TELEGRAPH readers will be all too aware of the cuts facing Inverclyde Council and what that means for communities and the public services they rely on.

These aren’t just optional luxuries; everything from libraries to pools to roads to waste management fall under local authorities’ remit.

Earlier this month, it was reported schools in the area are to lose 28 teachers due to Scottish Government cuts to attainment funding.

This comes off the back of announced budget cuts, council tax rises and the scaling back of some services.

One thing councillors, employers and workers are all agreed on is that the financial crisis facing local authorities is unprecedented.

Inevitably, the Scottish Government points to limitations on its own budget after a decade of devastating Tory austerity.

Nobody can dispute the Scottish Government must prioritise funding it receives via the block grant provided by Westminster, but that doesn’t mean the SNP have made the right political choices.

Analysis by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows the local government revenue budget hasn’t remotely kept up with increases to the Scottish Government’s budget in that time.

And where there have been increases, COSLA contends any increase to local government funding has been 'heavily ringfenced', with core services left unprotected.

Let’s be frank, these cuts are making communities poorer. But different choices could be made.

Despite pledging its abolition all the way back in 2007, the SNP is yet to come forward with a progressive alternative to council tax which is based upon ability to pay.

Meanwhile, reports by IPPR Scotland and the STUC set out how tens of millions of pounds extra could be raised every year by councils, for example via a local inheritance tax or carbon taxation.

Devolved powers do limit the options the Scottish Government has, but there are plenty of areas where funding can be raised.

It could mean assets like Greenock Central Library staying open in the long term. It could mean an expansion rather than a decline in leisure facilities.

These issues will not be resolved overnight, but as national politicians it’s our job to stand up and demand the investment our communities and councils need. That’s what I intend to do.