By Maurice Golden MSP

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year! I hope 2018 brings you health and prosperity.

Unfortunately, Scotland’s prosperity faces challenges given the upcoming SNP budget that MSPs will debate in the weeks ahead.

It makes for grim reading: almost £5 million slashed from the West Dunbartonshire Council budget, ordinary working Scots earning £26,000 or more hit with higher taxes and a raid on pensions. 

Throw in the possibility of council tax rises, and you have a recipe for hitting hard-working families in the pocket at a time when many are struggling.

Thanks to the Conservative UK Government, Scotland’s budget is increasing this year, so there is no excuse for the SNP to dip into the pockets of ordinary people to pay for their failures. Yet between 2010 and 2017, the SNP have cut council funding by 7.6 per cent in real terms.

This has to stop.

Rest assured that myself and my Scottish Conservative colleagues will be fighting for a fair deal for working families.

No more SNP council cuts, fair local funding and workers to keep more of their hard-earned cash – that’s what I will be arguing for, for the people of Clydebank.

Meanwhile, some of you might have seen a recent story in this very paper on how I am campaigning for a ban on electric shock collars for dogs.

Later this month, I am sponsoring a debate in the Scottish Parliament where I hope to persuade other MSPs, particularly the SNP Government, to outlaw the sale and use of these horrible devices.

I have listened to the experts, from vets to behaviourists to trainers, and they agree that these devices have no place in modern dog training. 

Wales has already banned them, and along with organisations like the Kennel Club, Dogs Trust and the SSPCA. I believe it is time Scotland followed suit.

I hope to have good news to report on that front soon, but in the meantime please visit to lend your support by signing my petition.

The New Year also brings a new round of advice surgeries, and I will be holding sessions across the West of Scotland in the months ahead. 

It doesn’t matter if you support my party, another or none – I am here to represent everyone, so please do get in touch with any issue you think I can help with.

Contact details can be found on my website –