TWO weeks ago, on Thursday, November 11, I was honoured to meet some Danish politicians at the pioneering district heating system at Queens Quay.

The delegation was in the area for the COP26 summit, and after a tour of the facility, we had an informal sit-down chat about our amazing ground-breaking system, chatting about the technical side of the system as well as the plans for the future.

I spoke to the delegation about the role our system will play in fighting fuel poverty as well as my role in making it happen – though I must say I did not envisage such a magnificent system as we have now.

I spoke at length about the social aspect the system will bring to Dalmuir and Clydebank in a few years’ time. For me that is the sole purpose of the system – cheaper energy for all.

While looking through my constituent enquiries, and in particular those that relate to the quality of the area’s council housing, my mind drifted back to Boyle Street and King Street in the 1960s, and the fight my own father and the parents of other children in the area had with the council concerning housing.

Those houses were damp, draughty, and in a lot of cases had water running down the walls. More than a few times a socket would give a bang as it went again.

Thanks to all those parents who fought so hard 54 years ago, the housing in King Street and Boyle Street was transformed in to what you see today.

The reason I thought back to those days is because I am getting some of the same complaints today, 54 years on.

Though there are reasons for this still happening, it is no less shameful that it is happening.

This continuing situation is not unique to West Dunbartonshire of course. The same issue is happening all across Scotland – councils’ budgets being constantly cut, and the reduction in staff and resources are important factors in the below par housing some of our residents are having to endure.

The new social houses that are being built in West Dunbartonshire are being built to the highest standard ever. Everyone at West Dunbartonshire Council is proud of the standard we are insisting on with new builds. Sadly we can’t build them fast enough to match demand, but we are getting there.

The parents in Boyle Street and King Street fought for homes without cold and damp, and 54 years on, that fight continues.

It will continue to be a source of embarrassment to me until the issue no longer exists. Our tenants deserve the very best homes, not having to sleep in damp rooms.