Glasgow City Council increases spending – but streets are getting dirtier

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Glasgow City Council spends more money than the rest of Scotland cleaning its streets – but they seem to be getting dirtier.

A report brought before the council confirmed that in 2017/18 the local authority spent £36,496 per 1000 people cleaning the city’s streets, compared to just £15,452 per 1000 in Scotland as a whole.

In 2012/13 Glasgow was spending £31,000 on street cleaning per 1000 but this dropped to £26,820 by 2016/17.

During the same four-year period Scotland saw a decrease in the amount of money spend street cleaning per 1000 population from £18,998 to £14,764.

Every year an evaluation for street cleanliness is carried out. In 2016/17 Glasgow scored 90 points for its street cleanliness but only 87 points in 2017/18. Scotland scored 93 and 92 points in 2016/17 and 2017/18 respectively.

At the operational performance and delivery scrutiny committee SNP councillor Elaine Ballantyne pointed out street cleanliness had gone down despite more money being spent to solve the problem.

Ms Ballantyne asked for a full report from Neighbourhoods and Sustainability to be brought before the committee later in the year.

Committee member councillor Aileen McKenzie said she too was concerned.

She said: “It’s understandable a local authority the size of Glasgow would spend more net on street cleaning than the rest of Scotland.

“What’s not understandable and is quite worrying, is the massive spike in spending on street cleaning from 2017 onwards.

“The street cleanliness in that period [in Glasgow] has dropped dramatically from 90 to 87, whilst the rest of Scotland is sitting at 92.

“Street cleanliness is one of the top issues constituents get in touch about. It’s concerning to see data like this, and improvement is needed going forward.”