Two years ago when I was appointed council leader this approach may have surprised some people given where our area was coming from, but I’m delighted to see the positives are now catching up on the ground and, importantly, in the minds of local residents and others.

Take a step back from the tittle-tattle of local politics and you will see a council investing millions in offices that will regenerate and support our town centres as well as save taxpayers money, a council set to provide a £15 million key to unlock major redevelopment of the vital Queens Quay site in Clydebank providing much need jobs, investment and business growth, an area ready to boast every pupil taught in modern secondary school facilities that rival anything in Scotland, tenants provided with housing improvements that meets the Scottish Housing Quality Standard and our neighbourhoods receiving support and investment and two new care homes and day care centres to support our most vulnerable residents in the most comfortable and modern settings available.

I could go on to talk about our positive results on jobs, the improvement in our road infrastructure, the investment in a new £19m sports centre for Clydebank plus investment in sports in general and the improvements in council services. I prefer however to concentrate on what the people who live in West Dunbartonshire think.

In 2013 we surveyed 1,000 residents and just 58 per cent of them believed the council was efficient and well run. Halfway through 2014 and that figure has risen to 70 per cent. Similarly in 2013, 63 per cent of residents thought that council services provided good value for money.

Halfway through this year and that figure has now risen to 77 per cent.

I believe this is the drip drip effect of gradual improvements that we’ve made in recent years in West Dunbartonshire. I also believe our residents are genuinely beginning to see the benefits of the changes we’ve made and the ones that we plan to deliver.

They are being reassured about the present and getting hopeful about the future. I’m really excited about the years ahead and a great case in point was the recent City Deal announcement.

In case you missed it both the UK Government and Scottish Government promised to invest £1 billion pounds in the Clyde Valley area.

We should benefit from a grant of nearly £30 million to develop the Exxon site at Bowling which is equal in size to Queens Quay and just as exciting a prospect with the potential for hundreds of jobs.

It was interesting though that this news caused barely a ripple in West Dunbartonshire, whereas in the past I think it would have been a landmark investment that we would all be sat around waiting to happen in the hope that it would regenerate the area.

Today, thanks to our ambitious programme of investing in capital projects, it is just one of many significant projects that will help transform our area.

I’ll sign off by saying a big well done to everyone involved in the recent Queen’s Baton Relay which was a fantastic advert for the people of West Dunbartonshire.

It was so great to see thousands of residents come out to cheer on the many amazing baton bearers running through our streets.

The route took in all the best bits of our area and the sun thankfully shone so that our amazing scenery and iconic landmarks had real wow-factor for the national audiences that watched either live on the internet or that night on the evening news.

What a fantastic day!