Glasgow leader 'not surprised' at dissatisfaction with city cleansing
Glasgow’s streets should be clean for its citizens at all times according to the city leader who is “not surprised” residents are dissatisfied with cleansing services.
During Thursday’s full council meeting Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken was asked by Labour leader councillor Malcolm Cunning why she believes it is acceptable for the city’s streets to be cleaned for Joe Biden, but not Joe Public.
Ms Aitken hit back at the accusation, claiming that she didn’t think that in the slightest and that Glasgow should be clean at all times and not just during events.
She also said that she wasn’t surprised that residents were expressing dissatisfaction with council services and that the local authority is looking for investment to address problems she believes were caused by the pandemic.
Councillor Aitken said: “We do have an operational plan in place for Cop26 which includes cleansing and councillor Cunning should be aware this is the standard approach the city takes when approaching events and it is a well used operational plan.
“It is the case that the timing of Cop coincides with our ongoing operational recovery from the pandemic which particularly affected our environmental services as members know. The timing is such that Glasgow residents and delegates alike will see the impact of recovery and renewal of services.
“I am increasingly confident that the solutions to the issues around cleansing and the general upkeep of the city are connected to a return to something approaching normality which is coinciding with the period before and will continue after Cop.
“For over 18 months now our services have been restricted through absence and necessary precautions about hygiene and sharing space which means resources have been thinly spread.
“Empty streets and bins have also been targets for environmental crimes like vandalism and fly-tipping. We are anything but unique in having to cope with that but that doesn’t mean we don’t address these challenges.
“We are increasingly in a position to do so, not just for Cop but for all of our citizens all the time.”
Councillor Malcolm Cunning then pointed out that satisfaction with the council services in road maintenance and refuse collection had “plummeted” from 31% to 18% and from 78% to 48% respectively.
He said: “When we look at the household survey, everything is on a downward trend since 2017 and clearly the citizens of Glasgow do not believe the council leader.
“Does she accept these figures indicate a complete level of dissatisfaction and actual disbelief from the citizens of this city?”
Councillor Aitken responded: “I am not surprised, I think people are fed up with the impact of the pandemic. We can’t undo it overnight but it is an opportunity to get investment in place overnight.
“We are looking for better solutions for some of those long-standing challenges.
“I am confident the residents in Glasgow will start to see that difference over the coming months and the change and improvement in the city.”