Govanhill: A Response from Glasgow City Council

May 5th 2016

Dear Mr Hassan,

I saw your article on ‘Scottish Review’ about Govanhill and, as a press officer for Glasgow City Council, was particularly taken the paragraph, which said:

For years Govanhill has had a palpable feeling of falling between the cracks and has not received council and government regeneration policy and funding. It isn’t by any stretch one of the poorest parts of Glasgow or Scotland, but this has meant that it has consistently missed out on funds, priorities and influence.

Below is a fact sheet, which was produced by the council for a public meeting held in Govanhill in September last year. This can be fully updated if required, but it should be noted that the CCTV system referred to is now fully operational and the Scottish Government has approved the council’s proposal for an Enhanced Enforcement Area for Govanhill.

People can always argue that more should be done – such is life in local government – but, given what’s written below, it’s not accurate to say that Govanhill has not been the focus of resources or policy input.

If you return to the subject of Govanhill in future, it would be greatly appreciated if some, if not all, of this information could be reflected in any of your writing.

Regards,

Glasgow City Council Spokesperson

GOVANHILL ISSUES: THE RESPONSE BY GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL

Significant extra resources have been dedicated to Govanhill in recent years.

In the last five years Govanhill has received a third of all the money spent in Glasgow to support repairs on privately-owned homes.

This means Govanhill home owners have received £20m to support the maintenance of their properties.

Private sector housing repair grants given to Govanhill home owners cover 75% of the cost of repairs. In other parts of the city these grants for home owners cover 50% the cost of repairs.

Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government have agreed a £9.3m scheme to support Govanhill Housing Association to buy up to 80 privately-owned properties and bring them into the public rented sector.

The scheme will help to address issues of property management, including factoring, overcrowding and cleansing in four blocks in south-west Govanhill.

Govanhill Hub is a facility that is unique in Glasgow. The Hub brings together various council services such as cleansing, social work, education, community safety to work alongside police, the fire service to provide a multi-agency response to local issues.

Govanhill has a dedicated rapid response cleansing team, the only one of its kind in Glasgow. The team has dealt with 1461 bulk uplift requests in the first eight months of this year alone.

The dedicated rapid response cleansing team has collected over 4200 tonnes of waste and recyclable material from domestic and commercial premises since January this year.

This figure does not include 500 tonnes of illegally fly tipped material that has also been recovered by Glasgow City Council.

The basic standard for the council’s cleansing services in Govanhill is to collect bulk uplift within 14 days of a request for collection being made. This compares to 28-days for all other parts of the city.

Govanhill has a dedicated pest control team, the only one of its kind in Glasgow. This service is provided free of charge to residents.

In the past year the dedicated the pest control team has completed work on 1289 cases of infestation. The pest is currently working on 533 cases of infestation.

Environmental Health Officers have served 313 statutory notices on premises in the Govanhill area in the past year. Issues targeted by the statutory notices include water penetration, accumulation of waste in backcourts and drainage issues. By comparison 54 such notices were served in the neighbouring community, Pollokshields East.

Environmental Health Officers have also served 50 fixed penalty notices on commercial premises under the terms of the Environmental Protection Act.

Community Safety Glasgow will soon be monitoring seven new state-of-the-art CCTV cameras that have been stationed at various locations around Govanhill. This will help with crime prevention and detection.

Community Safety Glasgow has two Community Enforcement Officers dedicated to working in Govanhill. Since April this year these officers have 1128 fixed penalty fines in relation to littering and 36 in relation to dog fouling.

In the past five months almost 150 community clean-ups have been organised in Govanhill by Clean Glasgow volunteers.

Glasgow City Council has lobbied the Scottish Government to introduce new powers into the housing legislation that will give local authorities greater powers to deal with problem housing. This led directly to the creation of the Enhanced Enforcement Area power in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, which the council has now applied for. We are expecting an answer from the Scottish Government in the near future.