It’s that time of year again with the summer holidays over and kids back to school, normal daily routines can resume once again. The summer provides me a wonderful opportunity to visit businesses and organisations throughout the area to speak to local people and listen to their thoughts and concerns. I’m always overwhelmed with the diversity of the projects that are undertaken, and the talent that is on our door step but is not really seen.

Since being a member of the Scottish Parliament I have always tried to promote local business, charity groups and community organisations by submitting motions to praise their success. I look forward to discovering more hidden gems throughout West Dunbartonshire over the coming year and supporting their good work.

The ongoing situation with trains between Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Balloch is exceptionally worrying. The rise in disruptive and threatening behaviour is unacceptable, and now has the potential to see us loose valuable services in our area.

Police Scotland, British Transport Police and ScotRail are all working to ensure passenger and staff safety is a priority, and to ensure services run on time. Delays and cancellations have been caused by this anti-social behaviour which is unfair on passengers, both social and commuters.

It is reported that the majority of disruptions are caused by younger members of our community. The lack of activities for teenagers to engage in and suitable places for them to spend time safely is not a new problem. It is also one that is difficult to solve as these individuals don’t have their own homes to entertain their friends, and not all parents want a house full, meaning they meet up in public places.

I would appeal to parents to advise their children, unless travelling, to avoid hanging around train stations within the area. This will help to ensure they don’t get caught up in any potential situation.

With these problems ongoing, I have approached Police Scotland to ensure more police personnel have a presence within train stations along British Transport Police. We would hope that this anti-social behaviour will end and allow people to travel safely, and staff to work without fear of harassment or physical abuse.