Govanhill’s fortunes are on the turn

Flytipping in Govanhill
Flytipping in Govanhill

Govanhill has received a less than positive press recently with the constant fly-tipping problems, crime statistics, and overcrowding.

However, one councillor at least thinks the area has a lot going for it, despite the negative image so often portrayed.

Councillor Soryia Siddique, member for southside central reckons things are nowhere near as bad as some might think – in fact, she is both positive and upbeat about its fortunes - and that its fortunes are on the turn.

She said: “I would say majority of my casework is based on Govanhill issues – emails, phone calls, visits to surgeries, Tweets and Facebook. There are many campaigners and residents in Govanhill that are concerned about housing, crime, fear of crime, public health and cleansing challenges.

“Throughout the years I have been involved in many campaigns, consultations and conversations with residents and service providers.

“This includes Glasgow City Council officers, Police and Health regarding housing investment, fly-tipping, public health concerns, crime and fear of crime.”

Cllr Sidique has worked tirelessly to improve the area for residents including tackling clering the streets of rubbish, pest control and reducing crime in the area.

She said: “Govanhill now has a dedicated response cleansing team for Govanhill which has dealt with 1100 bulk uplift calls since January 2016.

“This team has collected over 900 tonnes of waste and recycling material from domestic and commercial premises since January 2016.

“This does not include the 485 tonnes of illegally fly tipped material from the pavements and lanes that has also been recovered by GCC since January 2016.

“A unique kerbside collection has also been implemented in Govanhill for specific blocks to prevent back court build up in the area.

“Govanhill has a dedicated city council pest control team, the only one of its kind in Glasgow. This service is provided free of charge to residents.

“Residents have complained about crime and fear of crime. I supported the campaign which resulted in seven new state-of-the art CCTV camera that have been stationed at various locations around Govanhill following an investment of £70K through Community Safety Glasgow.

“This should help with crime prevention and detection.

In 2013, Cllr Sidique and the previous MP for the area campaigned to bring additional housing investment in the area.

She continued: “There was a successful campaign which involved lobbying the Scottish Government for Enhanced Enforcement Area status for Govanhill, involving amendment of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014.

“Govanhill is the only area in Scotland to secure Enhanced Enforcement Area (EEA) status for four blocks in South-West Govanhill.

“Residents are quite rightly asking when this will be extended to a minimum of the 13 blocks in the original acquisition investment proposal to bring further improvement to the area.”

She added: “Govanhill remains a pressurised area, change in behaviour of some residents, enforcement, national investment, legislation and a permanent policing strategy will contribute to lasting change.”