OWNERS and staff at a popular nightclub decided to spread some Christmas cheer after an event cancellation left them with £700 worth of food.

Rather than let it go to waste, the buffet was transported from the Avenue Nightclub in Coatbridge to the Homeless Project Scotland in Glasgow.

Twenty-five trays of sandwiches and other party food were loaded into cars and driven to the project where it was distributed to the homeless.

“They were overwhelmed by the amount of food we took in,” said Avenue owner John McMillan.

The food was left after an Amy Winehouse tribute party night was cancelled due to the singer’s illness.

“Rather than put it in the bin, we thought we would take it to the soup kitchen in Glasgow and they were over the moon with it,” said McMillan.

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He and his wife Michelle are now going to use some of the takings from the club during the festive season to support local food banks.

“Food poverty is massive and so real in Lanarkshire – people are really struggling,” said McMillan. “There is so much doom and gloom we thought we needed to do something to try and help people.”

At least 244 homeless people died in Scotland last year. Data released last week by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) revealed a small reduction in the number of people who died while in temporary accommodation or sleeping rough but the 244 total remains higher than in 2017, when the statistics were first collected.

Almost half (49%) of those who died were less than 45 years old.

Last week, Glasgow became the second Scottish city to declare a housing emergency following Home Office attempts to speed up asylum claims.

The city council is also considering legal action against the Home Office due to fears it will breach the law through being unable to cope with the moves to clear the backlog.

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The Home Office plans to make around 2500 batch asylum decisions in Glasgow by the end of this year, which could cost the council more than £53 million.

When someone receives leave to remain in the UK, they are given just 28 days to leave the asylum seeker accommodation provided by housing provider Mears.

Councils have a legal obligation to offer temporary accommodation when they assess a person or household as unintentionally homeless but there are concerns Glasgow will not be able to handle the number of asylum cases that are being rushed through this year.

It is predicted the city’s homelessness services will be left with a £70.1m budget black hole in the next financial year.

Even before the rush job on asylum decisions, fears were raised of a “meltdown” in the handling of homelessness in the city as Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) was already 1600 lets short of the 4500 it needs annually.

Edinburgh City Council and Argyll and Bute Council have also declared housing emergencies.

Figures showed approximately 5000 households in the capital are in temporary accommodation – the highest number in Scotland.