Charities say petty errors mean their applications rejected
Glasgow City Council has been accused of rejecting dozens of funding applications from charities in a cynical bid to save money.
Some 125 applications to Glasgow Communities Fund have been rejected due to petty administrative errors, such as failing to attach supporting documents.
It has led to the Maryhill and Springburn MSP Bob Doris writing a letter to the council urging it to reconsider the way it is dealing with applications.
Earlier this week TFN told how award-winning charity Action on Asbestos had its application for £50,000 rejected on the grounds it failed to include an attachment on time, leading to its director Phylis Craig warning the loss of the funds could force it to close.
Another charity, Kids and Adults Together in Sighthill (KATS), has said it too could face closure after its funding bid was rejected.
Bob Doris said: “While we appreciate that the City Council has taken this decision ‘in fairness to all applicants to the Fund’ and that therefore they ‘are unable to accept any missing documents after the closing date’; we would strongly urge the City Council to reconsider.
“We believe that organisations should be given the opportunity to provide any missing information over the next few weeks. This would allow those organisations who provide the required information during that time to be considered alongside other applications.
“We agree that fairness must be at the heart of this process. However that fairness must be to the communities and individuals that each organisation serves. To exclude an organisation for an administrative oversight without giving them the opportunity to address the issue, actually penalises the often vulnerable people who rely on the service and support offered by applicant organisations. That is both unfair and unacceptable.”
A total of 500 groups applied for funding from the Communities Fund, introduced to replace the Integrated Grant Fund (IGF) which comes to an end in March. Of these 125 were rejected because one or more of the six documents required had not been attached.
Tina Suffredini, director of KATS pre-school nursery and after-school service in Sighthill, applied for £141,000 from the fund, but forgot to attach the charity’s audited accounts ahead of the closing date in October and had her bid rejected in December.
She said: “There were six things that we had to attach, and we missed one of them,” she said. “It was just an admin error. It’s not as if we don’t have these things.
“It just doesn’t seem fair that we’re not even getting a chance to go in for the funding simply because we forgot to attach one thing.
“I believe this has been a way to weed people out without looking to see if you meet any of the criteria for funding.”
Some 10 members of staff are now at risk of redundancy while 30 children will have to be moved to alternative care providers.
A GCC spokesman said: “The new application process is rightly rigorous to ensure that applicant organisations are able to demonstrate good governance, as well as evidence that they can make an impact. We have advised organisations that we will revisit their request where there is evidence to show that all information and documentation was provided to us on time.”