PLANS to give financial help to older Dumbarton residents have been delayed - while cash for a community group in the town to help it with a project in Levengrove Park is also on hold.

West Dunbartonshire councillors agreed this week to delay a decision on the funding request from the Friends of Levengrove Park.

The Friends had applied for £3,822 from the Dumbarton Trust fund.

That would have left £1,124 in the fund - and a report by a West Dunbartonshire Council official recommended that that £1,124 should be distributed to "older people's groups" in the town and the fund then shut down.

The Friends applied to the same fund last year for £19,800 to establish the 'Cycling Without Age' project, providing trishaw tours of Levengrove Park and a storage container to house the trishaw itself.

The rickshaw-style vehicle would comfortably seat two people at a time and would be ridden by volunteer cyclists who would take less mobile residents around the park.

But during the discussion on the Friends' new application to the fund, it emerged that the equipment to be bought with the 2022 grant had not yet been secured.

Councillors on the committee agreed to delay a decision on the latest application and to seek more information.

Council officer Adrian Gray said: “As you can see this is a further application. The group was awarded £19,800 in February last year and that award was primarily for storage areas and other equipment at the time to operate.

“In this further application, they seem to have come to a conclusion that people are having difficulty getting transport to the park, and they propose to set up a taxi account so that they can bring people to the park at no cost to the person who wants to come to the park.

“What has never been clear to me is that this is not a sustainable account, unless they put in money of their own further down the line, as the funds will eventually be exhausted.

"They estimate a return trip will cost up to £18 for up to four people a week.

“They have also stated that the money will also go towards motion sensored lights, batteries and solar security outdoor lights. 

“Given that we have already awarded a substantial amount of money to the group and we very rarely get any applications to this fund, I can see no reason not to recommend payment.”

Committee members also heard that the delay was partly because of the slabbing that needs to be completed within the green space section of the park.

Councillor David McBride (Labour, Dumbarton) said: “It is quite disappointing that there doesn’t seem to have been much progress after a considerable award.”

Councillor Karen Conaghan (SNP, Dumbarton) added: “I was just wondering if we should delay this application until they get the trishaws.

"If this is to provide transport to allow people to use it, so are we better to hold on to that money just now?

"That’s not to say we wouldn’t grant the money at a future point, but the money isn’t necessary just now. Are we better holding onto it in the meantime?”

Members agreed to delay the funding until a later date.