Less than two weeks ago, the Covid-19 positive test rate in West Dunbartonshire was 95 per 100,000 people. Thanks to your compliance with rules and guidance, as I write this that number has dropped again to below 30.

There has been a fantastic effort from everyone in our communities, and as the vaccine roll out continues to move swiftly, the recent brighter weather heralds a brighter future for everyone.

As I’ve said before, we cannot be complacent.

Every time a sharp fall is reported, there are some who relax too much and start taking risks, undoing everyone’s hard work.

West Dunbartonshire has had three distinct spikes in 2021, with the highest seeing levels up at 281 on January 9.

We’re in a better place now, and we must stay there.

Too many people have lost their lives to this virus, and many more are living with life-changing conditions and disabilities as a result of being infected.

With an NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde average of just above 60, we’re doing really well to have less than half that rate.

Only Inverclyde can boast a better rate at just 12.9, and with common sense and continued high compliance, we will soon suppress this virus and get back to a more normal way of life.

This election, the council are allowing political parties to advertise on street furniture (mainly lampposts).

Posters must be removed by May 16.

If you think a poster is in an inappropriate place, please contact a local councillor from the relevant party, or use the contact details printed on the poster.

If you haven’t already applied for a postal vote, I’m afraid you’ve missed the deadline.

You can still apply for a proxy vote in some circumstances.

Search online for ‘proxy vote Scotland’ for information.

Voting in person at a polling station will be safe, if you follow guidance at the polling station and any instructions given by staff.

It will no doubt feel different. You’ll have to wear a mask (unless you are exempt), maintain social distancing, and we recommend you bring your own pen/pencil to fill out your ballots (clean pencils will be available).

You may also have to queue as numbers inside will be limited and there will be regular cleaning taking place.

Voting is so important, and nobody should miss out.

Please plan ahead and leave yourself plenty of time.