The latest financial forecast from Glasgow City Council provides a view of yet another bleak horizon.

Looking out from the City Chambers just now the view will have been one of fog, darkness and a chill over the city.

The view of the books in the finance department has been equally chilling.

Essential local services are under immense pressure and at real risk.

READ MORE: Glasgow City Council facing £110m budget gap threat to services

Services will be further eroded.

It is not possible to keep operating within reduced budgets and deliver the same services year after year.

As the Glasgow Times reported this week, Glasgow City Council faces a budget shortfall of £36million pounds in the next financial year 2021/22.

Over the next three years that figure will be £115m, according to the forecast of the council’s financial department.

The biggest pressure is from inflation, which will add around £70m to the council’s bills on wages, and costs.

To meet rising costs you would need to bring in more money.

So where does the council get its money from.

A relatively small proportion comes from Council Tax.

It will almost certainly go up, this year. The only question is by how much.

But every 1% on our council tax bill only raises around £2m a year so a maximum permitted rise of just under 5% will not plug the gap.

Glasgow Times: The City Chambers The City Chambers

Money also comes in from service charges and fees. Facilities like Glasgow Life leisure centres, community lets and money from events at big venues and outdoor events like festivals add cash to the city coffers.

Not this year it doesn’t. Glasgow life has been hemorrhaging money due to lockdown. There were no big outdoor festivals like Trnsmt or Summer Sessions and only the most optimistic of us would put aside cash for a ticket to any of those in 2021.

The rest of the money, most of the money, comes from the Scottish Government grant.

The council projections are for a cut to the grant this year of £13m and the same again for the next two years.

Given the cuts to council budgets for the last decade at least, you get the feeling that it is not a fairground crystal ball that the forecasters are using.

Expecting anything other than another reduction in the cash allocation would be foolhardy given the experience of recent years.

It is hard for anyone to deny local government has been low down the pecking order when it comes to funding from the Scottish Government.

Council services are essential services, they are not add-ons that we all like to have but could do without.

Bins need collected and refuse recycled and disposed of safely. Many of our older people need care to help them live in their own homes or in care homes where necessary.

As we have seen this week, roads need to be gritted over the cold snaps, which means maintaining a fleet and workforce.

Schools need to be maintained, environmental standards need to be upheld and a licensing regime has to be enforced to ensure people are safe in pubs, taxis and other business premises.

These are just a few of the many and varied services that the thousands of workers employed by Glasgow City Council are keeping running day in day out.

This year the focus, with the coronavirus pandemic, has fallen on the health service and schools which is funded by the Scottish Government but delivered by councils and health boards.

But the other services mentioned above are all vital for our health and safety and for the proper functioning of our city.

The latest projected cut comes after year upon year of cuts. A decade ago there may have been ‘efficiency savings’ to be had. There may have been some money spent that wasn’t totally necessary.

There may have been duplication across departments and the council could have been run just as effectively with a smaller budget.

But hundreds of millions of pounds worth of cuts later, those days are gone.

For many years now it has been services that are being reduced, not excess fat being trimmed.

Even providing the same amount of money as last year will not be enough as inflationary pressures will push up costs. That would be a real terms cut.

Between now and the council setting its budget next month, there will be wrangling and positioning within departments looking to protect their resources and arguing for more.

Externally, the City Council leadership has to be doing the same with the Scottish Government and leaving the Finance Secretary, Kate Forbes, and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, in no doubt that more cuts is not an option.

Glasgow Times: Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon

If we all want something we have to pay for it. When we need something then it has to be a priority for what we have available to spend.

Glasgow needs these services delivered. We can’t do without them.

If the Scottish Government wants these essential services delivered by local government then it has to provide the cash for them in the budget.

The city can’t take more cuts.