A business which has traded in Govanhill for more than 30 years is being forced to find new premises - due to a rat infestation.
The family business, 2gether Group, is being forced out of its Daisy Street address after fears the chronic environmental health situation is merely a disaster waiting to happen.
Business owner Craig McColligan said: “This environmental health issue has been going on for some years now but lately it’s become so bad that, as a local business that employs people and spends money in the community, we feel we have been left with no option but to leave Govanhill.
“The rats around here are the size of cats and there’s rubbish strewn around all the surrounding streets. The city council cleansing department refuse to pick up overflowing bins and so we spend a fortune on pest control – over £15,000 to date – who put down poison to kill the rats, but the rats don’t eat the poison because there’s so much rubbish lying around from the uncollected bins for them to feast on.”
2gether Group’s office is surrounded by tenements and, according to business manager Leigh Watson, she was recently informed by a city council official that a neighbouring tenant was regularly throwing dirty nappies from a flat window alongside other rubbish.
“We’re suffering everyday as a direct consequence,” she said. “There are many decent people living in the local area, but many others have moved away because of the rubbish problem.
“People are fly-tipping and leaving rubbish lying around in the streets, and whenever the cleansing department do come and clear it, no sooner do they leave than the rubbish starts reappearing.
“We’ve become amateur rodent experts. We now know that two rats can reproduce 36 times - in a month!
“And on top of the rat problem we also have a fly problem because of the dead rats we’ve managed to poison.”
In addition to regularly commissioning pest controllers, 2gether Group has recently commissioned a specialist to fumigate its premises.
“Whereas a normal office would have a light clean done every night with all bins emptied, we have to bleach every work surface every night to do everything we can to protect the health of our staff,” said Leigh Watson.
“One member of staff recently had breast cancer and was going through chemotherapy, so a hygienic workplace was absolutely crucial.
“Yet there were occasions where we had to advise her not to come in to the office because of the risk to her health.”
According to 2gether Group, the environmental health problem in Govanhill has become acute over recent years to the point where the organisation has been left with no alternative but to relocate elsewhere.
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “People have a basic responsibility to dispose of their waste in an appropriate manner. Our records indicate we have received no calls from this address in relation to fly-tipping or waste issues in recent months.
“An issue over dog fouling was raised in June and others matters were previously brought to our attention in 2012, all of which have been dealt with.
“We have no record of any request from this address requesting support from our pest control team.”
Leigh responded,saying: “To suggest there have been no calls from us since 2012 is, quite frankly, nonsensical. We are never off the telephone to the council, and regularly have to tweet pictures of the rubbish outside in an attempt to get them to clean up.
“In fact I have a card which was left on Friday of last week by the council’s environmental health team who had come out in response to yet another call.”