I joined campaigners from Hospitalwatch and other local patients’ groups at a rally outside the Scottish Parliament to demand action from the SNP Government to protect GP out-of-hours services at the Vale of Leven Hospital.

The Health Secretary finally agreed to meet with campaigners face-to-face and patients used the opportunity to hammer home the message that cutting the service will put lives at risk. There was no sign of any local SNP representatives but it was good to meet MSPs from the other parties who came along to show their support.

We need action now to solve the staffing crisis in our NHS. Patients were left without emergency GP cover for the second time in a fortnight because NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not have enough doctors to keep the unit open.

More than ever before, West Dunbartonshire Council has an important role to play in shaping the future of our local hospital services. Labour’s representative on the Health and Social Care Partnership Board will fight tooth and nail against any cuts to opening hours and demand more investment in the Vale of Leven Hospital.

While the SNP fail to turn up to meetings or simply nod through cuts to local services, you can count on Labour councillors to defend the Vale of Leven Hospital.

The SNP Administration took over in May, to say they have been low key is an understatement. With the exception of denying low paid women workers hundreds of pounds of back pay and opening the gate at Overton that was closed on their watch they appear to have no ideas, programme or plan for the next five years.

While they are devoid of ideas due to the vision and investment by the Labour Administration thankfully we will see regeneration for many years. Dumbarton residents can be proud of the newly refurbished Municipal Buildings, new OLSP High School opening later this month, restoration of the historic Old Academy facade and new council offices. In the coming years the upgraded and restored Levengrove Park and riverside walkway will see that Labour’s programme will continue and fill the void of the ineffective local SNP Councillors.