PITY the poor staff at Blairvadach, for it is they who have undergone the real rollercoaster of stress and distress since the announcement the popular outdoor centre was to close.

Imagine hearing that your livelihood might be coming to an end only when it is unexpectedly announced in a council committee meeting.

Imagine then hearing that your job is safe, suddenly, out of the blue... but that you don't know how long for.

Blairvadach Outdoor Education Centre has become something of a symbol for the way brutal council budget decisions affect ordinary people.

The majority SNP administration had tough decisions to make this year.

Even with a maximum hike to the city's council tax rates, money is still tight.

It is never, though, a good idea to go after the children because parents are tax payers - and parents will do anything to defend their children.

It is also a gift to opposition politicians who don't have to make these tough decisions but can also gain plaudits by criticising their opponents's choices.

Chris Cunningham, the city's convenor for education, said the administration was looking at closing Blairvadach or cutting teacher numbers.

Faced with that stark choice, the outdoor education centre looks like the only real choice.

Yet outdoor education also provides children with valuable skills they don't gain in the classroom.

Study after study shows the value of getting children outdoors for their health and wellbeing, as well as educational benefits.

The passionate response to the proposed closure of the centre showed how people feel about the importance of Blairvadach as somewhere for children to take part in sports and experiences they would not get elsewhere.

It's also unique in that the centre was accessible to everyone, regardless of financial background, because the centre was subsidised to ensure it was open to all.

It's good news for the city that Blairvadach is to be saved.

Good news for pupils who will be able to take part in character building, healthy pursuits such as orienteering and sailing - pursuits they might even carry on to adult life.

It's good news for the staff who were questioning the future of their jobs.

And it's good news that the Scottish Government has stepped in with additional cash for Glasgow - £10.6 million, thanks to a deal with the Scottish Greens.

Good news all round. So why do you sense a "but".

Because it's good news all round but we're going to face the same tough choices next year.

And the year after.

And likely the year after that.

The reason? Because council tax is not fit for purpose.

We will be paying more money this year than in the last 10 years but receiving far fewer services.

Council tax is not fit for purpose. Not only is it not doing its job of providing enough money to run the city, it is also leaving people in debt in greater numbers than before.

Citizens Advice Scotland has launched its Council Tax: Check to Save campaign after revealing people it is trying to help are almost £7 million in arrears.

Figures from the charity's network also suggests the average debt - £3,102.46 - is now almost three times that of the average bill - £1,147.

Council tax is not fit for purpose. It's estimated that 400,000 homes in England and Scotland are in the wrong bands and it's far from being a progressive or popular tax.

Yet when the Scottish Government consulted on plans to change the top council tax bands in 2016, a week before the consultation there were only 23 submissions to the Local Government and Communities Committee, and only 10 of those were from private citizens.

Apathy allows bad policies to flourish.

The consultation in 2016 was a change for the government to make real progressive changes to council tax but it did not.

Instead, it only raised the amount paid by those in the top bands, from E to G.

We can't be expected to pay more yet end up with less to show for our money.

That's what's happening. And meanwhile councils complain that the government is forcing it to pay for its policies and the government says councils should be able to manage by raising local tax.

It is not working.

The system is overstretched and under funded and needs a radical overhaul.

It's hard to see anything changing without more pressure from tax payers and local authorities - but change must happen before we lose facilities like Blairvadach for good.