RECENTLY I joined local residents in a meeting with the head of the RSPB for Scotland to discuss the road they plan to develop through the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve.

There is great concern that the ‘jewel in the crown of Scotland’s biodiversity’ will be compromised by a development that does not put the environment or nature to the fore.

Scotland sits 212th out of 240 countries in the Biodiversity Intactness Index. But a wildlife tourist attraction in one of Scotland’s finest, most precious nature reserves, that is not accessible by public transport, where nature will be compromised, is out-of-date conservation.

A reserve of such high standing should not be used to alleviate pressure points such as Luss and Balmaha. To respect nature we must experience it first hand.

The possibility of a centre for the environment and nature in Balloch Park is being worked on. With infrastructure already in place, Balloch Park provides shoreline, 200 plus acres of grounds and links to Whinney Hill, a woodland walk of five miles.

The UK Government Kickstart Programme has enabled 60 young people in West Dunbartonshire to have a chance to get into the workplace, receive training and the prospect of fulltime employment.

Our three vaccination centres in West Dunbartonshire are staffed by these young trainees who are doing a great job, reassuring the public, keeping people informed and making sure the centres are as clean as possible.

My recent motion to the council on water safety highlighted the fact that the council needs to write and adopt a water safety policy.

Why? To give our residents and visitors the confidence that the council takes its responsibilities seriously.

The second part of my motion asked the council to draft initial proposals for a supervised swimming area on Loch Lomond, in Balloch. The water is so tempting when the weather is good. Sadly, there have been too many deaths this summer. It would be much safer to provide an area with a lifeguard for people to enjoy the water.

Many people do not understand that the loch has ledges and steep drops, where the water temperature is much colder. There were two addendums to my motion which passed unanimously.

Work has started to create a safe crossing from Tullichewan to McDonald’s in Balloch.

There are tailbacks off the A82 most days. I have raised residents’ frustrations, and suggestions have been put forward for how to tackle the tailbacks. I will continue to press for these improvements on safety and environmental grounds.