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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Foodbank is evicted from premises

This news post is almost 8 years old

Council serves eviction notice on foodbank - which is now looking for new premises.

It was once Scotland’s busiest and best known foodbank, backed by celebrities and winning plaudits from the first minister herself.

Now after a series of governance and financial scandals, Greater Maryhill Foodbank has been evicted from its premises in Glasgow’s Chapel Street for failing to pay rent arrears.

Glasgow City Council was given a sheriff’s order to evict founder Julie Webster and her team of volunteers after serving a 24-hour notice last Friday (13 May).

Webster, who has never been far from controversy, said her board was planning to relocate new premises to re-launch the charity.

Back in March the foodbank was forced to close after being hit by major funding shortages amid alleged financial irregularities.

The board had its funding pulled from Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government and was investigated by the police.

It remains under investigation by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Webster said: “Since we were told that our tenancy with City Property had been terminated we have been spending much time trying to locate an alternative venue to store and distribute food from.

"To date we have been unable to find an affordable appropriate facility.

As well as doing this we are preparing our finances for audit.

"We feel that on conclusion of the audit a lot of speculation and untrue rumours will finally be put to bed.

We have never been contacted by anyone from the council in an attempt to rectify the rent arrears - Julie Webster

"It is our intention to contact other foodbanks in an attempt to offer the remainder of the food to them.

"For clarity and the avoidance of any doubt we have never been contacted by anyone from the council in an attempt to rectify the rent arrears."

A council spokeswoman said: “Despite numerous efforts on our part to engage with the tenant to resolve the issue of rent arrears, no attempt has been made by the tenant regarding repayment.

“As every option has been exhausted with this organisation City Property is now seeking vacant possession of the premises and will pursue payment of the outstanding arrears.”

Billy McAllister, a local councillor, has campaigned for the foodbank to be stripped of its charitable status.

He said: “OSCR should stop delaying the decision to revoke its charity number.

“The council, Scottish Government and police do not support them.

“They have no premises now.

“What else do they need?

“Let’s hope this brings closure to this issue and we can move on and put our efforts into helping to feed the people of the North East.”