OVER the course of the last week, like thousands of other Glasgow residents, I have been coming to terms with the SNP-led council’s plans to commence with its charge for the uplift of garden waste via our brown bins.

Hard-pressed households, who were already hit with a 5% rise in their council tax bills this year, will have to stump up another £50 a year for the privilege of having their garden waste disposed of responsibly.

That this is happening will come as no surprise to Glaswegians who were paying attention to the SNP’s lamentable council budget back in February, when £45 million of cuts across the board to council services were announced, including in education. This was compounded by that rise in council tax. In other words, a budget that asked residents to pay more but get less.

You may also remember that Glasgow Conservative candidates, including myself, at last year’s local elections warned of cuts that would inevitably come, and extra charges that would be imposed including brown bin charges.

For the record, we didn’t vote for this measure at the Budget meeting.

Of course, ahead of those elections, the SNP said we were “scaremongering” and “misleading” the people of Glasgow and there were no plans for such a charge. Well, here we are.

Since last Tuesday, my inbox has been overwhelmed with concerned comments from residents, who see yet another erosion of the most basic of council services from an administration more likely to do as it is told by its SNP/Green bosses in Edinburgh than fight for Glasgow’s citizens.

Since the SNP came to power in George Square, we have seen cuts to green bin uplifts and charges placed on bulk uplifts as well as continuing cuts to services including libraries and schools.

And all of this while council tax continues to rise year on year.

It is at this point, usually, that the SNP/Greens blame it on big bad Westminster – it’s always Westminster.

They would never dream of allowing the actual facts to interfere with a good session of the blame game.

However, it might be appropriate to point out independent research from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (Spice) which compares the 10-year period of 2013/14 to 2023/24.

The amount councils receive from the SNP government
in Holyrood has increased in
real terms by 4.3% while the amount the SNP government receives from Westminster in terms of its funding has increased by almost double that, 8.3% in real terms.

In simple terms, that means the SNP/Green government is not passing on the same increase to councils that it receives from the UK Government.

That, fellow Glaswegians, goes a long way to explain the situation our great city finds itself in.

There is growing concern that it is core services which are now being eroded and that residents, as well as seeing their city centre looking dirty and unkept, now see their vital neighbourhood services falling prey to what one constituent called “quick and easy” cuts.

It is the clearly frustrated tone of residents that I have every sympathy with as they see their council ignore what should be its core functions, while finding time and energy to pursue its relentless pursuit of independence.

I include for Glasgow Times readers some of the comments I have received this week.

One said: “Garden and food waste, deposited in brown bins by conscientious residents is taken to a composting site where it is turned into soil conditioner. This is not landfill waste. It is eco-friendly.”

Another added: “The raising of a tax for something as fundamental as my waste disposal is a disgusting way for the council to raise additional tax, having absolutely no regard for the current difficult living conditions of the citizens of Glasgow.”

A third said: “The amount I pay in council tax is shocking and is seriously making me consider moving … A very angry resident of this shambolic failing city!”

That last comment is perhaps the most telling.

Without a laser sharp focus on providing effective, value for money council services, how can Glasgow ever turn around the years of neglect, forced on it by an SNP/Green administration?

Please, the next time one of them accuses the Glasgow Tories of scaremongering – have a word.