With the latest cuts to Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership and Glasgow Life it feels like it is now a constant battle trying to defend our city from the onslaught of economic and social vandalism.

I got into politics to help improve things and build up the capacity of our public services rather than managing their decline.

Just two weeks ago, after many months of pressing the Scottish Government to save the Community Link Worker Programme in GP surgeries across the city, it was finally announced that the plans to cut the 70 full-time positions to just 42 were to be, rightly, scrapped.

But like a game of whack-a-mole, when one problem is solved, two others appear.

Dick Stewart is a tremendous organisation in Dennistoun that provides a halfway between prison and general society for men due to be released from prisons across the central belt – it is a key tool in stopping the reoffending cycle.

Turning Point 218 on Bath Street provides an equally essential service, supporting female offenders with complex needs such as drug and alcohol addiction. Yet, cuts to funding now mean the future looks bleak for both.

This is a false economy. Cuts to Dick Stewart and Turning Point 218 will only pile pressure on the prisons and parole services just as the proposed cuts to community link workers would have added more pressure to the already overstretched GP surgeries.

The Glasgow Centre for Population Health’s recent research showed that Scotland has the widest health inequality in Europe – and Glasgow has the poorest health in Scotland with male life expectancy the lowest in the country.

Its research work lays the blame for these woeful statistics at the door of the Tory government’s austerity programme that has made the country more unequal in every measure.

Cuts to vital public services are a political choice, a political choice that has a devastating impact on people’s lives.

With Glasgow facing a crisis in chronic illness, higher deprivation and mortality, we need to be investing in public services, not cutting them.

As the Resolution Foundation has pointed out, unless we become healthier as a nation, the cost of public services will rise.

Cutting health budgets – in the long-term – will end up putting more pressure on the public purse, not less.

Budget cuts to essential public services are a fine example of the short-term thinking that is so prevalent in both the Scottish Government and the UK Government.

We need an overall change in mindset because, at present, we are setting ourselves up for more expensive and poorer quality public services.

There is a belief that closing a service like Dick Stewart will save money, but it simply moves the expense elsewhere.

It is a vicious cycle that can only be broken if we look at public services as an investment that produces a return. 

It is not good enough that the community link worker programme was saved by the skin of its teeth, yet Dick Stewart and Turning Point 218 are now on the line.

We should be expanding all of these services because, without them, we will all be worse off.