THERE’S an interesting tendency among East Renfrewshire folk whereby they refer to themselves as “south siders” and "living on the south side".

In Glasgow, we think of the south side as stretching to the border of East Renfrewshire - beyond Muirend, you're not a south sider.

I have several times recently spoken to people who refer to themselves as “proud south siders” and it then emerges they live in Clarkston.

The “south side” is the south side of Glasgow. Clarkston is not in Glasgow, it is quite emphatically in East Renfrewshire.

It is a suburb people move to because they do not want to live in Glasgow.

They want to live somewhere without any of the problems of the city - higher crime rates, higher council tax, complex poverty issues, poorer health - but with all the benefits of having the city on their doorstep. Fair enough.

I even had an East Renfrewshire press officer refer to East Renfrewshire - Woodfarm specifically - as “the south side”. I mean, if the people paid to represent your local authority don’t even know where your suburb is then all is lost.

You'll quite often hear folk from Bearsden or Milngavie talking about living in Glasgow too.

But does it matter? It matters when people who lay claim to Glasgow as their own don't contribute to the upkeep of the city

It matters in so much as people who lay claim to Glasgow as their own don't contribute to the upkeep of the city and, as the news about the closure of the People's Palace and Winter Gardens has brought into sharp relief, Glasgow could really do with some extra funding.

While the potential £7.5 million bill for repairing the Winter Gardens looms, is it now time to have a wider conversation about Glasgow funds its amenities.

Having our museums and galleries free to the public is a great source of city pride but can we afford it, particularly with the equal pay bill for women workers looming?

According to Glasgow City Council, visits to city museums have increased by 62 per cent in the past 10 years. We have some of the busiest museums in Scotland and, with Kelvingrove and the Burrell, some of the most internationally important museums in the country too.

Glasgow Museums has a budget of £12m and hosts four million visitors a year while the National Museums of Scotland has a £27.7m budget with 2.7 million visitors annually.

Major UK cities, including Edinburgh, receive government funding for the museums but Glasgow does not. The burden for running our nine museums falls entirely on the taxpayer of Glasgow.

This is not a sustainable model, so what do we do?

I was in Auckland, in New Zealand, two weeks ago where visitors to the city pay an entrance fee to museums - such as the Maritime Museum - while residents have a membership card, a MyMuseum card, that allows them in for free.

Should we look at this system? Or, like Edinburgh, should Glasgow look at introducing a tourist tax?

I discussed some of these issues with the MP Paul Sweeney this week and he pointed to the success of Manchester's People's History Museum as an example Glasgow could look at.

Funding there comes from the council, unions, government and the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), which represents the ten district councils of Greater Manchester.

Maybe that's another topic for discussion: A Greater Glasgow Association run for the benefit of the city and the affluent suburbs that benefit from it with coordinated funding for public facilities.

Glasgow suffers greatly from having fewer council tax payers within its boundaries. Redrawing the boundaries would be an expensive and likely heavily contested - from those outside the boundary - way forward.

But there must be a reasonable way to talk about who pays tax where and why.

The SNP administration will say that successive Labour-led councils have allowed the Winter Gardens to fall into disrepair. Labour will point to successive cuts to Glasgow's budget over the past 10 years and council tax freezes.

This is too important to be a party political issue. We need innovative, collaborative thinking for the future of the city.