Councillors recently had the pleasure in joining Dumbarton District Women’s Aid in celebrating their 30th anniversary.

This valuable resource is vital in all areas but especially here in West Dunbartonshire as we have one of the highest incidents of reported domestic abuse in Scotland.

Naomi Breeze wrote and performed a new play exploring coercive control and its impact on the individual, as well as judgements society can make based on superficial observations. A powerful piece that left a lasting impact on many of us who attended.

Marsha Scott, chief executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, was also in attendance and spoke of the grim realities and devastation domestic abuse has on families.

She welcomed the recent legislation introduced by the Scottish Government-Domestic Abuse Bill (Scotland) going onto to say “Scotland is leading the way with this progressive bill”.

In 2011, worked closely with DDWA and witnessed first hand the dedication, commitment and determination of staff in their support of women and children.

They are called upon seven days a week, 24 hours a day, often giving selflessly of themselves.

It will be a day to celebrate if as a result of us all working together to eradicate domestic violence, this valuable service is no longer required.

In the meantime, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank each member of staff and the board for the vital support they provide to our women and children in need. And from the sublime to the ridiculous – the raising of the Catalonian flag at Garshake Offices appears to have stirred a Tory or two.

It seems to be beyond the grasp of some the importance of standing in solidarity with those who are being denied their democratic right, especially in such a brutal and barbaric way.

The shocking and disgraceful scenes aired throughout the world on social media should disgust us all. This was the indiscriminate beating of people going to vote. The old, the disabled – voting yes or no – violently attacked, dragged off and treated like criminals.

It diminishes us all to turn away or attempt to justify the Spanish state’s brutality. I reject the criticism aimed at those of us who stand in solidarity with the Catalonian people, especially coming from members of a party who welcome racists and bigots, created the abhorrent rape clause, persecutes disabled people and plunged many on our island into poverty.