Sturgeon’s Glasgow shambles: Ageing park workers drafted to fill holes as bin chaos hits

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SNP-controlled Glasgow has been suffering rubbish problems for months on end. The latest reports suggest elderly park workers could be at risk of suffering health problems due to the demanding work of collecting bins in the city.

One worker, who chose to remain unnamed, told the SWNS news agency that both binmen and those working in parks are going through a “really stressful time” due to the bin crisis.

They said some staff are anxious about being injured while helping with bin collections but are likewise unnerved by the prospect of turning the work down for fear of being “downgraded or redeployed”.

In a testimony that is likely to direct criticism to the heart of Ms Strugeon’s Government, the park worker said: “Workers’ health doesn’t matter to the [Glasgow] council as long as the job is getting done.

“For years now we have been assisting cleansing. Anyone who can’t carry out the full range of their duties is facing a downgrade or redeployment.

“This is becoming a really stressful time for parks workers.

“We know that binmen are currently under a lot of stress but what about ageing park workers who are struggling to keep up with the demand because they are being put under pressure to get the work done.

“They are being expected to carry out the same duties as they did ten years ago – the job only gets harder as you get older.”

They added: “What will it take for change to happen? One of our older workers to become injured on-shift or worse?”

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Glasgow City Council (GCC) published an apology this morning, on Monday, for recent issues with bin collections.

In a post on Twitter, it said: “We are very sorry for recent delays to bin collections due to absence levels from Covid, illness and leave during the festive period.

“Collections are mainly back to normal but there may still be delays in places.”

Glasgow’s rubbish problem notoriously received wide criticism during the COP26 climate conference, which was held in the city.

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As the city prepared for the summit in October, GCC leader Susan Aitken insisted that “all cities have rats” in a bid to defend Glasgow’s cleanliness record.

Ms Aitken also downplayed reports of refuse staff seeking hospital treatment after coming across rats while on the job, describing these as “small incidents”.

Responding to the latest allegations on ageing park workers taking on gruelling work despite health concerns, a GCC spokesperson insisted “it is not true to say that staff are being downgraded or redeployed”, as the park worker suggested.

They said: “It is normal for parks staff to support cleansing operations at this time of year…

“All staff are trained for work on cleansing operations and will be allocated appropriately, such as on to street cleansing duties or kerbside collections where bins are moved short distances from the pavement to the back of the lorry.

“Support is available for any member of staff who is dealing with a mental health issue.”

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