I'D LIKE to wish Glasgow Times readers a very happy new year on behalf of Scottish Greens councillors.

My first day back to Council business saw me join some cross-party colleagues in George Square to witness Glasgow teacher Michael Shanks complete his extraordinary feat of having run down every single street in the city - all 6,143 of them - covering almost 1,500 miles in the process.

His commitment is laudable and it’s fair to say he has done ‘local’ like no one else.

Looking ahead to local elections in May, councillors will soon be beating a path down many of those same streets in search of votes.

Scottish Greens go into these elections with massive momentum.

After our most successful Holyrood election campaign ever, which returned a record number of MSPs to Parliament, we entered a cooperation deal with the Scottish Government, putting Greens into government for the first time anywhere in the UK.

READ MORE: Jon Molyneux: A car-free city centre should just be the start

Since then, we’ve started to change the conversation. Scotland now has a government that doesn’t just say there’s a climate emergency but is also starting to act like it. 

Greens are delivering record funding for nature restoration, walking and cycling, and low carbon heating.

We’ve pushed the Government to recognise for the first time that there must be an end to new oil and gas exploration and that unchecked aviation growth is not compatible with addressing the climate emergency.

Changing the conversation matters for our Council elections in May too, because, while the climate challenge is global, it needs cities like Glasgow to lead through local action.

That was clear from the city’s hosting of COP26. The real local legacy was the solidarity formed between climate activists, front line workers and local communities - a new conversation rooted in climate justice.

Electing more Green councillors in May will channel the energy of that movement into tangible change in our city chambers.

READ MORE: Jon Molyneux: We need to talk about consumption

Before then, we have a Council budget to set. That task is hindered by a Scottish Government funding settlement offering no new cash and no help for huge inflationary pressures we face, in the form of rising wages, energy bills, and additional national insurance payments.

Parties across local government, through the umbrella body COSLA, are united in condemnation of the proposals. Green councillors stand fully behind their message.

We demand immediate action to prevent cuts to services, as well as recognition that the case for radical reform of local finance is now urgent.

Councils need certainty over their fair share of national funding, and more powers to raise revenue locally.

We must put Councils and the services they provide on a solid, long-term foundation so that they can be there for all of us.

It might not be running every single street, but right now Glasgow's councillors need the Government to walk a mile in our shoes and do what’s needed to fix the crisis in council funding.