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> Council Funds 40million Arena Bailout, ... as social work redundancies are criticised
GG
post 15th Jun 2010, 09:01pm
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Glasgow City Council has agreed to bail out a Clydeside development following the withdrawal of the a developer who was due to build 1500 residential units at the SECC complex. The bailout will mean that the council will provide a secured loan of 40m to allow construction contracts to be issued. The loan will be repaid in full to the council when the property market has fully recovered.

The construction project is seen as vital to Glasgow's Commonwealth Games efforts, with the 12,000-seater National Arena included as part of the development. The arena is expected to be home to the gymnastics and the netball finals during the games in 2014.

The bailout comes at a time when the council is implementing a controversial programme of spending cuts across the city which some experts claim will seriously effect frontline service provision.

In yesterday's online Daily Express, in a story entitled 'Broke council set to axe 800 social workers', it was claimed that the council was "to cut more than 800 social work jobs and replace them with an NHS-style call centre".

In response to the issues raised in the article, Ruth Stark, spokesman for The British Association of Social Workers, said:
QUOTE
"There are two main concerns. The first is that, with cuts in other social services offered by Glasgow City Council, more work falls on a diminishing total workforce and that the overall standard of service falls.

The second concern is whether, in initial contact, key signs are missed about a high-risk situation for a child or adult. When call centres work well they can save a lot of time and legwork trying to find out where the right place is for the help you want.

There's nothing more frustrating than getting on to a call centre and speaking to someone who doesn't have a clue about what you are looking for."

A spokesperson for the council said:
QUOTE
"The social work department has to work within the financial constraints affecting the whole council, but it is hoped that the service reforms the department is currently undertaking will lessen the impact of those who take early retirement.

... [The call centre would] allow qualified staff to be involved in the first point of telephone contact and assist with initial assessments. It will also free up staff who had previously fielded calls to undertake other tasks."

LibDem MSP Robert Brown added:
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"The loss of 800 staff is something social services can ill afford. I don't understand the comment that 'frontline staff will be freed up' – in fact, they won't be there any longer. There may be a case for a social work call centre – but if so, consideration should have been given to using a one stop shop with NHS 24."

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Rob Rattray
post 15th Jun 2010, 10:34pm
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Seems to me as tho the developers have 'bitten off more than they could chew' and henceforth no 'bailout' should be forthcoming. There possibly were other contenders for the construction who may have been able to erect a suitable arena at a similar cost to the city and who DID have their funds intact before commencing! I have no sympathy for those who come in only half ready and expect to be 'carried through' financially wise, for they are by no means, a credit to any city.

God Bless Glasgow.


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*jamesy*
post 15th Jun 2010, 10:38pm
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No doubt or trusted councillors will come up with some reason for an all expenses paid trip to some exotic and expensive place to do some "fact finding" regarding this matter.
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Jazzsaxman
post 15th Jun 2010, 10:44pm
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Why don't they use the social workers on the building site. That way they would get some work done and not feel embarassed at the end of the month when they get paid for actually working.

Having worked in the council offices as a contractor I reckon they could get rid of half them and still get nothing done.

In fact when I asked one of the bosses how many people worked in the building his reply was "about half of them".

The old joke but a good one.

Why don't council workers look out of the window in the morning?

Because they would have nothing to do in the afternoon.

Yep just a burden on the tax payers.
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droschke7
post 16th Jun 2010, 12:13am
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Seems to me that the Council don't know their A**es from their elbow's. They are cutting back on all services, fire lots of workers because they can't afford them, but they still have enough money to lend these developers 40,000,000 and allegedly 80,000,000 to the developers of the Bucchanen Gallery. My question is, where is this 120,000,000, and why is it being used to help developers make a profit instead of beoing used to keep the city running? Added to this it has been posted that "The loan will be repaid in full to the council when the property market has fully recovered", can someone please tell me when that is expected to be? ifd ever at all?
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Jupiter
post 16th Jun 2010, 04:49am
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Money is a commodity which can be bought and sold and some might see it as good business practice for a council to give out secured loans at a good rate of interest especially at a time when we are coming out of the recession.I think the money is safe.
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*Dougie*
post 16th Jun 2010, 06:54am
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Looks like Steven Purcell is gone but the cooncil is still making disastrous decisions reminicent of his time in office. Ask yourself... if this is such a good venture to build and sell houses then why aren't private developers going for it? The truth is that the land was valued at a price when house prices were in fantasy land. Anyone who thinks house prices will return to that level any time soon - if ever - is living in cuckoo land. Meanwhile inflation will eat into the loan. The result? Glasgow will lose millions and be saddled with crap houses that no-one wants to buy!

Then again maybe they could use them as a luxury sheltered housing complex to house all the damaged families who couldn't get access to a social worker?
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**wilstar**
post 16th Jun 2010, 08:23am
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Whilst there are difficult times ahead we still have to look to the future. In the short term, the employment generated in building the project will off-set some of the redundacies proposed by the council. Redundancies which will mostly be by natural wastage. ie retirements etc.

For the future, there will be additional housing and another facility which could be an asset in attracting other events. The question of the financial outlay is in effect an investment for the future of Glasgow and West Central Scotland. In all likelyhood, the project should turn out to be a net savior of employment prospects for the area as a whole.
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**greta**
post 16th Jun 2010, 08:37am
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Im sorry, but am not a believer in call centers especially when it comes to health. The health services in this country leave a lot to be desired compared to the likes of the Dutch. If something is missed due to these job losses excuses will be made. But at the end of the day excuses will not help the people involved.
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**andyguinness**
post 16th Jun 2010, 09:19am
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Social workers are working under tremendous pressure, due to lack of staff and the staff not available to staff empty beds in de-tox units.
To get a de-tox bed in glasgow is almost impossible, i am speaking from
personal experience. Tackle the drink problem in Glasgow, it is a joke

Andyguinness
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*Ash Barns*
post 16th Jun 2010, 10:33am
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Another case of Labour not able to manage money. The city is and has been in turmoil for many years and will never get any better unless proper money managers are brought into play.
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*Backcauseway*
post 16th Jun 2010, 06:44pm
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An example of a much trumpeted development was the plan to "re-invigorated" Drumchapel Shopping Centre. Some years ago there were bright and shiny notices telling the local population of the great new development. On Monday for the first time in years drove by the shopping centre. All thats left of these bright development plans are the steel poles the notices were bolted to. Wonder why the notices came down? Who took them down? Another grand scheme falls by the wayside?
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wee davy
post 16th Jun 2010, 06:59pm
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QUOTE (Jazzsaxman @ 16th Jun 2010, 12:01am) *
Why don't they use the social workers on the building site. That way they would get some work done and not feel embarassed at the end of the month when they get paid for actually working.

Having worked in the council offices as a contractor I reckon they could get rid of half them and still get nothing done.

In fact when I asked one of the bosses how many people worked in the building his reply was "about half of them".

The old joke but a good one.

Why don't council workers look out of the window in the morning?

Because they would have nothing to do in the afternoon.

Yep just a burden on the tax payers.

Best comments I've seen in quite some time, Jazz - I'd go one further - pul the plug on BOTH!


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Heather
post 16th Jun 2010, 07:37pm
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In a way this is a no win situation or a win situation.
If the Council don't get this development built where will the Athlete's stay??
Hopefully after the Games, the Units will be available to re-house the homeless.


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Patter Merchant
post 17th Jun 2010, 02:58pm
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I'm not sure on this one as I would like more information. If the council is trying to support some kind of Keynesianist intervention to stimulate local job creation then it should provide us with details about just how exactly this is going to be achieved. If though the council is just pumping money into a project that is not economically viable then that is not right at all. The commonwealth games are already going to cost us more than half a billion quid.... we don't need to be wasting any more on these kind of projects.

More info please.
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