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23/05/2011 - Glasgow Charities Fight £2m Council Rent increases.

LAST MONTH we reported on how small businesses in Glasgow were facing a reduction in the support that they received as a result of council cuts.  Now the voluntary sector has been hit with the bombshell that the Labour-run council is removing the reduced rents that it offered to charities.  This will raise an extra £2 million annually in revenue.
Glasgow’s Evening Times of 17 May 2011 carried a detailed report on how several Glasgow charities are going to be affected by the move.  In one case, a warehouse currently rented for £1 per year will increase to £18,000.  Already eight charities have informed the Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector that the introduction of commercial rents will result in them closing-down.  A further eight have stated that the rent increase will result in them having to scale down the services that they offer.

Solidarity adds its voice to the many people, including the cross-party councillors opposed to the move, in calling for this rent rise to be rescinded.  Charities not only do vital work in raising money and providing services for the needy, the disabled and the elderly amongst others, but they also provide valuable volunteering opportunities for the unemployed to help them gain experience which will assist them in finding full-time employment.  Also, many charity shops are in locations or buildings that are not attractive to commercial users so their very presence helps by keeping these buildings used and not becoming derelict.