Balancing the council books is never an easy job but I was pleased that in advance of officially setting the budget on March 27, we have been able to give a commitment to protecting frontline service.

An additional £1.6m funding from the Scottish Government, refinancing loans and a 3 per cent increase in council tax will help us close the budget gap for next year without taking savings options identified by senior managers. Our priority is to protect jobs, frontline services and continue to deliver the services our residents rely on.

I was delighted to wave off the many classic cars who took part in this year’s Monte Carlo Rally. This is the second time the world-famous sporting event has left from Clydebank and as Provost it gave me great pride to host such a prestigious and high profile event in West Dunbartonshire. Along with hosting the start of the iconic race, we also sent a special bottle of Auchentoshan whisky through to the organisers of the event in Monte Carlo.

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I was proud to take part in some important civic events last month, such as the raising of the Holocaust memorial flag remembering the millions of people who died in Poland. During the event, we heard moving tributes from pupils from Clydebank High School. By raising the flag every year it is a reminder to everyone of the atrocities carried out and it will never been forgotten. I was also again proud to raise the LGBT flag which promotes awareness to ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect regardless of their sexual orientation.

Later this month I will attend the church service to remember the many residents who lost their life during the Clydebank Blitz. The annual service is an important part of our town’s history and a fitting tribute to the residents who helped to rebuild the town.

And finally, I look forward to our annual Employee Recognition Awards later this month when we thank our valued staff for the excellent service they provide to our residents. This special event highlights our dedicated employees who are a credit to the Council. We are proud and very grateful for the services they provide to the residents of West Dunbartonshire.