As of today Glasgow, as you read my column, Glasgow City Council will have begun its first day of charging for bulk waste uplift from domestic premises. In one fell swoop, a service that has been free of charge to Glasgow residents for decades will become the preserve of those who are privileged enough to be able to afford to pay.

For a city that was named and shamed the fly tipping capital of Britain only months ago, this is a complete dereliction of duty from the council’s SNP administration.

Despite their increasingly desperate protestations to the contrary, this charge is a cost cutting measure that will do nothing to address the city’s cleansing problems. Quite the opposite, it will exacerbate the crisis of illegal dumping by disincentivising responsible waste disposal.

Last week I wrote to Glasgow’s SNP Environment Convenor urging her, with a matter of days to go to cancel the introduction of this policy. Put to one side the impact of even more rubbish being dumped on our streets and green spaces, there is a serious inequity between facilitating free disposal for car owners in Glasgow while those who do not have access to a car need to pay. This is directly contrary to the convenor’s own drive to reduce the climate related impact of vehicle usage and also is directly discriminatory to those from working class backgrounds like mine who are less likely to be able to afford buying a car.

When the SNP came to power in Glasgow City Council in 2017, with great fanfare, they promised to sweep away the decadence of perennial Labour rule and shine a light into the dark corridors of power in the City Chambers. It might be more useful if they’d have thought to shine a light onto our waste ridden streets over the past four years, because since then the people of Glasgow have been treated to a complete betrayal of the promise of change that the SNP campaigned to deliver.

Glasgow Times:

The bulk uplift charge is only one example of their complete failure to address the priorities of the people of Glasgow. Add to that the bin collection cuts which now expect ordinary families to wait three weeks for their refuse to be collected, and the betrayal of our pensioners by scrapping the Affordable Warmth Dividend and Assisted Garden Maintenance service in the middle of a global pandemic.

There is an alternative. These are political choices made by the council leader, Susan Aitken, and her band of party stooges here in Glasgow for the benefit of their bosses in Edinburgh. At this year’s budget, Glasgow Conservatives proposed a fully costed plan to scrap the bin collection cuts, scrap the bulk uplift charge, and invest in a ‘Clean Glasgow’ taskforce to address our city’s cleansing emergency. All of these measures were voted down by SNP, Green and Labour councillors.

I can’t say I was surprised to read media coverage over the weekend of Aitken claiming that Glasgow “looked great”. I don’t know what streets she is walking but I have never seen this city look so filthy. Overflowing bins, fly-tipped rubbish, and rodent infestation – this is the welcome that world leaders in Glasgow have to look forward to in November when they arrive for COP 26.

What a disgrace it is that the first ever SNP Administration in Glasgow has allowed our city to deteriorate to such an extent. I can only urge every reader to remember the arrogance of the council leader next year at the ballot box.