What an amazing week it was at West Dunbartonshire Council as the SNP administration were unceremoniously put in their place by their political masters.

They had to withdraw their planned cuts to trade union facility time and conveners, as their party, quite rightly, does not relish the prospect a war with the unions.

Just days before they were bluffing it out and trying to justify this obvious attempt to split the workforce. Never have I seen such blatant union bashing in this country.

To attempt to ignore written agreements with no negotiation, and then make conveners scrabble for their positions, was demeaning and crass.

They did not realise the solidarity and comradeship that exists among the workers who actually operate and make this local authority work.

I take my hat off to the stewards and many others for their show of determination and their principles which were never in doubt.

The job is not finished, however. They came for you once, and they will try it again.

The economic challenges facing West Dunbartonshire are clear to see as you walk along our shopping centres and high streets. Some stores which have closed in my own ward, such as BHS and Dunnes, are national companies whose store closures have created blank spaces in towns throughout the country. Others struggle to keep going, although shopping centres and town centres do still seem busy at times.

I am hopeful that West Dunbartonshire will be a bustling area that people will want to visit, and to do that we need a wide variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment, a welcoming environment and good access.

The spread of business, social and civic buildings and new housing should be beneficial to the local economy. It will all tie together eventually although it is a process that never stops.

There was a recent incident in Old Kilpatrick where a treasured old cherry tree was cut down and removed at the park in Gavinburn Sreet. Nobody knows who did it, – it certainly wasn’t the council. I have heard that there was an advertisement for unseasoned cherry tree wood for sale in Stirlingshire.

It’s amazing how brazen some people can be. They obviously don’t care about our living environment so be aware of activities in your own area. They might not be as innocent as they appear.