Urgent action is needed to clean-up an East Kilbride underpass which has become a den for underage drinking, drug use and fly tipping.

That’s the call from Labour councillor Joe Fagan who said he is regularly contacted by concerned residents fed-up with ongoing problems at the underpass at Highfield Place in East Mains.

Councillor Fagan said he also discovered empty needle packets and a small bag containing the remnants of white powder. Both were removed by the police.

He said: “The underpass is becoming a favourite spot for drinkers, dumpers, drug users and general anti-social behaviour.

“It’s totally irresponsible conduct, it’s intimidating to the public and it’s dangerous.

“Broken glass left at either side of the underpass is a risk to walkers, their children and their pets.”

Dozens of tyres have recently been dumped at the site.

In October we told you how a beloved family dog was badly injured at the same spot after cutting its paw open on broken glass.

This family pooch had its paw sliced open on glass from smashed bottles at the same spot

In an effort to prevent anti-social behaviour and street drinking in the woods next to the underpass, some additional fencing had been installed by the council – but within 24 hours it was demolished by vandals.

Councillor Fagan added: “I have received numerous noise complaints about groups gathering and playing music inside the underpass at all times of the night.

“However, it’s the evidence of drug use that is most concerning.

“The police were in the area the other day and dealt with issues raised by one of my constituents, specifically an empty needle bag and what we think was a leftover bag of cocaine.

“This behaviour has to stop before it gets any worse. The last thing we want is for someone to get hurt or a child to be exposed to a used needle.”

Councillor Joe Fagan has called for urgent action

Sergeant Jamie Madden said officers are continuing to undertake regular foot patrols with a view to identifying any individuals involved in criminality.

He added: “I’d encourage local residents to approach officers on patrol and share their concern, or contact us on 101.”

Councillor Fagan called the fly tipping “totally irresponsible”, adding that he counted nearly 30 tyres dumped outside the cemetery.

Calling it “completely thoughtless,” he said there was “no excuse” for fly tipping, especially outside a graveyard.

He told us: “The council has been hit by coronavirus and is having to operate a reduced level of service.

“By and large the community has been co-operating but these people are acting without any care at all for the community or how their actions affect other people.

“ Imagine going to visit the grave of a loved one and having to walk past a heap of tyres on top of all the other problems we have here.”

South Lanarkshire Council’s head of fleet and environmental services, Shirley Clelland, said: “Fly tipping is of course unacceptable at any time, but even more so during the current situation.

“At this time our enforcement in fly tipping will be targeted towards those openly abusing the circumstances we find ourselves in.

“I have been pressing all the relevant services to crack down on this location, tracing empty bottles back to specific retailers, getting community wardens into the area with CCTV vans and making sure the police continue to call regularly.

“The message needs to get out there that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and that we are watching this part of the town.

“All of our public services are stretched just now due to coronavirus, whether that’s the council or the police, and that will make it harder to give The Gateway area the priority it deserves.

“Nonetheless, I want to see as much done as possible to make people feel safe in this part of East Kilbride and to stop reckless, intimidating anti-social behaviour.”

Fly tipping can be reported at www.southlanarkshire.gov.uk