DEAR readers, as an interested constituent and a member of the Community Party, I have decided to attend the monthly council meetings to observe how West Dumbarton is being represented and how the decisions that affect us all are taken.

I have attended two meetings now, and I can only say, pity help us.

The SNP just don't seem to have got their act together and the Labour councillors act as if they are still in power, and still in control.

The main reason for this seems to me to stem from the Provost having a total lack of skills in chairing a meeting and totally depending on the legal representative to keep him right on every subject.

It shows a complete lack of respect for the people of West Dumbarton to have this man representing us at any political level, and the councillors who voted to give him this position owe us an explanation.

There was an important item on the agenda last night (Wednesday) regarding equal pay for women.

This has been through the legal process, but many low paid women were unaware of the process as it was going through and they have missed out on a back payment for lost wages.

For four months now they have been complaining about it and looking for support.

They didn't get it from the SNP administration. They had taken legal advice and advice from top union officials, but no mention of talking to the women affected. The Labour Party and Jim Bollan of the Community Party moved a motion asking for the costing of various options of offering financial support to the affected women.

Jim said that an ex gratia payment could legally be made and there was money in the pot to pay for it.

This was defeated by the SNP and cannot be discussed again for six months.

This from a party who have been campaigning for the WASPI Women, yet when we have local low paid women workers looking for support, none was shown.

But shameful though I think this is, for me the most worrying aspect of the meeting was that the administration had printed on the agenda that the public and the press were to be excluded from the part of the meeting that dealt with this issue.

From a party that talked about openness and accountability, this was completely undemocratic and actually quite frightening.

Can I just suggest that more members of the public come along to these meetings and see for yourself how badly you are being represented?

Louise Robertson, the Community Party

ALL across our towns and cities the blockbuster film Dunkirk is creating great interest and fascination.

There is however, one major fact not mentioned in the film.

Many of those who see the film will be interested to learn that the situation was actually so desperate, King George 6th called for a National Day of Prayer on 26th May 1940.

In a national broadcast he asked the people of Britain to pray for God’s help. Thousands of special services were held across the country and literally millions of people poured into churches to pray.

Two significant events immediately followed. Firstly, a violent storm arose over the Dunkirk region grounding the Luftwaffe which had been killing thousands on the beaches.

Secondly, a great calm descended on the Channel, the like of which hadn’t occurred for a generation, enabling the hundreds of tiny boats to rescue 338,000 soldiers, rather than the estimated 30,000.

It was the timing of these events immediately after the Prayer Day which led people to speak of “the miracle of Dunkirk” and Sunday June 9th was officially appointed as a Day of National Thanksgiving.

Looking back at this and other events the Bishop of Chelmsford wrote, “If ever a great nation was on the point of supreme and final disaster, and yet was saved and reinstated it was ourselves…it does not require an exceptionally religious mind to detect in all this the Hand of God.”

At the end of 1942, after the tide had turned in the War, Churchill himself was moved to say “I sometimes have a feeling of interference, I want to stress that. I have a feeling sometimes that some Guiding Hand has interfered.”

To coincide with this film, details of various Wartime Miracles are being sent to thousands of churches across the UK so as to give congregations hope and reassurance, much needed in our unsettling times.

If anyone would like this uplifting information directly by email, then they are welcome to contact clearly putting Wartime Miracles in the subject box. Thank you.

Rev J Willans. BD. Dip Theol, via e-mail