IN this week's Community Column, West Scotland Conservative MSP Maurice Corry writes about the community's response to the recent extreme cold weather.

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I HOPE everyone was able to stay safe and warm throughout extreme weather we’ve experienced over the past week. Fortunately, it’s not weather we see regularly and that can bring us some comfort.

Although we don’t experience snow that bad often, it’s important not to forget the challenges and dangers this can bring.

Emergency services personnel, especially, are put under extreme pressure and face the same challenging conditions when responding to calls, making their job even more difficult.

It was incredible to see members of the community pull together to help in whatever way they could. Whether it be clearing roads/pavements, driving people to and from hospital appointments etc, checking on elderly or lonely neighbours, or helping to clear school car parks, it was wonderful to see and a great help to the community. Thank you.

There have been many people questioning the way in which the council dealt with clearing and gritting the roads, and the ability for services to function as normal.

With the expanse of Argyll and Bute and the limits of both personnel and equipment stretched, the council, and every worker did a wonderful job in conditions so extreme it must have felt like a losing battle at times.

When travelling conditions are difficult the importance of local services become vital. Many will have experienced the shortage of bread and milk, and others may have required additional heaters, blankets, shovels etc,

The importance of local shops and services is crucial and I would encourage people to use them whenever possible to ensure they remain for the future.

This is hugely important in the case of the Vale of Leven Hospital, which is a lifeline to those in need.

I released my vision for taking the hospital forward a few weeks ago and continue to work towards securing the future of the Vale.