SUSAN Aitken says the personal criticism of her over cleansing and graffiti in Glasgow is 'not fair'.

Opponents, particularly Labour and the Conservatives, have highlighted litter, dirty streets and graffiti-covered buildings, claiming the SNP has failed to keep Glasgow clean.

But the SNP leader of the city council said it is “unfair and false”.

Speaking to the Glasgow Times ahead of the election on Thursday, she said the city is not unique in the challenges it faces.

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken ‘proud of record of delivery’

Asked if she considered the personal criticism fair, she said: “No, I don’t think it’s fair.

"I think it’s absolutely fair to ask what our plans are, what we’re going to do to help those services recover.

"To make it party political is grossly unfair and just false. And I think too, what particularly irks me, has been Labour and Tory making out that Glasgow is somehow uniquely affected by this and they’ve made it almost like this defines Glasgow now.

“And I just refuse to buy into that. Glasgow is not defined by these challenges but we do need to recognise the challenges.”

Ms Aitken said the SNP has invested in cleansing and is modernising the service.

She said: “Cleansing and environmental services were a huge issue for us when we inherited them.

"They had been subject to historic under-investment and a failure to reform and modernise. We had started that process of investment and shifting to more neighbourhood focused.

“Some parts it is fly-tipping, others it's commercial waste.

READ MORE: Labour's Malcolm Cunning says it can win in Glasgow as SNP has 'p***ed off too many people'

“We invested in new bins, new lorries, new sweepers and invested in new staff.

“We’ve put some reforms in place and yes, they are difficult for households to get used to at first.

"Everybody sees it as a cut. It’s genuinely not. It is about reform and improvement and we are seeing results.

"Recycling is going up and it is going up at a significant rate. Were finally moving towards where we need to be.”

And she said the introduction of a bulk uplift charge has improved the service.

Ms Aitken added: “Bulk uplift used to be 28 days. If you book an appointment now it is within days.

“The small charge has massively improved the service and allows [us to target where] we have those issues like fly-tipping or graffiti.”