GOVANHILL now has a dedicated council officer to ensure its streets and backcourts are cleared of the rubbish that has blighted the community for years.

There are currently seven neighbourhood coordinators working across the city's 56 neighbourhoods - but the South Side area is the only place with one dedicated officer.

Joe Moffat, who took up the post in November, reported early successes to the Govanhill Regeneration Group meeting yesterday.

He said: "The fact that I am working only in this area is ideal because I can completely dedicate my time to making improvements and I have started that by working very closely with the community council to make live the action plan for the area.

"What was clear from the community council was that they wanted people who represent the services to come to the table and discuss exactly what they would do so we have now had meetings with streets, refuse and public health."

Mr Moffat detailed several streets where progress has been made - some with only small changes.

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Hollybrook Street was outlined as being particularly bad and so the council's cleansing services were tasked with making an improvement there.

The result was a local resident bringing in a thank you cake to the team - the first time, Mr Moffat said, cleansing workers in the community had received praise for their efforts.

In Cathcart Road, a resident said they had not had their bins collected for seven months.

It emerged that the close door had been broken into and refuse squads had not been given a new keyfob.

Mr Moffat said: "Cathcart Road shows why we need a dedicated officer here because sometimes it's just about looking at things on a case by case basis.

"This was a quick fix to a long term problem. We worked with the housing association to have the buzzer fixed and keys for our squads, so it was finding really simple, trivial-seeming solutions to problems."

Another street had regular complaints about the backcourt.

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Mr Moffat added: "In the backcourt they weren't using the bin store but more just throwing things down as they went out the door.

"So we tied in with public health and we looked at the engagement side of it where we went out and chapped the doors and told them they were getting towards fixed penalty notices.

"Our cleansing team had to go in and gut the backcourt out and the awareness now of enforcement has had a positive impact."

Mr Moffat said he is now undertaking regular walkrounds of the area with cleansing supervisors to target hotspots and is looking at how to fix the aesthetics of shopfronts with bin cages on the street.