By Monica Gibson

Plans to axe funding for a remembrance event in honour of the fallen have been slammed as “a smack in the face” for those who sacrificed their lives to allow others to live in freedom.

East Renfrewshire Council plans to slash funding for the popular Armed Forces Day event held annually at Rouken Glen Park.

Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for residents to show their support for those who make up our Armed Forces – from serving soldiers to veterans of previous conflicts.

The event in Rouken Glen, which attracts thousands of visitors, includes a formal flag-raising ceremony, as well as various family activities.

However, council chiefs – who face having to make savings of around £26 million in their 2018-21 budget – insist the money is no longer available to continue the event in its current format.

The controversial decision has been blasted by East Renfrewshire MP Paul Masterton.

He told the Barrhead News: “Armed Forces Day allows East Renfrewshire residents to give thanks for the bravery and sacrifice our soldiers make on a daily basis to ensure our safety.

“It is disgraceful to let this popular and much-loved family and community celebration fall by the wayside.”

Mr Masterton, together with Conservative colleague Jackson Carlaw, will now write to East Renfrewshire Council leader Tony Buchanan to ask that he reconsider the move.

Mr Carlaw, who is the MSP for Eastwood, said: “This is a smack in the face to the service and sacrifice that so many in our East Renfrewshire community have given to our Armed Forces, now and in the past.

“There is absolutely no mandate for this SNP-Labour administration to end this popular day in support of our Armed Forces.

“As a founding member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on veterans, establishing Armed Forces Day was a key achievement – an achievement easily surpassed by the bravery of those whoour Armed Forces, many of whom gave their life’s blood in service to our country.”

**Armed Forces Day is just one of the many events services falling victim to ERC’s funding gap.

However, council chiefs have defended the plans to trim spending on Armed Forces Day.

say they hope to save £1.23million by make their communications team more agile and adopting a more digital approach.

But the upshot of the savings is that there will no longer be the capacity to continue running the annual Armed Forces Day fun day event.

A council spokesman said: “We would continue to honour the contribution of our Armed Forces, past and present, through our annual Armed Forces Day flag-raising ceremony at Rouken Glen Park, which is attended by veterans from across the area.”