Public Health

Public Health

Glasgow City Council is committed to improving the quality of life for Glasgow citizens.

Protecting Public Health is a key area within this commitment and on these pages you will find information about how council staff work towards this.

Statutory Nuisances

Glasgow City Council investigates allegations of the existence of statutory nuisances.
Every year over 4000 complaints are made to Land and Environmental Services about public health issues.
These complaints are mainly investigated under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and other legislation. A statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act may exist where conditions are particularly offensive.

A statutory nuisance can be defined as:

Any premises in such a state as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance and, in addition, unsatisfactory conditions relating to animals, smoke, fumes, gases, steam, smell and accumulations or deposits which are prejudicial to health.

Officers of Land and Environmental Services have powers to force entry to premises to inspect or to abate a statutory nuisance. Where nuisance conditions are found officers will issue a Statutory Notice to require the abatement of a statutory nuisance.

A Statutory Notice may be immediate or give specified time limit for compliance.

Failure to comply with a notice may result in this service carrying out work on default or referring the matter to the Procurator Fiscal or both.

Bird Flu/Avian Flu

Bird flu or avian flu is a contagious disease that normally affects only birds and in particular domestic poultry.

The following advice should be followed if any dead birds are observed in Glasgow:

The GB-wide Central Government (Defra) Helpline should be contacted. The telephone number is 08459 33 55 77.

Further information about avian flu can be found at the following sites:


The Public Health Group receives many complaints each year concerning pigeons and issues relating to them. Regrettably, the Council has very limited powers with regard to these issues and for the most part cannot deal with the matters directly.

If you have concerns about the construction of a pigeon loft on or near your property, the loft may require planning consent if it is of a certain size. Queries regarding this should be directed to the Development Control section of Development and Regeneration Services on
0141 287 8555.

The Council has no direct enforcement powers to prevent members of the public feeding pigeons. However, if an excessive amount of food is left out this may cause a problem with rodent infestation and persons are discouraged from feeding birds to such an excessive extent.

Pigeons cause continuing problems at locations where they roost and nest e.g. railway bridges, and buildings. Although complaints are frequently received about pigeon droppings and feathers, the Council can very seldom take any formal action to force owners to proof their premises against pigeons.

The council does not provide a pigeon proofing service on any private properties.

In cases where pigeons have gained access to a property and have caused a potentially serious public health problem such as pollution of a water tank, the council would then be able to take enforcement action against the property owners to remedy the problem.


Recently, the council has been receiving more complaints regarding the behaviour of seagulls and the problems that they cause.

The complaints concern noise, aggressive behaviour, bird faeces, interference with refuse etc.

Unfortunately, as with pigeons, the council has no statutory powers to deal with these complaints.

The council actively discourages residents from feeding seagulls and through its enforcement powers it ensures that commercial and domestic refuse is disposed of in an appropriate manner to discourage interference by seagulls.

Where seagulls nest on private property it is the responsibility of the owner to take any necessary action to have the nest removed. In such situations they should contact a local Pest Control company who would offer such a service.

In some situations it may be possible for residents to have some form of proofing installed on their building to prevent seagulls nesting. Again this form of action can be taken by a local Pest Control company. 


The Public Health Group can investigate any complaint related to dampness within a resident's house or flat. This may be caused by condensation, rising dampness, rainwater penetration or even dampness caused by defective plumbing.

Depending on the circumstances and origin of the problem these matters can be resolved by service of statutory notices requiring the relevant owners to carry out the necessary repairs.

In certain circumstances the Council may carry out work in default and thereafter recover costs.

In most cases this is for minor repairs only and is subject to the financial constraints of the Service. If estimated repair costs are in excess of the budgetary limit, which is currently £2000, owners in tenement properties may be able to take action independently in terms of the Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004. In such cases the advice of a solicitor should be sought.


Officers of the Public Health Unit can be called on to investigate any smells which may be affecting a house or office. This may be caused by cooking smells, defective drains or even dead or decaying animals. Advice and help can be given where required.


Defective drainage within private property can be investigated by the Public Health Unit. If necessary, a notice under the Sewerage (Scotland) Act 1968 can be served on owners to remedy any drainage defect within 2 or 7 working days. In the event of non-compliance with the notice, the Council may carry out works in default and recover costs.

All drainage problems which occur in the main sewerage system in the street are dealt with by Scottish Water.

  • Scottish Water : Phone 0845 601 8855

Any problems with street gullies should be reported to RALF(Road and Lighting Faults).

  • Roads and Lighting Faults - Phone 0800 37 36 35

Port Health

Glasgow City Council is a Port Health Authority and has a duty to inspect and control shipping which enters the Glasgow Port Area. It is empowered to issue de-ratting and de-ratting exemption certificates on request.

Dirty Houses

The Public Health Group has powers to inspect houses when it is believed that they are in a filthy or verminous condition. Should an inspection confirm this suspicion then a statutory notice can be served requiring the occupier to clean up the property within a specified time period. Failure to do so can result in the work being carried out in default by the Council and costs recovered thereafter. Should the house be permitted to lapse into a similar condition in the future then consideration may be given to reporting the matter to the Procurator Fiscal.

Letters for Immigration Purposes

For any resident requiring a letter for immigration purposes, certifying that no overcrowding would be created by the proposed additional occupier(s), the application form can be downloaded directly from this link. On payment of the appropriate fee an Officer of the Public Health Unit will visit and carry out the required inspection.

For further information please contact Land and Environmental Services:

Phone: 0845 270 1558

Please note: No cash transactions will be accepted at our office after 4.30pm.