This week's opinion column is written by West of Scotland Conservative MSP and Helensburgh resident Maurice Corry.

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THIS week we head to the polls for the council election, followed by a General Election within five weeks of that. An important time in our democracy.

Over the Easter recess I spent many days leafleting with local candidates and speaking with residents.

It was interesting to hear the main concerns facing people, both on local and national issues.

The key two topics being Brexit and a second referendum on independence.

Since 2014 politics has changed dramatically, people have voted differently for varying reasons, but overall all now the feeling is that of wanting to move on and build the country.

In 2015 people were told a vote for the SNP was not a vote for independence but for a “stronger Scotland”, that is what people want, but the SNP have proved to fail at that due to their obsession with independence.

Throughout my time as a councillor I worked to help local charities and organisations secure funding through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund which has assisted massively throughout the community.

We also managed to liaise with the UK Government and secure the £5 million for the redevelopment on the pier.

By working with local people, council and government we can continue to improve local facilities.

As a party we have proved to do this in local government, In Holyrood we are working closely with residents and local authorities to provide a strong working partnership and, hopefully on June 8 the public will support the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party to continue this by having more elected members in UK Parliament to work for a better Scotland and United Kingdom.

Whatever your views on a snap election, it gives Scotland the chance to change our representation for the better.

With Brexit negotiations beginning regardless of the way we each voted, the one thing we need now is not divisive politics, but a better partnership to get the best deal for everyone.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a councillor and I thank people for the opportunity to represent the Lomond North area for the last five years.