A lot has happened since my last column, and as the council leader I’ve been busy implementing the SNP manifesto on which we were elected.

Our Strategic Plan, setting the council’s priorities to 2022, was agreed unanimously. This document is the basis for all decision making in the council at both officer and elected member level.

During and before the election campaign, we surveyed thousands of households to hear your priorities, which include, reducing the poverty related attainment gap in education, growing the local economy, delivering the best possible frontline services and empowering communities to get involved in council decision making.

To receive the backing of the entire council for our priorities is humbling. It sends a clear message that the elected council is united in our goals; and despite the political one-upmanship you see in the press and on social media. It’s confirmation that in practice Labour, the Community Party and others are firmly behind this SNP administration and the positive change we want to make.

We’ve also increased the number of public full council meetings by a third and half of all full council meetings will be held during the day in response to feedback from shift workers who cannot access evening meetings.

This increase in meetings represents the best balance between responsible use of public money and access to public meetings.

Coupled with changes to the council’s procedures to allow the public and councillors to put questions on the agenda of every committee, these improvements go a long way to delivering our election pledge to make the council more open and transparent.

Any resident can now write to the council and have their question or issue discussed in public at a committee or full Council meeting. There will now be at least 66 opportunities every year for members of the public to ask us questions directly, up from just six per year under Labour.

During the election campaign we also committed to implementing an online video recording service, making meetings even more accessible for those who cannot travel to Clydebank or Dumbarton. This will be part of the SNP budget for next year.

This positive change reinforces our commitment to be a listening council, giving residents direct access in public meetings and empowering you to ask questions and share your views with decision makers.

More details on everything in this column and more are available at www.mccoll.scot.