I WAS given this date to write a column for the Reporter away back in January – and who, six months ago, would have envisaged the world we are now living in?

Covid-19 has caused devastation far and wide and we need to pass on our condolences to everyone who has lost family members and friends. We also have to thank not only our front line workers who have worked tirelessly, but also to shop workers and others who have maintained a link for us to allow food shopping, postal deliveries and essential services. Everyone has struggled at some point through this and we can only hope it won’t be long before we get back to normal, whatever a new normal will be.

If, like me, you’ve not been working, you may have enjoyed the glorious weather and doing all the jobs about the house and garden that you’ve been putting off for so long.

I’ve never seen so many skips in my area when taking my daily exercise. The down side though has been the huge number of people travelling through Dumbarton from Glasgow when we were in lockdown. What has our administration been doing about this? I’ve been deafened by their silence.

We see that the council are pushing through their plans for the Exxon site and are going to plan for a relief road and industrial units on a site that they don’t even own. They are spending millions on this land and I for one think that this money could be far better spent elsewhere just now.

We have more and more people having to use food banks and I envisage unemployment will rise. It is time people start using their voices and tell our councillors to stop this right now and actually do more to support the people of West Dunbartonshire.

We are still in discussions with ScotRail, Network Rail and the council about the railway bridge in Dumbarton East. They are doing the usual passing the buck, each blaming the other and not accepting responsibility to find a final solution for the problem. The amount of pigeon poo and dead pigeons is disgusting. The council do arrange to clean the pavement regularly but by next day the build up begins again.

This station, in theory, is the main stop for visiting Dumbarton’s main tourist attraction – the castle. What message are we giving people when they see this? I’d be tempted to just turn around. We need more people to raise this matter and hopefully it will be resolved.

Dumbarton is being transformed with the development in the town centre, and people will hopefully be moving into their new homes soon after building work resumes. The new walkway from the town to the castle is taking shape but a stumbling block is Dumbarton FC not giving consent for it to be finished through their land. Is the reason behind this that they did not get planning permission to move their stadium?

We hope that this can be resolved as soon as possible for the benefit of the people of Dumbarton and our visitors. We also hope the Leven can be tidied up, but that’s another story.