HAVING returned recently from travel abroad, the comparison between Glasgow and other cities that regard themselves as "international" highlights the huge image problem that it faces.

This has been echoed in various articles in the press recently, including one by Victoria Weldon referring to the sorry state of many of our treasured parks (“Dear green disgrace… Are the parks in Glasgow turning into wild west?”, The Herald, July 17), and Kevin McKenna’s column (“Glasgow is in a mess and the SNP can’t blame the Tories”, The Herald, July 20).

No city can be ever be perfect, but I am afraid to say that the impression that Glasgow currently gives to tourists, and to residents who actually care, is one of terminal decline. Our streets are absolutely filthy caused by public indifference and council ineptitude. Beggars and homeless people are to be met at every shop corner in the city centre. Public spaces are of a particular shame in terms of how these are maintained with grass verges left to become completely overgrown with the ridiculous excuse that these are spaces for biodiversity. Has the council become so financially straitened that rubbish cannot lifted before it is obliterated by a lawnmower or grass cuttings uplifted afterwards? This shows a complete lack of pride, which is then mirrored in the behaviour of others, especially young people, who litter streets with fast food, smashed beer bottles and chewing gum, which should be banned outright from the city centre.

The response to this issue all too often is to play a politicised blame game between current/ previous city administrations and, as a result, nothing happens. The powers that be in the City Chambers and the Scottish Government surely cannot be blind to what is going on, but should be utterly ashamed of what happening to this city. An action plan and publicity campaign needs to be urgently put in place to encourage a pride in the city by Glaswegians and properly enforced punitive measures for those who do not care or cannot be bothered with the same zeal shown as the council deals with parking fines. Council tax revenues need to redirected away from pet projects that have no support from ordinary people towards things that matter.

Much has been reported of the outcry to the remarks made by Noel Gallagher ("Scotland ‘like a Third World country’", The Herald, July 12) and, though these are tongue-in-cheek, they highlight the sorry reality of Glasgow in its current state. Those celebrated in the statues of George Square must be looking down on the city in utter disbelief at what it has become over the past 10-15 years. It is time for the council and Scottish Government to be seen to act and for all Glaswegians to get the city back on track before it is too late, otherwise a third-world epitaph will be truly deserved.

David Roxburgh, Glasgow G33.

VICTORIA Weldon's article rightly draws attention to the sorry state of many of the city's parks, and what appears to be the council's not-so-benign neglect of them.

Of course, at a time of severe local authority spending cuts, maintenance of parks is bound to be a low priority, and unfortunately, Glasgow has many more pressing problems. A pity then that the city is not part of the National Trust's Future Parks Initiative. Eight UK towns and cities, including Edinburgh, have been selected by competition to receive funding to explore new ways to finance and manage their green spaces. This is an incredibly exciting project to secure urban green spaces for the future and encourage greater public participation in their management. How is it then, that Glasgow, of all places, is not a participant? Did the city even submit a bid? And, if so, why did it fail? So far approaches to the council have not produced a response. This does seem to be yet another example of a council service failing in its duty to nurture and protect valued assets.

Glasgow is a "dear green place" to many of us, but it's sometimes hard to believe that its councillors and officers all feel the same way.

Susan Readman, Glasgow G41.