Date: Thurs 11 December
UNISON lambasts council ‘bully-boy’ tactics as councillors
threaten closure of mental health charity
UNISON has issued an urgent call to councillors to cease plans
to cut a charity’s funding by 40 per cent without any prior
Councillors are expected to make their decision at a council
meeting today (Thursday) based on a report that remains unseen
by Glasgow Association for Mental Health.
The charity was notified late Tuesday evening that commissioners
want to hold an urgent meeting with the charity today –
less than 24 hours before a decision is to be made – based
on a fundamentally-flawed report that takes mental health provision
in the city back to the 1970s. The city’s most vulnerable
now face paying the price with a maximum of 12 weeks of support,
regardless of need.
Deborah Dyer, regional organiser for UNISON, said: “GAMH
were told in spring this year that their service would be reviewed.
This review was ongoing when cuts were announced and in November
they were told the report was being rewritten for financial reasons.
Since then, there has been no consultation with GAMH on the report
or its findings.
“And today, less than 24 hours before a decision is due
to be made that will decide the fate of the charity, commissioners
call for an urgent meeting. This is nothing short of ‘bully-boy’
tactics and we demand councillors take urgent action to put any
decision on hold until full and thorough consultation has been
UNISON has fought tirelessly alongside staff, service users and
community groups to save the frontline mental health charity from
the scale of these devastating cuts.
An independent report commissioned by GAMH shows every pound
spent with the charity saves the public purse £6. That means
for an annual investment of £2.1 million, the city saves
A demonstration is being held today in George Square to call
on councilors to protect this essential service.
Deborah Dyer, regional organiser for UNISON Scotland, said: “The
financial cost if GAMH is to close is staggering. But while the
city stands to lose millions of pounds each year, the cost to
the most vulnerable people of Glasgow is far greater. Those suffering
from mental health issues have varied and complex needs and basing
provision on cost alone is farcical. The model being proposed
in the report is not a recovery model but a service model and
is a backward step.
“The work that GAMH carry out across the city saves more
than just money - it saves lives - and we can’t turn our
backs on the people who rely on this essential service. GAMH cannot
continue to provide a city-wide service on the budget suggested
and, given the city stands to lose millions through the closure
of this charity, serious questions have to be raised about the
council’s fiscal competence. Councillors face making a life
or death decision and we want them to stand up for the city’s
most vulnerable - save GAMH, save public money and, most importantly,
In reality they are abandoning people with mental health issues
in the city," she said. "They want GAMH to provide a
citywide service, but that will not be possible with the budget
suggested. Given the report which says the charity is currently
saving the city £11.1m, this raises questions about the
council's fiscal competence."In reality they are abandoning
people with mental health issues in the city," she said.
"They want GAMH to provide a citywide service, but that will
not be possible with the budget suggested. Given the report which
says the charity is currently saving the city £11.1m, this
raises questions about the council's fiscal competence."
· Since 01/04/07 GAMH has faced direct reductions in their
funding amounting to 11%
· From 1/4/07 – 1/4/14 there has been no increase
in the funding to GAMH, Taking into account the inflationary effect
and no uplifts, the real value of the funding provided to GAMH
has decreased in value by 25%.
The independent report commissioned by GAMH – Housing Support
Service Social Return on Investment – states: “Using
the SROI framework to calculate the total value created for these
services gave an SROI index figure of 1:6. So for every pound
spent on these services, the social return over the full five
years for which the impact of the service was measured was £6.
In financial terms this means that for the annual investment of
£2.1 million, a full value over the period is created of