Rat reports in Glasgow raised with health bosses

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
There has been a huge amount of reports about rat sightings in recent times

Concern over the number of reports of rats in Glasgow have been raised with health bosses, as the city’s Labour group said increased sightings are “very worrying”.

Recent research on rodent infestations found the number of reports of rats and mice rose in Glasgow last year, with 10,323 compared to 7,894 in 2021. Glasgow Labour has sent a letter to the director of public health at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Dr Emilia Crighton, urging her to make “representations to Glasgow City Council regarding this very serious matter” if she hasn’t already.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The group’s deputy leader, Cllr Soryia Siddique, who sent the letter alongside health spokeswoman Cllr Elaine McDougall, said the data “correlates with the concerns raised by the GMB trade union. Over a decade of cuts to Glasgow City Council are having dire consequences,” she said, adding the union has pointed out there is a “particular problem in some of Glasgow’s most deprived areas, including Govanhill in my ward.”

The letter stated rodents could carry “a range of serious bacteria, including salmonella and listeria”. “Any further cuts may lead to a further exacerbation of this problem, giving rise to the possibility of a major public health crisis in the city,” it added.

In a statement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said the letter had been received and noted. “However, as it is Glasgow City Council’s environmental health teams who have responsibility for pest control, we hope that the councillors also share their concerns directly with them,” it added.

A council spokesman said it provides a free pest control service for households but residents have a “vital role to play in controlling the rodent population in or around their property. Keeping outdoor areas tidy and well maintained will help to prevent rodents from nesting while ensuring food waste is properly contained will also deter rodents, both indoors and outdoors.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The total number of rodent complaints was slightly lower than before the covid pandemic, the research, obtained via Freedom of Information requests on behalf of insurance company Direct Line, revealed. In 2019, there were 10,392 reports. Cllr Siddique is campaigning alongside the GMB for a “refreshed unified approach” to waste issues in Govanhill, which is within her Southside Central ward. They want “green enhancement teams”, including staff to cover back courts, and increased education and enforcement.

The letter on rodent infestations said a “correlation has been made” between cuts to cleansing services and infestation, particularly “the reduction in bin collections and the introduction of a bulk uplift charge”.

After meeting with Cllr Siddique, GMB convenor for refuse and cleansing, Chris Mitchell, posted a video on social media from a Govanhill lane filled with rubbish. “These are the conditions that people are living in and our members in cleansing are facing,” he said. “It’s absolutely horrendous.” He added the GMB has been “campaigning continuously to get more investment into cleansing” and has asked for back court teams, more road sweepers and more refuse collectors.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said there was a lack of funding and enforcement to deal with fly-tipping across the city. Rapid response teams “continually working in Govanhill” are “going round in circles”, he said. “We need to find out who is dumping it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The council spokesman said the area in the video, a back court off Kingarth Lane, is on staff’s radar and an enforcement notice has been issued, which “requires those responsible for the property to clear the build-up of waste.”

If the waste isn’t removed, the council “will remove the waste and charge those responsible for the property for the cost of this work. Intensive efforts have been made in recent years to tackle environmental issues in Govanhill,” he added, including a multi-million pound acquisition and repairs programme to transform “how property in the area is managed”.

Poorly performing landlords have been removed from the landlord’s register, he said, and a dedicated neighbourhood liaison officer has been appointed. “We also have been engaging with local businesses to ensure they have appropriate waste management contracts in place and Govanhill is a priority for fly-tipping enforcement,” the spokesman added. “A refreshed cleansing action plan for Govanhill is currently being developed and we are looking closely at how we can maximise our resources in the area.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.