A U-TURN has been made on plans to reduce the opening hours of a community centre in North Glasgow.

Community Safety Glasgow made the decision to keep Milton's Ashgill Recreation Centre (Arc) and the Maryhill Hub. at its current operating hours at a meeting on Friday.

Local councillor Billy McAllister hailed the news as a victory for the people of Milton.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted about the decision.

"It should have never happened and now people power has prevailed.

"The people of Milton should all be proud of themselves."

Initially, a decision was made not to renew the contracts of six members of staff at both centres.

Community Safety Glasgow said that this made the current operating hours “unsustainable”.

Residents were therefore asked to take part in a public consultation which ran until April 19.

The public consultation urged residents to pick what days and times they would like the centre to be open.

But locals fought back launching a petition in protest. They were concerned the reduction in opening hours would lead to the eventual closure of the Arc centre.

Jocko Reid, who has ran North Glasgow ABC for seven years, spoke out against plans to reduce the opening hours of the Arc.

The volunteer explained his boxing club had kept children off the streets and away from crime, and he feared for the future of the Arc.

Jocko said: “It is a community centre, it should be open seven days a week.

"The club is a success story in Milton.

"We have achieved Scottish champions, we have travelled the length and breadth of Britain to take part in competitions and hundreds of young boxers have turned their lives around after coming through those doors.”

Jocko was also worried that many of his young boxers would turn to crime if they don’t have the boxing club to go to.

He said: “The Milton set up is a poverty scheme and there is a lot of crime in this area.

“Boxing gave these youngsters and young guys an outlet, and somewhere to go to and train.

“Some boys have got jobs through the boxing instead of hanging around street corners.

“The Milton doesn’t have much except this club.”

The club gives boxers a place to train, there are also classes for younger kids and fitness sessions for adults.

Jocko, who started the club with William McCleland, does not even charge the youngsters who use the club. Instead, there is an honesty bucket system in place which allows people to donate money when they can.

He said: “I have put a lot of work into this and I have changed a lot of lives – that is an achievement.”

A Community Safety Glasgow spokeswoman confirmed the decision.

She said: ”The original opening hours will be reinstated at the ARC and the Hub once appropriate individuals from across Community Safety Glasgow have been identified and can be reassigned to staffing both centres.”