Fire alarm

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WORRIED residents in Pollokshields have raised safety concerns over a bout of wilful fire-raising.

Councillor David Meikle this week highlighted the issue as an ongoing problem facing East Pollokshields in particular, and suggested a link between fires and fly-dumping on southside streets.

He told The Extra: “A few residents have contacted me directly and it seems to be a big issue on Twitter at the moment.

“There is, in some instances, a link between dumping and anti-social behaviour such as fire-raising. Bins have been set on fire, as well as rubbish and items left in back courts.

“There was one incident recently in Maxwell Square Park, where bins were set on fire in full view of residents.

“It rightly concerns people, because it proves that dumping can escalate into something more serious”.

One response on Twitter, from Extra follower Joanna Fozard, reads: “We had three fires outside our back door within a couple of weeks. It was lit rubbish each time”.

The Extra recently reported on a Twitter campaign fronted by two southsiders which encourages Pollokshields residents to report dumping and litter dropping to Glasgow city council.

A representative for @CleanShields said: “Our wider point is that anti-social behaviour of any kind needs to be a priority.

“Dumping might not seem like such an important issue but if it’s dealt with then it can’t escalate to bigger crimes, of which fire-raising is a part”.

Councillor Meikle has raised the issue with police, and communities inspector Eileen Taylor confirmed that arson in the area “was being looked at”.

She told The Extra: “Rubbish being put out on the street is definitely a fire hazard and it would cause concern for both ourselves and the fire service — particularly where tenements with closes are involved. We would encourage people not to dump waste, on safety grounds”.

The Clean Shields group reports a recent improvement in bulk uplifts by the council.

But for councillor Meikle, a lack of public awareness over council uplift procedures — changed again this year — remains a concern.

Glasgow residents living in tenement buildings are now asked to place bulk waste in back courts, rather than on pavements — reverting to a previous system.

The Pollokshields representative commented: “Residents aren’t always aware of this, or perhaps some are disregarding it and just dumping on the pavement, which means the council will only uplift it when someone complains.

“In order to address the issue of fire-raising, we also need to look at the issue of dumping — it has implications for health and safety, as well as environmental”.

Share your thoughts by e-mailing gillian.loney@jpress.co.uk.