Glasgow should not host the Commonwealth Games in 2026 unless a tourist tax is used to clean streets, improve roads and rejuvenate the city's parks, according to one of the biggest public sector unions in Scotland.

The games were due to be held in Victoria, Australia, but spiralling costs which projected an outlay of $3.1bn to stage the event saw the city pull out.

The Canadian province of Alberta was expected to bid to hold the games but that never materialised, with the Herald on Sunday revealing in October that the UK had put in place a potential four-nation rescue plan which could involve Glasgow.

In April a 'scaled back' plan was proposed for Scotland's largest city which would see 10 to 13 sports featuring and being held at existing venues, with Glasgow having hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Organisers are expected to announce their ‘favoured proposed host' this month according to Scottish Health Secretary Neil Gray.

MSPs were told on Thursday that if Glasgow is chosen, the games would be staged with a reduced budget of around £135m, with £100m of that coming from the Commonwealth Games Federation and the rest made up of commercial income.

That would be part of a plan to host the games without little or no public money being committed.

However, GMB Scotland has warned the return of the Commonwealth Games should only be given the green light if a tourist tax is put in place first.

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When Glasgow hosted COP 26, delegates were given travel passes allowing free transport on buses, trains and the subway - an integrated transport system is not available to residents of the city.

In addition the city was given a deep clean, with sections of the roof of the Glasgow Science Centre replaced, the Armadillo power washed and residents urged to clean up litter in their area for the arrival of the conference.

Legislation which would give councils the power to introduce a visitor levy to raise funding for local tourism facilities and services - a so-called 'tourist tax' - is currently making its way through the Scottish Parliament.

A visitor levy already exists in all or part of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic though they are not all administered in the same way.

Last year Manchester became the first UK city to introduce an additional charge for overnight accommodation last year with providers collecting the fees and passing them to the local authority.

GMB Scotland is calling for a visitors' levy to be implemented ahead of the games, with the revenue used to fund a deep clean for streets, rejuvenate parks and improve roads.

The Herald:

The union estimates a 5% tax on hotel rooms would generate £25million annually that should be ringfenced to protect and improve parks, roads and cleansing services and the Commonwealth Games should be the target date for its introduction.

John Slaven, GMB organiser in the city council, said there must be no repeat of Cop26 when the local authority sanctioned a one-off facelift for the city before world leaders arrived for the environmental summit in 2021.

A similar clean-up operation took place before hosting the event in 2014, with the athletes' village used for housing in the city's East End following the conclusion of the games.

Mr Slaven said: “Glaswegians were forced to watch in bemusement as potholes were miraculously filled, streets were cleaned and visitors were suddenly able to travel across public transport with a single, integrated travel pass.

“Of course, the mirage of a clean, modern city vanished as soon as Cop26 left town leaving the people who actually live and work in Glasgow wondering what on earth had just happened?

“There can be no repeat if the Commonwealth Games come back and any improvements made for visitors should be permanent and sustainable. The council should be preparing to introduce a visitors’ levy at the first opportunity.

“I urge you to ensure Glasgow is the first to implement the levy when the powers become available to councils; and to rule out hosting the 2026 Commonwealth Games without implementing the levy.”

Mr Slaven has written to council leader Susan Aitken saying the visitors' levy could mitigate the impact of cuts and help improve the state of the streets and green spaces in the city.

John McArthur, GMB Scotland convenor in the city’s parks, said ring-fencing revenue from a tourist tax would help protect and restore one of Glasgow’s civic glories.

He said: “The city was nicknamed The Dear Green Place for a reason but that heritage of well-maintained and well-used parks is in tatters.

“Increasing bio-diversity has become a convenient excuse for cutting routine maintenance and planting.

“Meanwhile, skilled, committed parks staff are leaving in droves because there is so little gardening being done.

“A city’s parks are not a statutory service and an easy target for cuts but well-kept green spaces are every bit as important as clean streets to Glaswegians and visitors.

“Our parks have always been, and could be again, something to be proud of but a tourist tax could offer them urgent protection.”

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: "The council announced some time ago that it was putting in place a team to progress a business case for a potential transient visitor levy, alongside other potential new revenue-generating powers being extended to councils by the Scottish Government.”