We should never be afraid of change. We may feel secure in our little stream but if we don’t venture further we will never be aware of the big sea out there.

Holding on to what is good right now may be the barrier to something even better.

This week, there will be major public consultation on the plans for the town of Balloch and the western bank of the river Leven.

National newspapers, always on the look out for an eye catching headline, proclaimed it as “Flamingo land on the Bonnie Banks”. There was outrage. Understandable outrage if the headline had been rooted in truth. You probably read that fiction, but now is the chance to hear the facts and influence the outcome.

Balloch has known its share of change. Much of the land in question used to be a railway sidings. The Woodbank Hotel used to be an iconic eating house. Dye works provided gainful employment for many But the Woodbank hotel is derelict, the Dye Works gone and the railway sidings now scrubland. Things change.

I am hoping that anyone who has a love of the loch and its surroundings, anyone who has children or grandchildren, anyone who thinks that good can get better will come and see the outline plans of what might be possible.

I would contend that those exciting proposals could benefit the town of Balloch, West Dunbartonshire and indeed parts of Argyle and Bute. The plan would boost the tourist trade and the local economy. It could provide employment for those young people who leave school and find it difficult to find a job.

For 42 years I have lived in this area. I love it and I love its people. Over those years I have been involved in the local community, its schools, its hospital and many of its institutions I do not believe that I have ever done anything or given my support to anything which has been detrimental to our community.

I have some knowledge of what is proposed and see it as positive. It is important that we hear the facts and not the fiction. I would encourage readers to learn about what is being proposed. Balloch, the loch and future generations will thank you for it.