IN 2019 the SNP leader of the council, Susan Aitken, declared that opposition politicians were “making things up” when raising concerns about the People’s Palace Winter Gardens in Glasgow Green.

Not only did councillor Aitken claim that the greenery would be “maintained as required” but that people should “feel free to ignore” any evidence to the contrary.

If there were ever a more apt metaphor for her shambolic mismanagement of this great city it is this. Because as seen by the evidence that has emerged in recent days, Susan Aitken’s promised maintenance of the Winter Gardens looks a lot like her maintenance of the rest of Glasgow – in need of much more than just a spruce up.

How utterly shameful it is for the city’s first ever SNP council to allow such a cherished community asset to fall into such a sorry state. It’s not the Queen’s Park Glasshouse near the council leader’s own Langside ward that has been neglected.

No, yet again it is the East End of Glasgow that bears the brunt of this council administration’s incompetence. Those of us who have lived in the East End all our lives know fine well that we are treated as second class citizens by this council when it comes to investment in our local services. Just take one look down Shettleston Road and compare it to streets in better off areas and it’ll tell you all you need to know about the priorities of this SNP council and every Labour one before it.

As delegates from around the world gather in this city to discuss the environmental challenges we face, the photos of what the Winter Gardens’ former curator Dr Elspeth King termed “planned, expensive devastation” are a damning indictment on the environmental record of our SNP administration. An administration that talks a good game but never fails to disappoint when it comes to delivering for the people of Glasgow. Who are they to preach to any other country about taking care of their greenery when rotting vegetation, dirt and garden waste are now strewn across what was once a thriving ecological attraction where exotic plants and rare trees flourished?

Unfortunately, this is the standard of leadership that Glasgow has come to expect from the SNP since they assumed control of Glasgow City Council in 2017. An administration that has achieved nothing in their near five years in power other than making Glasgow into the fly-tipping and graffiti capital of Britain. An administration that refuses to acknowledge the reality of Glasgow’s waste crisis and instead brands those who raise concerns about the state of our streets as echoing the “far right”. An administration who, from their Lord Provost expensing designer shoes and manicures to Susan Aitken charging the public purse for her taxis to a Paul Simon concert, are utterly consumed by self-interest. An administration whose only priority is self-preservation – to the detriment of everyday Glaswegians for whom they care nothing about.

If the SNP in Glasgow felt any shame, they would be screaming from the rooftops apologising to the people of Glasgow for how badly they have been let down. The truth is we’ve never been further from their inaugural promise to shine a light into the shady dealings of power and privilege in the City Chambers.

Like Labour before them, the SNP in Glasgow have succumbed to the trappings of the establishment. It would likely never even occur to Susan Aitken to check if her promised maintenance of the Winter Gardens was actually being carried out. Because when your full-time job is to shill for the nationalist cause, the interests of the working class in the East End of Glasgow just come very far down your list of priorities.