal.

“However, due to a small glitch in the application process, which was quickly rectified by Action on Asbestos, the council is now refusing to accept our application. This will place severe financial strain on the charity.

“We believe this is a cynical attempt by the council to reduce the numbers submitting applications for funding. We are greatly concerned and appalled that the council is taking such an inflexible approach to this.”

As Glasgow’s only specialist asbestos support charity, funding pays for vital services as well as paying for specialist asbestos nurses for patients in the city and Edinburgh.

Gary Smith, treasurer of Action on Asbestos and secretary of GMB Scotland, said: “We have all of the supporting information needed for the application to be accepted, we had it at the time, and it seems particularly rigid of the council to not accept our application, or indeed the applications of the other agencies that we also know have also been caught out in this way.”

Asbestos was finally being banned in the UK in 1999, 75 years after the first asbestos-related death had been recorded. Thousands have died from its effects with campaigners running-decade long legal action against the companies which used the hazardous material and their insurers.

A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said: “The application process is rightly rigorous to ensure applicant organisations are able to demonstrate good governance, as well as evidence they can make an impact.

“It was made very clear at the start of the process that certain pieces of documentation would need to be provided and support was given to potential applicants right the way through.”