RESIDENTS queued around the block on Saturday to post complaints to Glasgow's council leader about the state of South Side cleansing issues.

Around 40 people lined up on Calder Street to add their voice to a litany of calls for increased cleaning services in Govanhill.

At a demonstration organised by Living Rent’s Govanhill branch and GMB Scotland's City Council branch, locals asked for overflowing bins, rats and flytipping to be dealt with.

Living Rent member Cameron Beattie said: "For most of the past year, we have been asked to stay at home.

"But in Govanhill many children can’t even play in their backcourt because of the rats and mounds of rubbish.

"Susan Aitken has blamed Glasgow residents and cleansing workers for the crisis, while slashing budgets for cleansing year after year.

"The situation can’t go on, which is why residents and clenny workers are standing together to demand the investment our city badly needs."

In response, a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Govanhill receives a substantial investment in terms of cleansing and resources in comparison to other areas of the city to address litter and fly tipping issues and we continue to encourage residents to take pride in their community.”

Living Rent Govanhill protest

Living Rent Govanhill protest

Banners were also hung from windows across the area and protestors spoke about how cleansing issues are impacting the Govanhill community and cleansing workers alike.

The ongoing campaign calls for the reinstatement of a backcourt team ro be responsible for bulk uplift and upkeep within Govanhill's backcourts.

Backcourt teams used to be a regular part of Glasgow’s general cleansing service until around 13 years ago.

The campaign also calls for greater enforcement to crack down on flytipping and more accessible education on recycling and waste disposal, including materials produced in multiple languages.

The campaign for investment has grown since December when residents and cleansing workers together collected more than 100 bags of rubbish to protest conditions in the area.

In February, Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, agreed to talks with representatives from Living Rent’s Govanhill branch and GMB’s City Council branch but union officials report that the talks have stalled.

More than 1700 residents have now signed the petition for greater investment in cleansing services and union members will continue protesting until Glasgow City Council takes proper action to address the crisis.

Living Rent Govanhill protest

Living Rent Govanhill protest

At a hustings event last month, local MSP Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged that “cleansing [in Govanhill] continues to be a challenge.”

The First Minister told residents: “cleansing has to continue to be a priority and that is particularly true, as it has been for some time, in Govanhill.

"I know there is a proposal that has been put to the council for a backcourt uplift scheme which is something I’m keen to work with the council to get up and running and operational.”

GMB cleansing convener Chris Mitchell said: "Years of budget cuts have resulted in a cleansing crisis in Glasgow.

"The impact is felt by both council workers and local residents every single day.

"We’re calling on the government and Glasgow City Council to invest what is needed for proper enforcement, education and a backcourt team for Govanhill."

A Living Rent representative has today contacted Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, calling for a second round of talks to find long-term solutions to the area’s problems and is waiting for a response.