Cost of cleaning Glasgow's dirtiest streets is highest in Scotland

The bill for collecting bins from the city's premises is among the highest in Scotland.

Cost of cleaning Glasgow’s dirtiest streets is double Scottish average and highest in the nation STV News

Cleaning Glasgow streets has been costing the council far more than in all other local authorities. 

And the bill for collecting bins from the city’s premises is also among the highest in Scotland. 

One city councillor has exclaimed costs are off the “Richter scale. ”

The bill for street cleaning per 1,000 people is the most expensive in the nation, working out at £25.94 per resident according to 2020 to 2021 data. 

It has decreased from the previous year’s £32.45 per person.

A council meeting heard the large number of football matches and gigs happening in the city leads to higher costs.

A report said bosses are reviewing the cost and comparing the city’s service with other local authorities. It said there has been ongoing investment, including introducing bin sensors to give information on fill rates and bin replacement, which has affected the cost.

Some staggering figures also show Glasgow has the highest cost per visit at sports facilities in Scotland at £223.61 – compared to a Scottish average of £40.37.

The council committee was told lockdown had led to the huge financial hit. The cost per library visit was £22.65 compared to a Scottish national average of £2.88. Glasgow’s cost per visit to city museums and galleries was £126.68 against a national average figure of £10.19.

Raising concerns about the cost of culture and sport, Green councillor Martha Wardrop said: “It is a worrying difference in cost in Glasgow compared to the rest of the country.”

A Glasgow Life representative said the biggest impact was people not being able to visit venues due to lockdown. 

All the statistics were presented as part of a report on a local government benchmarking framework, which presents how different councils perform.

SNP Councillor Chris Cunningham pointed out a statistic showing Glasgow had one of the highest costs of rubbish collection per premise in Scotland.

He said in Glasgow “we go above and beyond” by going into back courts to collect waste.

He questioned the differences in cost around the country and asked whether anyone carries out an analysis to explain why some areas pay out more than others. 

Speaking at the Operational Performance and Delivery Scrutiny Committee yesterday, an official said he hoped previous workshops, which operated before the pandemic, will begin again to allow discussion on the data. 

Another official said staff would be keen to discuss reasons for variances across councils

She said: “We don’t benchmark against other local authorities at the moment but we would welcome those groups being established.”

Councillor Jim Kavanagh, Labour, said: “Our figures are off the Richter scale on costs. I don’t understand it. We don’t go into all back courts. Housing associations are pulling the stuff out to the street.”

The politician called for a detailed report on how figures were calculated. 

He added: “Street cleaning is a major issue that needs addressed. It has always been a priority. It sometimes gets pushed to the side.”

A council officer said the council is able to show how it calculates its cost but would have difficulty getting the details for other local authorities.

Councillors decided comments from the meeting are to be taken back to the improvement service.

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