GLASGOW City Council sets its budget this month in challenging circumstances.

It’s costing more to deliver services due to inflation, also known as the cost of Tory economic mismanagement. Demand for those services is growing too; i.e. the cost of Tory austerity.

Twelve months ago, Green councillors refused to vote for a budget. We said that council funding was unsustainable and things needed to change, urgently.

We demanded more funding from both national Governments, as well as powers to give Councils greater financial freedom.

We have made progress on both of those fronts.

Greens have been at the forefront of successful campaigns to reverse cuts and get funding where it is needed. We helped deliver £1.2 million annual funding to keep the city’s vital community links workers, and we secured a long-overdue increase to foster care allowances, with carers getting a share of £16m nationally.

We’ve also confirmed £21m investment in a new state-of-the-art recycling facility which will enable households to recycle more and will keep jobs in the city too.

We can now double council tax on second or additional homes thanks to Green MSPs. The Visitor Levy, which Greens won previously and was delayed by the pandemic, is now going through Parliament. Both can increase the funds Glasgow has to spend on local services.

While other groups walked away from last year’s budget and have nothing to show for it, Greens have protected jobs and made a difference.

There are some things in the last year that we’re less happy about. The First Minister’s council tax freeze announcement rode roughshod over claims of cooperation with councils. It’s high time the council tax was replaced with a fairer system of local taxes, and thanks to Greens in government, we’ll finally have a timetable for that.

Our Green budget on February 15 will freeze council tax next year, helping with the cost of living - but the £120m gap facing the Council over the next three years means that bills will have to rise in the future.

We know that constant budget cuts are hurting communities and the council’s ability to deliver high-quality services. That can’t go on.

That’s why, as well as saving money, we must look at ways of raising more locally too. This matters because we have massive priorities that need to be addressed, including the climate and nature crises, a homelessness emergency and deep-rooted economic inequality. We should be using new revenue-raising powers to meet this head-on.

For example, by requiring larger businesses to pay for car parking we could raise funds to bring bus services into public control, cap daily fares, and extend fare-free public transport.

By implementing a Visitor Levy we can invest more in litter and street cleaning, in parks and greenspaces, in public toilets, and in supporting grassroots culture venues.

There are difficult choices facing councillors. Greens won’t shy away from those, but we will also do what we can to make a positive difference.

We’ll champion better buses, cleaner streets, and parks we can be proud of. We’ll invest in people and the planet and deliver a greener and fairer Glasgow.