REPORTS that Glasgow was “dirty” ahead of the UN’s COP26 climate talks were disputed by the BBC’s Andrew Marr over the weekend as he presented his weekly show from the city.
Various opposition politicians have described Scotland’s largest city in unflattering terms in recent weeks, with conservative MSP Sandesh Gulhane telling Politico it is in an “absolutely deplorable state” and Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar has branded the situation as a ” waste crisis “.
The SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, Susan Aitken, has previously come under fire for saying the city just needs a “spruce up” and arguing that all cities handle challenges like rats.
Today, GMB members of Glasgow’s purification department went on strike, claiming that the council had not given members “the right time and space” to consider a salary offer from Cosla.
Cosla had proposed a 5.8% wage increase for the lowest paid workers – unions suspended labor strikes to consult their members, but GMB said last night that it was back, saying conditions workers face and their wage levels do not is “good enough”.
Nicola Sturgeon, who represents Glasgow Southside in the Scottish Parliament, has accused many of those who criticize the city’s state of speaking it down to “political purposes”.
When discussing the newspapers on his program yesterday morning, Glasgow-born Marr said: “There has been a lot of coverage in the press in the run-up to the COP about the disgraceful state of Glasgow and how awful it looks … but in fact I was wandering around in Glasgow yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful.
“It was sunny, it looked clean, it was busy, it was friendly, there were demonstrations, but they were cheerful and colorful – the city looked really amazing.”
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council told The National: “The council has always been open about the fact that the pandemic – and the necessary public health restrictions that have been in place – had disrupted services and created some special challenges, especially with fly tips and graffiti.
“But we have also been aware that, as in almost every other city, a recovery plan was in place and that improvements were being made.”
Meanwhile, cleaning workers in Glasgow are now on strike in the first full week of COP26.
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A spokeswoman for Glasgow City Council said today: “The agreement reached at national level gave two weeks to consider the wage offer and so there is no reason for this strike to continue at this stage. It is very disappointing that GMB has chosen this approach.
“We have already agreed on their request for time to meet with their members. And although we are available to meet with them at any time, we are not in a position to deliver on their request for a pay rise.
“It’s part of a national debate and a new agreement was presented by Cosla last week.
“It appeared that GMB, together with the other unions, had agreed to suspend the strike until the end of the national consultation, and it is very disappointing that they have resigned from this agreement and have not given us the necessary 14 days notice, following the publicly announced suspension on Friday. ”