Cuts hit home

REVELLERS at Saturday’s southside festival will have to make the most of it, as it could be the last.

A funding cut of £11,000 by Glasgow city council may mean organisers have no other choice but to call time on the event which has become a fixture in the community’s calendar.

Despite working tirelessly throughout the year preparing for the festival, chair Andrew Montgomery and his team of ten volunteers now face the prospect of having to pull the plug on future celebrations.

Now, in an attempt to keep the shindig — which last year attracted more than 15,000 visitors — alive, Cathcart MSP James Dornan has taken the fight to Holyrood.

In an amendment to a motion marking the festival’s fourth anniversary, Mr Dornan asked the parliament to consider “the extraordinary decision by Glasgow city council to withdraw £11,000 of funding, which it believes is putting at risk the future of the southside festival”.

Within the motion, Mr Dornan continued that he hoped the decision “will be reconsidered by the Labour administration in Glasgow to help ensure that the festival will be repeated for many years to come”.

A spokesman for Glasgow city council told The Extra: “The Southside Festival generated a surplus of almost £18,000 last year and it is our policy to not normally fund events which have their own, significant funds.

“This remains the case, but we have awarded a grant of £1,500 for an arts based element in this year’s programme.

“It is worth noting that the total grants from the council will be around £20,000 representing significant funding of the festival”.

Councillor David Meikle believes the cut would have a “detrimental impact on communities in the southside”.

“It is a fantastic event which should receive the council’s full support. This funding cut could seriously jeopardise the future of the southside festival.

“I will work with the event’s steering group to ensure this doesn’t happen and Glasgow’s largest community organised event continues”.

This latest blow follows news last week that the council are proposing to build a care home on Queen’s Park’s rec grounds — a decision which could further jeopardise the festival.

In spite of the challenges, organisers will have to put on a brave face for this weekend’s event, which kicks off at 11am on Saturday with a parade beginning at Shawlands Academy.

Festivities last all day and continue into Sunday night when 80’s rockers The Bluebells play at the Glasshouses.