Susan Aitken: ‘I take absolute responsibility for services in Glasgow’

The Glasgow Council leader has faced criticism over rubbish collections in the city.

Susan Aitken: ‘I take absolute responsibility for services in Glasgow’ STV News

Susan Aitken has said she takes “absolute responsibility” for day-to-day public services in Glasgow.

It comes following criticism of the Glasgow City Council leader over rubbish not being collected in the city.

Aitken had previously suggested that many of the challenges facing Glasgow were down to its post-industrial past and the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s government.

On Times Radio, the SNP council leader was pressed over her remarks attributing blame to Thatcher, and was asked when her party would take responsibility for the councils they run, with the SNP also having been in power at Holyrood since 2007.

Susan Aitken previously rejected claims that the streets of Glasgow were ‘filthy’ ahead of COP26.

Aitken said that public services are “getting back” to where they should be following the pandemic.

“I take absolute responsibility for the day-to-day services in the city,” she told Matt Chorley.

“And like nearly all cities, and I know, I speak to city leaders across the UK regularly, we have all faced enormous challenges with waste management and cleansing during the Covid period.

“All of our workforces have been severely hit. We’ve had over 30% absence rates in our cleansing workforce at various times.

“That has been a huge challenge for us, there’s no question, and some things were undoubtedly, over the past couple of years, there are some elements of services which had less focus on them because we had to focus on domestic refuse collection.

“That was the most important thing. So, things like cleaning graffiti for a while didn’t happen to the same extent as it ordinarily would.

“A lot of that we’ve now caught up with, we’ve got back, or we’re getting back… Omicron hit us again, but we’re getting back to where we should be.

“The city is getting back to… and our neighbourhoods are getting back.

“You know, part of recovery from Covid is that our public services have to recover as well as our economy and our communities.”

Aitken insisted that people are still facing the multigenerational impact of previous decades.

She said: “Glasgow lives with the legacy of the 1980s, and in particular, our citizens still live with the legacy of it every single day.

“There are many people in my city who live in distress which is a multigenerational impact of worklessness, of ill health, all of which has come down to us from then.

“And these remain the biggest social and economic challenges that the city has to deal with.”

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