Almost half of Glaswegians think city centre has gone downhill

A Glasgow councillor said he knows people who refuse to go into the city centre as a survey suggested nearly half of residents think it has gone downhill.

A survey of 1000 residents found that people were concerned about lack of shops, cleanliness and crime among other issues.

A total of 43 per cent of people think the city has “got worse over the last few years,” 13 per cent believe it has “got better” while 33 per cent feel it hasn’t changed according to the 2022 Glasgow Household Survey.

Reacting to the findings, Councillor Jim Kavanagh said: “I was disheartened the perceptions of the city centre are more negative than positive. I know people who won’t come into the city centre at present.”

People think Glasgow city centre has gone downhill.

The Labour politician made the comment at the Operational Performance and Delivery Scrutiny Committee today.

Contractor Ipsos carried out the survey. A council report on the survey findings said: “Perceptions of Glasgow city centre were more negative than positive.”

The findings showed young people were more likely to “have a positive view” than older respondents.

The most common reason given for those who saw the city centre as getting better was improved atmosphere and appearance (18 per cent), new or restored buildings (17 per cent), improved maintenance, cleanliness and upkeep (16 per cent). People also said there are improved restaurants, shops, reduced crime, better cycling and walking infrastructure and public transport.

Residents who believe the city centre has got worse listed lack of shops and closures as their main reason for the belief (51 per cent), followed by poor maintenance, cleanliness and upkeep, (34 per cent), increased crime and antisocial behaviour (17 per cent). Some of them also mentioned the centre has a poor atmosphere and appearance, homelessness, poor road infrastructure and traffic issues and not feeling safe.

A total of 1000 people were interviewed for the survey in the North East, North West and South of the city with those selected based on age, gender, work status and ethnicity criteria to give a representative sample.

Findings found:

  • A total of 49 per cent of people were satisfied with Glasgow City Council services over the last 12 months , 27 per cent were dissatisfied and 23 per cent were neutral.
  • Satisfaction with recycling collection stood at 54 per cent, pavement maintenance was at 39 per cent while road maintenance came in at 18 per cent.
  • Satisfaction with street lighting at 69 per cent and road cleaning at 40 per cent both decreased by three per cent compared to previous findings.
  • Satisfaction with refuse collection was up by seven per cent to 55 per cent.
  • A council report also laid out how people felt about schools, leisure facilities and parks.

The report said: “Satisfaction with education services was high and increased on the previous wave: 89 per cent were satisfied with nursery schools (up 18 percentage points), 86 per cent with primary schools (up seven points), and 75 per cent with secondary schools.”

It added: “The vast majority of users were satisfied with culture and leisure services: 92 per cent with museums and galleries, 87 per cent with libraries and 78 per cent with sports and leisure centres.”

The report said: “A majority of respondents were satisfied with parks (75 per cent, down from 79 per cent in 2021) and children’s play parks (62 per cent, down from 68 per cent).”