The school holidays are over and sadly, after the great weather in June, the pupils didn't get much sunshine during their six-week break.

Locally, there was a good array of summer activities for our young people to enjoy. Some of these were provided by the council, with others provided by local groups.

The big events locally, of course, were the Highland Games at Balloch and the Pipe Band Championships in Dumbarton, both of which showcased our Scottish traditions to the enjoyment of locals and visitors from all over the world.

There have been free events for children in our parks, which will continue into September.

So much of what has been staged has been low-cost or entirely free, with those organisations providing activities being very mindful of the cost of living and how stretched family budgets are.

For older people, unfortunately, it’s a different story. The grass keeps growing and, unless you’re a well-off pensioner, the charges introduced by Labour for the Care of Gardens scheme means you’ll be looking out into a wilderness.

After nine months without a meeting, the Cost of Living Working Group was advised that 77 elderly and disabled people had stopped receiving the grass and hedge-cutting service, as they couldn’t afford to pay.

No alternative scheme could apparently be found to assist this group of people with the cost, so unless they have a family member or friend willing to help out, then the grass grows unchecked.

I’m a great believer in biodiversity and, if we are to address the loss of a variety of species, we need to tackle the loss of green spaces.

However, what’s happening across the area is cost-cutting, not grass-cutting.

It’s an obvious way for the council to save money but it appears it is being done without enough thought.

The normally-vocal Labour councillors and MSP who previously had so much to say about the unkempt state of the place have been pretty quiet about it.

A biodiverse area can look attractive but it needs some management and there are questions to be asked about the choice of areas being cut and those left wild.

For example, does the area behind the Municipal Buildings need cut in preference to the same area at say White’s Dam at Silverton?

Overgrown pavements are a danger and not about helping the climate.

To finish on a positive note, following the arrival of exam results, I’ll say a very well done to all our young people on their achievements and wish them every success with their future, whether that means continuing at school, furthering their education or starting out in the world of work.

Congratulations go to you and all who support you.