Motion hopes to save centres from tendering process
A motion calling for new tendering procedures to be suspended in Glasgow in a bid to save vital care centres has been tabled to the city council.
Six carers’ centres in the city could close if they are forced to competitively tender their services under the new procedure.
Councillor Alex Wilson will propose the motion, saying the centres provide vital advice and support to thousands of carers, at a council meeting on Thursday (10 December).
South West Carers Centre on Paisley Road West, the South East Carers Centre on Cathcart Road, the West Carers Centre in Anniesland, the North West Carers Centre in Maryhill, the North East Carers Centre in Easterhouse and the East End carers centre in Tollcross are all under threat.
The centres rely on 50% of their funding from council sources but carers are worried they will lose vital support for their loved ones if the centres lose out as part of the tendering process.
The decision to tender was taken following an internal audit review
Wilson will ask the council to "agree to suspend the tendering process and to engage with carer centres and partners to find a positive outcome for both carers and this council."
Council leader Frank McAveety turned down a request to meet carers fighting the plans despite first minister Nicola Sturgeon backing the campaign to keep the centres open.
He said that the decision to tender the contracts was taken following an "internal audit review" and to bring them in line with the council's "Standing Orders and Rules of Procedure".
It comes on top of the revelation last month that carers in the city had been left without a voice after the council failed to fill a post set up to represent them for more than eight months.
Glasgow's Carers' Champion provides an independent voice representing relatives to public bodies and care services.
However the role has been vacant since March, when previous Carers' Champion Dr Christopher Mason resigned.
After advertising to fill the voluntary post the council received only two applications, both of which were turned down.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The council’s Internal Audit team indicated in 2013 that contracts for carers’ services should be subject to competitive tendering to ensure compliance with rules at council, national and European level.
“Training to help those who manage carer centres understand the new tendering process is available through our Corporate Procurement Unit.
“We have gathered a wealth of evidence in recent years which shows that the services we are tendering for are well-received by carers in the city.
“Carers will continue to have access to excellent carer services following the tender and we are confident their current providers will be well-placed to submit quality bids.”