Shared services As the council moves into recess for the summer period and councillors turn to other pursuits with no committee or council meetings until August, our officers continue to work on the strategies and projects which will be presented to councillors for decision over the coming months.

There is much to do and councillors will have vital decisions to make which will shape the future for West Dunbartonshire.

One of the key decisions councillors will have to make at the end of August will be how or if we take the shared services agenda forward with other councils in the Clyde Valley.

Making decisions We will have reports to consider on waste management and back office services such as Council Tax collection.

Councillors will have a briefing session early in August where we can discuss and ask questions on both the potential positive and negative impact of shared services.

Be assured, whatever the council decides at the end of August, it will not just be based on the council budgets.

We must also consider our staff and current local partners, all of whom contribute to the local economy and productivity of the area.

We must make sure that what is decided does not adversely affect our main priorities, such as providing high quality frontline services and promoting training, job creation and economic growth in West Dunbartonshire.

Chief executive This month also sees the council advertising for a new chief executive with David McMillan choosing not to renew his contract and leaving at the end of October.

We wish David well with whatever he chooses to do in the future, and I would like to personally thank him for all the help he has given me over the last year since I became leader of the council.

He has been instrumental in helping the administration to stabilise the council's finances and improve our reputation.

He leaves the council in a far better place than when he started the job five years ago.

A new chief executive offers an opportunity for some new ideas and a fresh approach and I'm sure that whoever is successful will bring their own particular style to the job.

There are many challenges ahead of us and I very much look forward to working with the successful applicant.

Highland Games The annual Loch Lomond Highland Games will be held on the Moss O' Balloch again this year on July 16.

There will be the usual high standard of national and international sports people competing and I understand that the games are continuing to host the official Scottish Highland Games Association World Heavyweight Championship (Ball, Hammer and Caber Weights).

It's always a great family day out, rain or shine, so come along and enjoy the sport and local stalls, including our own SNP tombola and a special limited prize draw.

For more information about the games, visit their official website at