THE autumnal equinox took place on September 23.

This is when day and night are of equal length and it signals that winter is coming.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as autumn and winter are also punctuated with a variety of religious celebrations, holidays and other events, such as Hallowe'en, St Andrew's Day, Christmas and New Year.

Last month, I had the privilege of attending the Adult Learners Awards ceremony at Glasgow City Council Chambers to support the Learner Voice Group, consisting of learners and volunteers from across the Working 4 You adult learning provision.

The night was topped off by the group being named as an award winner.

It was an eye-opener to learn about their work and to hear about more groups who are helping others.

We have also had the first stage of the Artizan consultation and my understanding is that a second stage is nearing completion, so I am really looking forward to seeing the progress made.

Elsewhere, road improvements at Station Road and College Way are coming along and you can begin to get a good idea of what the area will look like once these are finished.

I know this has caused considerable inconvenience for residents, businesses and the travelling public but hopefully, it has not been too disruptive and the short-term pain for long-term gain will be worth it.

Meanwhile, I was really pleased to hear that our kinship carers and foster carers are getting an increase in their allowances, which will be backdated to April.

These families do so much for the children in their care and anything we can do to help them has to be a good thing.

The new rates will cost an additional £175,000 but it will help the 335 children who are being looked after by others.

Another recent decision of the council was to significantly increase apprenticeship pay.

This will see our year one apprentice rates increase to £16,752, with those in year two now getting £19,800, year three receiving £20,822 and year four being paid £23,2865.

It will make a massive difference to their monthly pay packet during the cost-of-living crisis.

I would like to finish by thanking all of the community groups who made our summer Shine programme a great success.

The comments from grandparents, parents and children in the education committee report showed how successful the programme was.

I also want to thank all of those businesses, staff and volunteers who made the council’s family days a great success.

Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers and the emergency services who organised the 'blue light' event in Levengrove Park.

The feedback from all of these events has been tremendous. My heartfelt thanks goes to you all.