This is my first column since being reelected in May.

I would like to thank everyone who voted for Labour candidates and I am proud to be elected as a Dumbarton ward councillor for the third time.

I will continue to fight for the services we all depend on and the continued investment and regeneration of Dumbarton.

No issue in the last few weeks has caused as much concern as further cuts to our local health service.

I attended the recent public meeting in Alexandria to oppose the cuts at the GP out-of-hours service at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

The community has pulled together to oppose the latest attack on our local hospital and the campaigners in Hospitalwatch should be applauded for taking the fight to the health board and the Scottish Government.

Council leader, Jonathan McColl, also made the headlines this month with a bold statement claiming that he single-handedly saved the service at the Vale.

My first thought was to welcome his sudden interest in NHS issues because only a couple of weeks ago he said he was too busy with “other things” to attend his first meeting at the health board.

The SNP Provost also vetoed Labour’s call at the full council meeting in June to reject the cuts at the Vale of Leven Hospital, but we will welcome any converts to the cause.

However it didn’t take too long for the health board and the Scottish Government to distance themselves from the claims and Cllr McColl has been left looking a bit daft.

The review of out-of-hours is still going ahead and there is absolutely no guarantee about the future of services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

It is difficult to understand Cllr McColl’s motivation for saying otherwise but we must not let this confusion divide campaigners who have worked so hard over recent months to build momentum.

If we stop the fight now then the health board will think they can continue to chip away at our local health services.

With the new council term about to begin, I look forward to working with my Labour colleagues to ensure that protecting the Vale remains at the top of the agenda in West Dunbartonshire Council.