The Leader’s office in Glasgow City Chambers is a big office.

The position is big and whoever fills it for the next five years has a big job to do.

Glasgow City Council is facing a crisis, as are many other local authorities around the country.

As is often the case, in Glasgow the problem is heightened not because the problems are necessarily any more severe but because the problems exist in greater numbers.

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The city has massive challenges. They are not new. They were there when Susan Aitken walked into the Leader’s Office and they remain.

They were there when Frank McAveety sat in the leader’s chair and the decades of Labour leaders before him.

Poverty is, as always, the biggest challenge facing Glasgow. It contributes to the other problems and hampers the efforts to solve them.

Lower than average life expectancy, even lower healthy life expectancy, lower than average school attainment, higher rates of drug and alcohol addiction.

Long term, inter-generational unemployment and poverty, homelessness, unaffordable rents and anti-social behaviour.

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While there are policies to attempt to manage and mitigate, they still exist today as much as ever.

There is however a newer problem that has emerged in more recent times and is only getting worse.

The problem is funding of local government services and how much control local level representatives have over issues they are tasked with managing.

Year after year, the City Treasurer has had to contend with a spending gap, often an eye-watering amount.

In the most recent budget, the gap was just under £20m.

Previously, figures of £50m and above were not unusual.

If anyone is seriously telling the people of Glasgow that local government is being properly funded they should go and seek election in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

We have had the charade of massive cuts to councils from the Finance Secretary at Holyrood, only for some money to be found and credit claimed before the final stage.

But the end result is the same, the money available to councils is less than it was before.

So, it leads to decisions like hiving off community assets.

This is done under the guise of community empowerment, when what it is, is the council can no longer afford to manage and maintain premises and properly fund services.

At the election the SNP emerged as the biggest party and the likely outcome is Susan Aitken will be in the Leader’s chair.

The big task and the first thing the Leader of Glasgow City Council should do as the leader of the biggest council in the country is put fighting for funding at the top of their to do list.

Because, unless they have enough cash in the coffers, and are not spending their time working out what to cut in order to deliver what they are legally obliged to, with ring fenced cash from Holyrood, they will not be able to get round to anything else further down the list.

The first job should be pick up the phone to Bute House and demand a fair deal for councils to deliver the services that people need.