The decisions that routinely affect our day-to-day lives are taken in local councils, such as West Dunbartonshire and local government is a subject I am passionate about.

There is rightly an expectation that our local authorities should be in a position to provide vital local services that we all need. However, they have reached breaking point.

Covid has had an obvious impact, but even prior to the pandemic, they were suffering.

Over their 14 years in charge, the SNP have slashed funding to councils like West Dunbartonshire, putting them in difficult positions year after year when it comes to setting their budgets.

Local government appears to be a complete afterthought for the SNP and their now Green coalition partners, who have happily backed cuts over the years.

Since 2013-14, the funding provided to local government from the SNP has fallen by more than seven per cent.

That is funding being taken away from your children’s school, bin collection services, your local library and social care services.

The SNP try and mask many of these cuts, but the truth is that they are passing the burden of their cuts down to local authorities, while at the same time asking them to carry out more commitments on their behalf.

In West Dunbartonshire alone, figures in recent years have laid bare how damaging these cuts are, especially for our young people.

Funding has dropped for secondary pupils by 11 per cent and by nine per cent for primary pupils.

These are our children’s futures that are being short-changed by the SNP-Green government.

Our councils are so overwhelmed and underfunded that during 2020, an astonishing 19,000 calls that were made to residents by the council went completely unanswered.

It is time for the SNP-Green government to stand up for our councils and deliver a fair funding settlement after years of swingeing cuts.

The Scottish Conservatives would enshrine a fair funding deal for our councils in law, which would help them accelerate their recovery from the pandemic and help to rebuild our communities.

It might not be the most glamorous subject, but it affects you and I every single day as we go about our daily business. Things cannot continue on this downward spiral.

If you have any issue you feel I can help you on, do not hesitate to contact me on where my team and I will be happy to assist.