THIS week's councillor column comes from Lomond north Councillor Iain Paterson.


WE often talk about economic development and opportunities in our roles as councillors.

I attend many meetings, especially with community councils and development trusts, where we discuss a variety of ways to try to improve our local areas.

In my own village of Arrochar, members of the community have been trying to get something moving regarding regeneration through the development of brownfield sites.

I remain a steadfast supporter of these efforts and still believe that developing the centre of the village was a good idea.

This was a proposal to fill in the area in front of the Three Villages Hall, creating a car park in the heart of the village to support businesses for the benefit of the local economy.

And, on the subject of opportunities, it is great to see that the Waverley paddle steamer is now going to be using the Kilcreggan and Cove pier on a regular basis.

This is something that I have been promoting vigorously since being asked by members of the community a month or so ago to support the proposal for this to happen.

I wrote to the national chairman of the Paddle Steamer Society, Paul Semple, endorsing Kilcreggan as a great place for the Waverley to visit, and I’m glad to say that there is now a great opportunity for the communities and businesses in the local area and beyond.

Indeed, I can see opportunities in many other areas within my ward in Lomond North.

In Garelochhead, for example, there is work being done to improve links around the village by putting in place a good path infrastructure with plans to link in with Rosneath, Kilcreggan, Rhu, Arrochar, Ardlui and Luss.

I applaud the hard work of all the members of community councils and development trusts within my ward in their attempts to improve quality of life in their villages.

They have been neglected for far too long and it is high time they had their potential realised.

The CHORD regeneration project has invested much in the major towns of Argyll and Bute, and I think it is now high time that attention – and with it, of course, crucial funding – was focused on those smaller villages and communities that can contribute so much to the wellbeing of our beautiful county.

I am committed to helping them do so in whatever way I can.