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Axe falls on community education

The budget for community education in Glasgow is to be slashed by more than a fifth, Pounds 2.7 million out of Pounds 12.5 million, councillors confirmed last week. The cuts are the most severe of any Scottish council.

Seventeen posts will go and 12 community centres will close. Community centre canteens will be replaced by vending machines and 60 catering staff will have to be redeployed, saving almost Pounds 500,000.

However, councillors on the city's education committee insisted that officials re-examine other options after complaints that cafes and canteens were vital.

Heading the list of cuts is a saving of Pounds 736,000 on closing the 12 centres. Officials admit there will be disruption as clubs and groups find alternative premises. The 17 posts to go, virtually all full-time, will save Pounds 300,000.

Grants to voluntary organisations are to be cut by 10 per cent, or Pounds 250,000, while a review of school lets will produce savings of Pounds 136, 000. A 10 per cent cut of Pounds 133,000 in the number of part-time sessional staff will hit a range of youth and adult activities.

A spokesman for the Scottish Association of Community Education staff said: "Community education seems to bear the heavy end of these cuts. It will be difficult to resource the service to the same extent."

Charlie McConnell, director of the Scottish Community Education Council, said: "We are extremely concerned, following representations from voluntary and statutory sectors, that local government reorganisation is likely to have a very serious impact on service provision and grant support."

* Glasgow is fighting Argyll and Bute for control of two residential centres. The Property Commission is set to rule on the dispute after the councils fell out over control of Blairvadach, at Rhu, and Caol Ruadh, at Colintraive on the Kyles of Bute. A decision is expected soon.

Glasgow admits budget reductions have bitten deeply into residential provision - centres at Castle Toward and Achnamara in Argyll are to be closed - but is determined to retain the two remaining centres which have traditionally been used by city children. The centres were developed by

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