It's been a great start to the summer with temperatures hitting the 80s and it's been nice to see so many people out enjoying the good weather - long may it last. The council is in recess but of a lot of important work is still going on. During July Provost Mcallister and Depute Provost Millar were in great demand and continued with their Civic duties.

Provost McAllister hosted a Civic Reception in Clydebank for the International Civil Service Bowling Competition which brought over two hundred bowlers and visitors to the Dumbarton area for a week.

Meanwhile Depute Provost Millar has been out and about at a variety of community events such as the Lomond Highland Games, which was a blistering success with over 15,000 visitors and the Dalmuir Park Gala day, where the sun helped make another memorable day.

Summertime is obviously filled with lots of community events and Gala days and councillors will visit many of these including Balloch Fire Station open day, the Tontine fun day.

I know that Councillor Sorrell is looking forward to the opening of the Lomond Folk Festival in Balloch.

I am sure that everyone will be looking forward to the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Championships in Levengrove Park which is the icing on the cake for West Dunbartonshire and I am hoping that the weather holds out and that local residents will turn out in their thousands at Levengrove Park in Dumbarton. It's our biggest event of the year with 22,000 visitors expected, so I hope you can make it along.

As well as the civic duties it's been business as usual for many councillors with Councillor David McBride holding meetings with various officers to fit in with the HEED Committee deadline of August 7.

Our Education Convenor Michelle Stewart has also been busy visiting our new summer schools during July as well as meeting with Kinship Carers and meeting with ScotRail to learn about their apprenticeship programme.

Over the summer months our hard working council staff have continued with the day to day activity of providing vital services to local residents with repairs, homeless services, care duties and many others.

As well as this, senior officers have been piecing together funding bids for key projects such as the �200,000 Youth Hub in Dumbarton that will be a partnership between the DWP, Clydebank College and WDC; the �8m worth of bids to the Scottish Government Capital programme; the �300,000 fund to tackle unemployment among hard to reach groups; and the bid for funding support for our Business Gateway Plus partnership.

This work builds on the successful Youth Employment Scotland bid where the council received �933,000 from the Scottish Government to support 290 jobs.

Before we know it the new school term will be upon us, but before that parents and pupils will be waiting anxiously for the school exam results.

I know that our pupils and teachers have put in such a lot of effort this year and I really hope all this hard work pays off on August 6.

There are also the uniforms to buy before the kids go back and I'm delighted that West Dunbartonshire has doubled its school clothing grant for eligible families this year to �100. This is much more generous than many other Scottish Councils and should help parents to follow the dress code and guidelines at their children's school.

The new term is a very exciting time for the staff and pupils of Dumbarton Academy, with the opening of their new �15.5 million building.

They have a great future to look forward to in state-of-the-art surroundings and I wish them all a summer of success.