200 GCC jobs face the axe

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A SERVICE that helps people into employment in Glasgow is facing staff cuts of 200 people.

The city’s five local regeneration agencies (LRAs) are preparing to merge into one central organisation.

As part of a cost-cutting exercise Glasgow city council is merging the west, east, north, south-east and south-west into Glasgow’s Regeneration Agency (GRA).

So far 172 people have applied for voluntary redundancy but GCC wants to see LRAs’ 800 staff slashed to 600.

A spokesman said: “This merger into one body will mean that, in the challenging financial environment, we can ensure that we are in a better position to maximise the resources we will have available to continue the fantastic front-line work of the regeneration agency staff”.

Funded by GCC, Scottish Enterprise and Holyrood, the LRAs play an integral part in the regeneration and development of the areas in which they are currently based.

The merger was brought by a cut in funding from the Scottish government and Scottish Enterprise.

Martin Doran, organiser of GMB union, said: “The silence from the regeneration agency has been deafening. They have not taken the time to notify us.

“Although they do not need to under the eyes of the law they should have given us a heads up about it”.

One of the key outcomes of the merger will be a reduction in senior management, back office and administrative staff including a reduction in chief executives from five to one.

The exact number of redundancies will not be known until next Friday.

The LRA spokesman added: “It is hoped that with the large numbers indicating an interest in leaving voluntarily, compulsory redundancies will be minimised”.

The GRA’s head office will be 112 Ingram Street but service delivery will be based in the most disadvantaged communities across the city.

The LRAs are “interested in building community spirit, working in partnership with other agencies to make a difference every day to the lives of people” in Glasgow.

The individual offices work with a wide range of local partners including CHCP, housing associations, Strathclyde police, GP’s and the social work department.

One man helped by the Glasgow south west regeneration agency is Babar Nasim (36).

He had always dreamed of starting his own busines and finally left his post at BT to start up his own business with the Belvoir Residential Letting franchise. During the planning process he realised he needed additional business support and Business Gateway referred him on to the GSWRA.

Babar, whose franchise is based in Shawlands, said: “The help and support I received has been phenomenal. My adviser has been with me all the way.

“I’ve had support with business planning, cash flow, sign posting and grant funding.

“The agency has been brilliant and it’s great to have continued support from the service”.