The terrible events at Grenfell have rightly left many of us seeking reassurances about the safety of other buildings.

I am able to tell you that the council has now completed a detailed and thorough assessment of high-rise building cladding, and we are able to say with confidence that our cladding is safe. The inflammable cladding of the type used on Grenfell Tower has not been used on council high-rise properties in West Dunbartonshire.

While this is comforting, we will be looking at further action to safeguard our residents once the Grenfell inquiry has concluded, and its recommendations are available.

From the outside, the council can seem like a many-headed monster, but as a first-time councillor, I can report that behind the scenes there are many dedicated, passionate people who go “above and beyond” to try to make this area all it can be.

We should pause before thinking of “the council” as a faceless “object” – it’s actually made up of people who live as well as work here, and who care as much as we do about how well it functions.

And you do care. I’ve been so impressed with the positive, solution-focussed attitude of people coming to me with council issues.

The council-building move has cropped up, with concerns that the council is spending money on itself.

But when you consider that the resulting savings have already improved the positive financial case by £248,000, and that the annual savings are expected to be £400,000, things start to look different.

The move has brought about the restoration of one of our most beautiful heritage buildings, the old academy on Church Street. But there’s more.

There is heightened interest in retail properties that have stood vacant for many years, with businesses looking to invest in Dumbarton since the relocation was made public, and, to the east of the town, the old distillery site – vacant for 15 years since its closure in 2002 – was purchased soon after the council’s relocation plans were announced.

This retail and housing regeneration will bring new jobs, businesses and money to the area.

The redevelopment will also deliver a new walkway between the High Street and Dumbarton Castle that will be a real asset to townsfolk, and attract tourists.

As convenor of the infrastructure, regeneration, and economic development committee, I look forward to ensuring the right projects are delivered that benefit our communities in the exciting times ahead.

It is high time our town’s fortunes were turned around; the time is now.