by Councillor Daniel Lennie

The last week has been very trying for everyone to say the least as the “Beast from the East” brought with it the first ever red weather warning to Scotland cutting off roads and communities.

The harder the “Beast” hit the greater the response from our communities, neighbours out clearing paths and roads, strangers helping strangers get their cars out of high snow drifts, no reward or praised looked for but heroes to their communities without question.

The good people of West Dunbartonshire proved yet again our greatest asset are our residents.

By the time this goes to press we will have had the budget decided, the SNP administration will have committed to further austerity measures or followed Labour’s plan and produced a no cuts budget.

Let us be very clear, there is no need to be making any cuts to budgets. The money is there to ensure another no cuts budget. We will know by Monday evening if the administration has decided to do the right thing and take the pressure off our hard pressed communities or decided that yet more cuts to services are the best option, they will either embrace austerity or, like Labour 2017, make a stand against austerity.

One of the strangest stories doing the rounds is the building of a bridge between Scotland and Ireland, I am still trying to decide if this is April 1 come early.

As we witnessed last week our emergency services, our nurses, doctors, carers, support workers and council workers proved their true worth to Scotland yet again going to extraordinary lengths to provide the best service possible.

All of these services have suffered massive cuts to budgets by the Scottish Government, their wages have been stagnant for yours, but lets build a bridge to Ireland. During the last week we have had homeless sleeping on the streets, their only salvation was the kindness of firms like Dalmuir’s own fitness planet who opened their doors in a time of great need, pensioners suffer fuel poverty, we have food banks but lets spend billions on a proposed bridge, it is long overdue for the Scottish Government to get its priorities in order.

Finally, once again a huge thank you to everyone who pitched in to aid others, our communities are very much alive and well.