The editor of the Post has asked me to confine my remarks to local issues in view of the Scottish Elections. I am happy to comply.

In fact, I will go further and restrict my commentary to local matters in which I have been personally involved, and forego mention of political parties altogether.

There is of course another election coming up next year – for West Dunbartonshire Council. I am passionate about local government. It seems many of my constituents are too, since their first port of call is often the local councillor when problems arise.

I would love to do more for them, but the sad reality is that our budget has been cut back significantly since I was elected in 2012. Meanwhile, we have been given greater responsibility by government, without the powers and funding to match.

I really think that we need constitutional change in Scotland. We need to give councils their proper place to deliver local services. This would involve entrenched powers, more flexibility to fund ourselves, and a decent settlement from government which properly takes into account deprivation.

Clydebank Central is the sixth most deprived ward in Scotland, and is the top 10 wards most adversely affected by the pandemic. But still we are not adequately funded.

We are stuck with the unfair council tax and business rates, and do not receive adequate funding to regenerate the local economy and bring new jobs to the town.

I am very pleased with the regeneration of Queens Quay in which we have invested millions in infrastructure. The new bridge from Renfrewshire, which will not cost us a penny, will boost connectivity for students, workers and visitors.

The council is currently considering taking full ownership and control of Clyde Shopping Centre, which would boost opportunity for the community.

I was very happy to support the campaign to protect Linnvale’s greenspace, and was instrumental in advocating funding for a new Linnvale Community Centre, and also a new Hub in Radnor Park, in the alternative budget.

I secured funding to refurbish the Mountblow Pavilion and install a new sports field and play parks in Radnor Park. I am also working to get the Onslow Road Community Hall reopened to the community this year.

I secured funding to promote services at the Vale of Leven Hospital, helped to secure funding for the new Clydebank Health and Care Centre and Queens Quay Care Home, and secured additional funding to grit footpaths and pavements in winter to prevent falls by the elderly and disabled.

So it is not all about party labels or constitutional wrangles. There is great work going on between the community and local councillors to improve Clydebank, and long may it continue.