To start 2021, I have one good comment, and one not so good. Why don’t I start with the not so good and get that out of the way!

St James’ Retail Park is a good shopping area with lots of parking spaces, a varied number of shops and containers for charity collections.

It did have containers for glass to be recycled but that was moved to the area where Frankie and Benny’s was located, only 100 yards away.

Why, then, is the area where the glass containers were located now full of fly-tipping rubbish?

I’ll tell you why.

Because some residents think it’s OK to do this instead of taking five minutes to go to Dalmoak Recycling Centre to dispose of their discarded items.

This area is not owned by West Dunbartonshire Council, and the council is not responsible for clearing away the discarded rubbish.

It is a private site owned by Legal and General and it took the council some time due to the holidays to contact them.

By December 29, it was getting out of hand and yet people were still adding rubbish daily.

By January 4, it was disgraceful.

On January 6, a company arrived and removed all the rubbish and cleaned up the area very efficiently.

By January 13 the rubbish was mounting again, including an ironing board, duvet, what looked like a sewing machine and boxes and cartons galore.

Rats are always a problem there but even more were seen.

Be aware, the owners will now be installing and activating CCTV cameras and car numbers will be taken.

A retail park is NOT the place to dump your rubbish.

Thank goodness we now have a good story.

Maurice Corry MSP attended our Zoom meeting last week and gave a detailed account of the new Vale of Leven Mental Health Unit – a very welcome addition to the area that gives mental health support to people from the armed forces and also to the community in general.

The hospital will be a centre of excellence for this work - the first in Scotland.

Others will follow, including Edinburgh, Rosyth, Leuchars, and Lossiemouth.

It is good to have the Vale of Leven Hospital attain a high profile.

There have been fears in the past of the hospital being closed and Jackie Baillie MSP has worked hard to keep its future on the agenda.

Many locals and residents from surrounding areas attended the protest marches with her and Jim Moohan from Hospitalwatch gave passionate speeches on why we need this hospital to be retained in our area.

Hopefully we are paving the way to achieve that.