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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.

Lifeline service axed as council slashes budget

This news post is 7 months old

Less than half previously agreed budget was offered

Turning Point is to axe a vital service working with women after Glasgow Council slashed its budget by more than 50%.

Turning Point 218 will be forced to close in February 2024 after its income was halved from £1.37m to £650,000.

The service helps female offenders rebuild their lives after drug and alcohol use and has been running for two decades.

Patrick McKay, TPS’s director of operations said he was “deeply saddened” by the outcome and “the impact this will have on the vulnerable women” it supports.

The charity says the council had previously accepted to grant the full amount of £1.37 million only to do an about turn and instead offer less than half the amount.

Turning Point decided not to bid for the tender because it said it could not operate the residential unit on the proposed amount.

McKay said: “Following this review, an ‘accommodation with support – female residential service’ tender was released with an approximate 50% cut to a maximum of £650,000. 

“TPS had no prior knowledge of Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) intention to cut the budget for the service by approximately 50%. From reading the service specification within the ongoing tender it was our understanding that the service would still provide eight beds.

“TPS took the difficult decision to not bid for the tender as the residential provision as configured could not be delivered.”

A spokeswoman for Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership said: “A retendering process for the service resulted in no one bidding for the women’s residential service.

“Officers have been in discussions with Turning Point who have advised they will be closing the current service in February 2024.

“We will now undertake a review of future provision of this service.”

Linda Wilson, Unite the union’s industrial officer said: “It’s devastating for our members who are finding out just before Christmas that they’re losing their jobs.

“The effect that it will have on the service users is that there will be nowhere for them to turn.

“The alternative to the 218 service is a return to the justice system, and ultimately through the prison gates.”