The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park planners have recommended a refusal of the application by Flamingo Land and Scottish Enterprise.

They cited loss of amenity to local people over benefits received as one of the main reasons. Exactly as I had observed all along; the people of Balloch and the Vale appreciate what is on their doorstep and do not want to lose it.

The National Park has a duty ‘to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of the area’. Key elements of the Flamingo Land (pictured right) and Scottish Enterprise proposal involve developing Drumkinnon Woods and also the Pierhead - both would result in an unacceptable impact on the landscape.

We hope the planning committee will seriously study all the aspects of this proposal and will uphold the recommendation for refusal.

During the school holidays, the council has run a series of workshops and activities centred around making sure children have a good breakfast and lunch, enjoy time with their parents and engage in new activities.

The huge attendance is proof that this was an excellent project, which could be expanded - to include use of our swimming pools and of the ‘great outdoors’.

The aim should be to give children a hobby that will last a lifetime such as swimming or hill walking; this does take commitment from staff and volunteers in the community for which everyone is grateful. Swimming is part of the curriculum but, only from P4 onwards, therefore the more sessions the council can offer the better.

The cracks are beginning to show as the council budget is cut each year by the SNP at Holyrood.

The cost charged for day care services for the elderly have risen by 40 per cent, meanwhile the Scottish government will pay for all of our street signs and council building signage to be in both Gaelic and English.

I feel that people would rather look after the elderly than create a false impression of the level of spoken Gaelic.

Grass cutting and attention to parks was a topic for concern at the last Community Alliance Committee.

A true bio-diversity plan must be thought out, and not just patches of grass that are difficult to reach being left un-cut in order to save money.